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Composting...failed again

JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,729
So I’m getting frustrated again and I’m thinking of giving up on composting.  I like the idea, but I’m going into another with this heap and it’s still not producing useful compost!

Past thread: https://forum.gardenersworld.com/discussion/1010812/compost-ready/p2

Year 1 was too dry in a dalek, Year 2 in a meter cube Year 3 with regular watering and pee and turning every three months kept under a thick rug.

It had heat in it and life everywhere when I last turned it, today it’s still moist but still matted grass and no sign of worms.

Also my lead mould pile running for two years hasn’t produced anything either and my turf mound looks terrible.

I haven’t got time for this! :neutral:


After turning just now:

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Posts

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 18,458
    How much grass do you put in it? I find grass doesn't compost very well unless it has a lot of other stuff mixed in with it.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • I gave up on composting too. It’s hust not worth the time and effort. Giving away the compost bit should anybody be interested. 
    Surrey
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,287
    edited March 2019
    It does not look too bad to me.

    I can see stems or sticks that are black, if they are like some I get in my compost they are rotten or snap into little pieces easily.
    The flat clumps or lumps of grass may be because you didn't fluff it up enough or mix it well when you turned it.
    Sometimes it clumps together so a bit more of a forking and shake action helps to let air in.

    If the majority is brown and a bit lumpy it is still fine for digging in or a compost mulch, just pick out the biggest offending lumps and back into the bin?

    Or is it fine stuff for making your own potting mix you want?
    Even I have to sieve mine.

    Show us your leaf mould container/ bags.
    And turf mound.

    I use daleks and "refined" technique over the years but still make mistakes.
    If it really is too much of a faff for you, and if it takes up space and time that could be better spent, that is understandable too. But practice makes perfect, or nearly when it comes to compost.

    I don't think it looks that bad. :)
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,902
    Doesn’t look bad, I wonder how many times you turned it over with a fork, makes quicker if you keep getting air to it.  Yours looks like it just needs a good chopping up, that’s fine for spreading on your borders,  there no goodness in it as such, but piling it onto your soil will make the soil conditioned, it will them supply it’s own nutrients and everything it need, so you don’t need bought fertilisers. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,729
    How much grass do you put in it? I find grass doesn't compost very well unless it has a lot of other stuff mixed in with it.
    All my grass cuttings from ~160m2 lawn, plus cardboard from the wife’s Amazon addiction, dead flower clippings, some autumn leaves, ivy (leaves only).  My family don’t eat vegetables and only I drink coffee so there’s nothing significant from the kitchen.
  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,729
    I gave up on composting too. It’s hust not worth the time and effort. Giving away the compost bit should anybody be interested. 
    Since I discovered on this forum last year that it would only be good for mulch (I’m not a seed grower) I’m finding it hard to justify.  Same for leaf heap.

    I enjoy it...but there must be some return on investment! :wink:
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 18,458
    I think there is probably too much grass in it to compost quickly. It's best with a lot of different stuff mixed in with the grass. But it does look as though it's getting there.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,902
    Because it enriches your soil Tinpot,   You can’t grow anything in it, especially seeds, but it’s the best thing for soil unless you don’t mind buying fertilisers to put on. And your soil texture is good from the start.   
    Break a clump up and see if you have worms in it, if you haven’t there’s something drastically wrong, if you have then you can’t have better in your garden. 

    Could be as Lizzie says, you should only put on a 2” layer of grass at a time. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • SlumSlum Posts: 350
    Lyn said:
      there no goodness in it as such, 
    Not sure specifically what you mean by goodness but homemade compost does contain the main nutrients NPK and micronutrients. Exact amounts will vary depending on the materials used to make it.
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,287
    I was also going to say taking it to the tip and buying their ready made soil improver might be the way to go. Some sell the processed waste as bagged,  and some areas I have heard you can take your own bags or trailer to a site to buy in bulk.

    I am a little wary as you don't know what has gone into it. But it is probably okay.

    You don't have to feel bad or a failure if trying to make compost is wasting your time and effort :) And you could probably find something nicer to do with that space.
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