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LAURAAT's Photo LAURAAT Posts: 1,506
3/11/13 2:37 P

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Such a simple question, but I've learned so much!! Thanks for the advice everyone! I think this summer, I will start with the black bag for the grass/weeds, and use that as 'mulch' for my garden. Next year, I will look for a good place to put a compost pile, and get that started.

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GREBJACK's Photo GREBJACK Posts: 3,629
3/9/13 3:55 A

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Two thoughts on weeds and one on varmints:

If you are one of those people who consciously maintains your pile: you water it when it gets dry, turn it to aerate, approximately balance "greens" and "browns"... then you'll have a hot compost pile that cooks down really fast and will kill weed seeds, so it doesn't matter what you put in your pile. If you're like me and you'd rather put in less labor and let nature take a little more time, your pile won't be hot enough to kill weed seeds and you either need to avoid putting them into your pile or you need to do something like the black garbage bag to kill them first. Either way, you never want to put diseased plants into your compost pile - it's never hot enough to guarantee the death of a fungus like brown rot, and then when you spread the compost you spread the disease.

If you cut your lawn regularly enough that weeds can't set seeds (no dandelion flowers, no grassy seeds feeding the sparrows) then the cut green parts of the weeds won't spread through your compost even if it's a cold pile. Weeds need you to move seeds or roots in order to propagate them - it takes branches or succulent leaves to propagate just from an above-ground section of the plant.

On varmints, the poop of vegetarians (like deer and worms) is just more nitrogen for the pile. The feces of carnivores tends to carry germs that consume meat and we humans are, unglamourously, meat, so those are the germs that we don't want to consume with our food 'cause they'll make us sick. So I don't worry if my compost pile attracts critters because I don't put any meat scraps into it so the critters attracted won't be the ones I need to worry about. But if you maintain a hot compost pile, even carnivore poop is just more nitrogen...

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67YKCEB's Photo 67YKCEB SparkPoints: (22,048)
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3/6/13 8:29 P

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I know they say that you shouldn't but I put everything in my compost. I've even put chicken bones in it. I have barrels that I roll across the yard to mix it up. Yeah it does stink, but it's just a compost stink, not a something rotten stink. This will be my 3rd year doing it. I have two barrels so one sits and cooks for a year while I fill the other. The first year that I dump one .... that was the blackest dirt I have ever seen!

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“We don't stop laughing because we grow old; We grow old because we stop laughing” ~ Michael Pritchard ~


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LAURAAT's Photo LAURAAT Posts: 1,506
3/6/13 8:32 A

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Thanks for the composting tips! I may have to reconsider my initial thoughts. I will definitely look into it more, and see if perhaps it is something I want to try, after all.

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EEVEE1's Photo EEVEE1 Posts: 4,426
3/5/13 9:14 P

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I have never had a problem with dogs, cats, raccoons or possums even paying attention to my compost. Just make sure your last bit of stuff you put on is grass, or a scoop of dirt or something when it gets hot or it might start to get a smell.

after some time in a composter, you shouldn't get many weeds from the clippings. Many of my clipppings just get blown into the garden when the grass is cut and I haven't noticed any extras in these areas

Edited by: EEVEE1 at: 3/5/2013 (21:16)
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GRAMMABANANA1's Photo GRAMMABANANA1 Posts: 1,109
3/5/13 3:32 P

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avoid putting cooked foods and meat products in your compost that should be less tempting to pets and wild varmits. However garden snakes love compost piles. Some composters are closed so there isn't as much access for animals.

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LAURAAT's Photo LAURAAT Posts: 1,506
3/5/13 3:28 P

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The plastic bag idea is definitely smart! I can certainly start that right away.
I like the idea of starting a compost, but with 2 dogs, I've always been a little weary of it. Is there a way to do it, while protecting from my two very, very smart (when it comes to trouble, lol) dogs as well as the wildlife (I have an armadillo, a raccoon, and baby rabbits that get in the yard ATM).

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GRAMMABANANA1's Photo GRAMMABANANA1 Posts: 1,109
3/5/13 2:48 P

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The plastic bag is a good idea and you may want to consider investing in a composter which will "cook" any seeds and turn the grass clippings and kitchen scraps into compost.

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67YKCEB's Photo 67YKCEB SparkPoints: (22,048)
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3/5/13 2:18 P

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I've heard of people using fresh grass clippings as mulch, but never if it they started growing weeds. But I do know that if you put them in a black trash bag and turn the bag every week, in a few months the seeds will be dead (really baked) and the you can use it as mulch. My cousin does that with his clippings every year and hasn't had any problems.

Please, Please watch and listen for motorcycles while your out and about!

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Becky (^_^)

“We don't stop laughing because we grow old; We grow old because we stop laughing” ~ Michael Pritchard ~


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CHUTEROOSTER's Photo CHUTEROOSTER SparkPoints: (6,589)
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3/5/13 2:02 P

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If you see weeds starting to sprout just stir the pile a bit. That will keep the roots from getting established. Also, continue to add clippings throughout the season so that the weeds will continue to be smothered by the mulch.

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LAURAAT's Photo LAURAAT Posts: 1,506
3/5/13 1:55 P

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I've read of some people using grass trimmings both in the fall, for wintering their gardens, and also around their plants, as mulch.
When I mentioned I wanted to do this to my hubby, he said he disagreed, and that it would grow weeds in the garden. So, who's right here? Something to keep in mind: we have a lot of weeds, and also what we call 'stickies' (like mini gumball type burrs) where we live, in Central Florida about 2 miles from the coast.
I didn't use grass in my last veggie garden, and I'm debating whether to this year, I certainly don't want to encourage weeds! emoticon

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