It's just killing me to throw away all the juicing ingredients and I would like to start a composter.
Where do I start? Can anyone help ? I am not a gardener and do not live in a warm climate. I am truly gardening challenged so I would need detailed instructions !
Thanks a bunch inadvance!
With juicer pulp, the quickest easiest thing to do is what they call "sheet composting" or trench composting. just dig a trench or hole in your garden, put the pulp in it, and every now an again cover with dirt, and leave it. You could do that even just as a start until you get more set up for a full-on composter.
To have a proper compost heap, you can use a whole variety of things as a sort of "container". Some cities even subsidize the cost of them (I got my first one for $5), because the amount of garbage we send to landfill raises our taxes and is an environmental problem. You don't even need a container, but I like to have something to keep it sort of gathered up in a pile. If the cost is not a factor, get a composter unit.
Then the other thing to optimize your compost is to combine what they call "browns" and "greens", which basically means high carbon sources, and high nitrogen sources. All your kitchen scraps are considered greens, browns would be leaves, sawdust, whatever. In my experience you can get a good compost just out of kitchen scraps with no browns, so don't worry if they're not available. I keep a bag of raked leaves or sawdust beside the composter, then every now and again put a layer over the veggie scraps.
Another thing to optimize it is to keep it "turned", i.e. aerated, by stirring it every now and again with a shovel or something. If you do all the above, you won't have a smelly compost at all. If all you do is pile the veggies in and do nothing else , it'll actually still work pretty well, it just won't heat up as hot or compost as fast. Also if you want to keep it really going, keep it very moist, not soaking wet, not too dry. What I do is occasionally open it during the day to get rained on. Last summer in a real drought I actually watered it a few times.
Another thing to optimize it and get it going is if there's someone near you who's got a good one going, get a shovel of their compost and put it into yours to speed up the bacteria getting to it. They will come naturally or you can also use some scoops of soil. You don't need to buy any yuppie compost starter.
The only other thing to remember (not that any of us here would have any of these lying around) is not to put meat scraps in because it may attract animals, or lead to an undesirable smell. Egg shells are good though.
Good luck, I think it's a great thing for the environment.
PS, you will soon become a green thumb once you get that compost into your gardens!
Watched a guy on the TV yesterday and all he did was take a polythene bag and one third fill it with water and then half fill it with leaves. He said seal it and leave it till spring and you will have compost.
I do not understand that as I assumed that you needed worms and such like but have no reason to doubt him.
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I was actually wanting to start a compost and was going to hit the board to ask how. I hate throwing all my scraps in the trash. I juice almost everyday, so I have alot of pulp. Is there anything I should NOT put in the pile, or anything fruit or veggie related ok? Thanks. Haven't decided yet if I will just bury everything in the garden, or start a comp. pile. Decisions, decisions
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Most things can be put into your compost pile or hole (which is what I have well actualy several it makes it easyer when doing yard work than having to haul it all over the place).
If your house hold is raw then all the scraps may be put in the pile if you have any meat eaters in the home them dont put in any meat or bone scraps as they will draw pest of all types.
You can add yard waste and clippings to help things compost faster. keeping it turned and wet helps also.
I rotate my compost piles several times each season so it is easy to find good dirt to add to my gardens.
Many of my compost pits are 2 feet deep of lossend soil I turn when ever I am in that area of the yard ( just beware if you put in over ripe things from your garden expect things to pop up on thier own next growing season I always have wild Tomatos poping up here and there)
It is like lil treasures to nibble on when I am gardening.
Blesssings and good gardening
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WOW, thanks everyone, I am so imspired - ok and nervous, but I will give it a shot!
My parents plant organic veggies every summer, and this last summer my mom discovered how to finally grow tomatoes like weeds in this Texas heat. We've been composting as long as I've been alive, Im certain, and over the winter, they dug a new compost pile, and put everything in there non meat, including egg shells all winter long. Then my dad put a wire fence around it, and mulched as much grass clippings/bush clippings ect on top. Then he bought organic fertilizer, put it on top of the clippings, then watered. They planted tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, banana peppers, (and a few other things that didn't suvive th heat.. my mom still sometimes doesn't understand direct and indirect sunlight for certain plants lol) all around the wire fence(they built it up with dirt to like a hill somewhat), and then all summer long, they just watered inside the mulch/compost fence thingie. Instead of just watering the plants directly, the water went through the compost pile, then up into the plants through the soil. There was a bowl of tomatoes on the table EVERY MORNING. And we're in Texas, with blistering 100 degree weather that even kills the weeds. I took salads to work all summer long(I didn't know of raw at the time, and had no clue thats why I felt so much better). My dad is plotting at this moment to add another of these contraptions to our backyard and make massive cucumbers, zucchini, whatever else they can think of.
