January 2, 2010 at 8:20 am #250994CeresMember
I’ve just pulled up a massive pile of very seedy grasses and weeds, periwinkle and morning glory. I don’t want to put them in with the chickens or into my usual compost pile and risk infesting my garden beds with weed seeds. A friend mentioned hot composting as an option. Can anyone provide me with simple instructions for this? Or alternative ways of composing very seedy weeds?
Thanks!January 2, 2010 at 10:02 am #449255porgeyMember
Hi Ceres, its as easy as pie but you need at least one cubic meter of garden & kitchen â€˜wasteâ€™. The key ingredients are a range of nitrogen rich materials like leafy prunings, grass clippings and/or animal manure, plus moisture and plenty of oxygen. I was just discussing this yesterday and thought I would get 12 hay bales and arrange them to make a rough box which will hold at least a cubic meter and dump it all in at once and let nature do its thing.
Here is an edited extract from the nov/dec 2008 issue of the ABC Organic Gardener magazine; (1) Gather all your raw materials and have a hose ready. (2) Create alternate layers of nitrogen rich animal manure, a variety of garden waste and whatever other organic materials you have available including grass clippings. If you have lots of kitchen scraps & fresh grass clippings, balance them with equal amounts of carbonaceous material such as shredded newspaper, leaves, straw and / or shredded woody material. (3) Make the heap around 1.5 meters high, evenly wetting but not saturating successive layers and cover with a breathable material. (4) For best results turn after the first week, then fortnightly until the materials cool.
Its not that hard really and farmers, gardeners and nature have been doing it for yonks so give it ago and get rid of those annoying weeds. Cheers porgey.January 2, 2010 at 12:18 pm #449256CeresMember
Sounds pretty simple.. I have plenty of chicken manure I could throw in and at least a cubic metre of weeds. No room for 12 hay bales though!January 2, 2010 at 6:40 pm #449257MagpieMember
Hey there Ceres, I always manage to get my compost heap steaming hot and I’ve found the things to do are
– layer roughly 50 / 50 mix of green and brown stuff – so to all your weeds, in layers about 10 cm thick, alternate dry leaves or roughly shredded paper or cardboard with the weeds. the more mixed up the pile to begin with the quicker it heats up in my experience
– sprinkle lots of water on each layer – it should all be fairly wet, but not saturated / sodden. I’ve been surprised at how much water is needed to get it going
– a shovelfull of chook poo every other layer of so will really help get it hot
– areate the heap every week by either turning it over from one bin into another or using something like a compost corkscrew – I got one from Bunnnings called “the Compost Worm” for about $20 and it’s just brilliant for making the job easy. You just screw it down into the pile, pull it out again and it areates and mixes the pile without having to turn it all over. The ‘Worm” literally makes a big job into a few minutes work so it’s 20 bucks well spent.
– as you areate and re-mix the pile each week, add more water if it’s dry – the heat of the process will use up the water. If you overdo the water and have a soggy mess, just add more clippings and shredded paper
ANd that’s it!! Its the combination of air and water that lets the good microbes thrive and they heat the compost up
I never “got it” until I read “Resurrection in a Bucket, The rich and fertile story of compost” by Margaret Simons. It’s not just about compost but about life and death and rebirth – it’s a great read and not a dry boring book, (our local library had it). I highly recommend it
Good luck! Let us know how it goes!January 2, 2010 at 8:50 pm #449258SonyaMember
A compost may not necessarily kill off weed seeds – might be better to drown them or solarise them. Either put them in a barrel of water to completely break down or in a black plastic bag out in the sun until they completely break down.
We make hot compost but it doesn’t kill off tomato or tamarillo seeds, we always get them growing out of our compost bins and bays.
SonyaJanuary 2, 2010 at 9:21 pm #449259scarecrowMember
Sonya has a good point there!
For a step by step tutorial on composting in general check out this thread.
Check out the links in that post for more info!January 2, 2010 at 9:37 pm #449260SonyaMember
In the organic standards, it says composts should reach a minimum of 55 degrees celcius for three days in a static aerated pile.
At a recent compost conference I went to here on the coast, it was recommended that they don’t get above 70 degrees.
You can buy compost thermometers at nursery suppliers.
SonyaJanuary 3, 2010 at 12:14 am #449261goodnessMember
I agree with sonya…i’ve used the juice from weeds drowned in a bucket as a green tea for the soil….and i’ve found that making a “solar weed oven out of a few sheets of corrogated iron and bricks to make a sandwhich with the weeds…leave for a season or two and then the left overs can be added to normal compostMay 27, 2010 at 1:49 am #449262ZandyMember
Dr Elaine Inghams (soil microbiologist) made a great DVD for hot compost ‘How to Make Organic Compost’. Its not expensive and VERY helpful as it tells you exactly how to do it.
http://farmingsecretsblog.com/ this place has GREAT media products for sale. Ive bought quite a few from them 😡May 27, 2010 at 3:27 am #449263lavmanMember
:wave: Zandy, I’m :confused: you say it’s great, but you are Mad 😡 ????? are you :@ with them :shrug: or just picked the wrong Smiley 😀 🙂May 27, 2010 at 6:57 am #449264ZandyMember
ooops wrong smiley – was trying to put a *blush* in lol.
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