Alfalfa as a composting medium

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: General Composting Issues: Alfalfa as a composting medium
Author: Ted (Ted)
Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 8:07 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

TCLynx ,
Will do, it may be a while but I'll check
back once I get started.

Ted

Author: TCLynx (Tclynx)
Sunday, December 31, 2006 - 11:05 am
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

Ted,
Keep us all posted about what you try and your results, comments and thoughts about it all. Sharing is the great part about the internet.

Author: Ted (Ted)
Saturday, December 30, 2006 - 6:10 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

Thanks TCLynx,
Good tips , I'll keep them in mind.

Appreciate it,Ted

Author: TCLynx (Tclynx)
Thursday, December 28, 2006 - 10:05 am
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

In a pinch you can use dirt as cover material but it isn't really recomended. There isn't need to add soil to the compost to get things started (they will get going without extra additives). Soil doesn't do anything special to help compost and it might actually slow things down if you add too much.

Peat works but it can be dusty and messy. Then again, sawdust and shredded paper can be dusty too.

You might not need to worry too much on shredding stuff up. Hay, straw, etc work well outside in unshredded form.

Good luck finding the right cover for your situation. Here is another option we havn't tried but have concidered, our county collects yard wastes from residents and composts them, residents are allowed to collect up to a truck load of this finished compost for home use. I've heard that finished compost makes good cover material too though I don't know quite what texture this compost has.

Author: Ted (Ted)
Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 4:01 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

I did a little looking around and
found a chipper/shredder/mulcher may not be
what I need, the hay would tend to clog
up the works.
Mulcher only is the key, I'm finding.

And ya hay is available about everywhere.
I'm told top soil is a good starter for
the 'Bin'.
Peat moss if mentioned here as well as
other sites I'm told is an optional cover
for inside, I wonder if that smells
objectionable all on it's own, I've for-
gotten how that smells.

A retired army guy told me heating the
humanure 190 f for 45 minutes kills
all pathenogens , never to return.
Haven't found any online info to back that one up.
I can imagine though that would really
smell like crap....

Ted

Author: Patrick (Pcinca)
Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 7:30 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

Alfalfa, hay, straw, etc. and leaves can easily be broken down or shredded in a small home mulcher or shredder- preferably, an inexpensive electric model as opposed to a big, noisy, polluting gas unit like mine (soon to be replaced!).

All garden centers, big-box home centers, etc. carry a line of various type shredders.

The shredded material is similar to sawdust in density and covers good to eliminate odors, is more absorbant and breaks down faster in the compost pile.

Straw/hay/alfalfa bales are fairly cheap and readily availble all over the country year round. Just remember to keep it dry until used. I use large trash barrels with lids kept next to the compost pile to keep my dry materials in.

When I had a bigger property and privacy, I had a plank across the compost bin to sit on so I could do a "direct deposit". Then I switched to a 5-gallon paint bucket and never bothered to put a box with seat over it (too domesticated).

I used the original bucket lid to cover both the potty bucket and the dry material buckets. The rim of the bucket would leave a crease in my rear-end for awhile, so I highly recommend building the potty seat like the one Joe Jenkins has. Guests will appreciate a toilet seat, also.

Author: Ted (Ted)
Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 5:54 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

Thanks TCLynx ,
I appreciate it much.

Anyone got some input on hay or straw
now that it sounds confirmed that it
may work ok.
I mentioned alfafa thinking that would
be most recognised here, actually it is
hay , perhaps a better grade than I need
though so that's good.
I have every type avaialable to me ,
not much else will be accesable,
I can get it cheap enough so who knows a good
way to shred it at home.
Also if you've used straw or bermuda
hay , have you found that to work great ?
It would be great to hear from some
of that have first hand or reliable
knowledge of good experiences with
various hay types.

Leaves , trash, clippings etc will not
be available in any quatity that will
make them attractive 'covers'.

Sawdust would definetely be my first
choice , but it's not available.

Author: TCLynx (Tclynx)
Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 12:58 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

Many, many things can be used as cover material. The best thing to do is probably find something easily and freely available in your area. Test it out and see how well it works for you. Lots of people use hay or straw as cover outdoors, why not alfalpha. Personally, I try to avoid anything with too strong a smell indoors, instead of covering up stink it seems to accentuate an urine smell that usually isn't there with less intense cover materials.

For us, in the outdoor bins, we use whatever yard waste people are putting out by the curb (leaves are great) or we rake leaves and pine needles (we try to avoide the bags full of palm fronds, they aren't very absorbant untill they have broken down for a long time and are easily broken into small pieces.)

Indoors in the bucket we use sawdust when we can get it but we have found that used coffee grounds from coffee shops work well too. We use shredded paper to help absorb liquid and coffee grounds to cover stinky solid deposites. Leaves can work too but you risk bring in bugs with em. Some people recycle their finished compost for use as cover material in their buckets (they may not have plantings that need the compost and are just composting to conserve water.)

Good luck, I hope you find something free and easy to collect that works for you!!!!

Author: Ted (Ted)
Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 4:35 pm
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

Not sure if that's the right term to
use but anyway........

Sawdust will be hard to come by where
I need it.

Did I hear here or elsewhere that alfalfa
is a good component for composting
and better if it's shredded ?

Alfalpha,straw, are readily available to
me so that's why I ask.

I'd imagine making your own sawdust would
be tedious, is there an effective and cheap
way to do that as in grinding up
'b' stock or unbuildable type lumber.

Well back to hay , if that's a good thing
to use as base , where or what do you use
to shred it?

Ted

Add Your Message Here
Post:
Username: Posting Information:
This is a private posting area. Only registered users and moderators may post messages here.
Password:
Options: Enable HTML code in message
Automatically activate URLs in message
Action:

Topics Profile Last Day Last Week Search Tree View Member List Log Out     Administration
Topics Profile Last Day Last Week Search Tree View Member List Log Out   Administration
Welcome to The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board
For assistance, read the instructions or contact us.
Powered by Discus Pro
http://www.discusware.com