I reaaaaallly miss having a big yard, I'd do this myself if I had a yard what so ever(arg on apartments).
I've been wanting to get more into gardening (totally black thumb) and composting. I have heard really good things about those worm containers for composting. I even remember reading one lady had a small composter under one of her sinks and she would just add stuff to it and the worms took care of it. Then someone else had a bigger one in another area of the house, they brought it indoors when it got too cold, otherwise they would leave it on their porch, I think.
everything in the hole!
I took just about every plant scrap and scrap of garbage and tossed it on top of my old tomato garden and compost heap. I almost feel like going to the coffee department in my grocery store and asking them for the coffee grounds! :)
Hi, great thread !
It's getting cold here in NY and I just covered my garden with leaves last week, up until thenI was spreading my pulp,peels etc..all across. Sonce I have covered it ( I cover it to protect my herbs that will come back next year and rosemary which still producing). I am now just spreading it on a spot where I hope to expand in the spring. I guess I should mix it up before the ground freezes !
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Thanks! That is precisely what I was looking for. I think I will take the kids and see if some of the neighbors would be willing to let me rake and keep their leaves just for that. So, I could probably just use a chicken wire sort of open box right? Or does it need to be closed, like the garbage sack or something?
Wow, that is so cool! I am in Texas now and wondering what the heck to do with the heat and the deep clay soil... Did your parents have that as well? The clay?
Yeah, a chicken wire sort of open box would work fine. I have two composts going, one is open (started with just a ring of chicken wire and no frame, then I just left it with nothing, in a pile), and one is in a plastic "composter" I bought from our township.
So, I could probably just use a chicken wire sort of open box right? Or does it need to be closed, like the garbage sack or something?
If you have major problems with animals who would want to pick through your compost, to me that's the main reason to get it contained, otherwise it's totally fine to have it open. I have a neighbor's dog that likes to take a look through it occasionally, but other than that, no problems. With no meat scraps and only veggies in it, it sort of limits who'd want to pick through it anyway. It needs air to get at it to function better, so the plastic composters are a little different than a garbage can in that they're vented.
If you want to hammer a frame together from some scrap boards and put chicken wire or hardware cloth on the sides, I'm sure that would work amazingly well. (It doesn't need to have a bottom, you can just put it on bare dirt). When I have more time, I want to build something like that, but with a few bins so I can just turn it over into the next bin to finish while I put new stuff in the first bin.
If your soil is clay, the compost will really help break it up and make it hold water better. You could also try mulching over the top of your garden with the leaves if you want to plant something. It will help retain moisture too, and improve the biological functioning of your soil. There's a lot you can do to improve clay soil, basically you want to get lots of organic matter into it, then control "erosion" (where all the topsoil and organic matter just blows away)
I also like to juice, and was wondering how I could compost; I live in an apartment.
Since I like vegetable juice, I started using the pulp as a filling for nori rolls. I just keep the pulp in a bowl, and mash it with an avocado, salt, and some lemon juice. I've done this a few times, using one avocado with the pulp from making maybe 24oz of juice from carrots, kale, beets, cucumbers, and kale. I couldn't believe how delicious this was the first time I had it, when I rolled it in some raw nori with some dulse. I actually had just the mush for lunch today.
If you don't have avocado on hand, flax oil is also good; the mixture of veggies and fat is really tasty. Do be sure to have some liquid with this; these are partially-dehydrated veggies.
Mixing the pulp with your flax seed cracker "batter" is also really good, as is making thin veggie burgers with the pulp. These may be better than the "mush" for a vegetable-fruit blend.
In an apartment, you can get a "vermi composter", they use worms and go under your sink. The worms can't escape.
Some areas have begun to offer urban composting, where the municipality collects compostable waste separate from the stuff that goes to a landfill. The costs of garbage disposal have become a significant part of our taxes, and landfill space is getting short. If you feel like it, write to your councillor or representative at the city asking for urban composting. Our township started to offer it, and they gave every resident equipment for collecting compost and putting it out for the garbage collectors. It has become quite successful and popular, and once a year they offer everyone to come and help themselves to finished compost for their gardens/plants.
I also know of people who make carrot cake with the carrot pulp. Personally I can't stand it. Mock tuna sort of works too.