mathhobbit: (Default)
[personal profile] mathhobbit
Compost

I've put stuff in every other week for 10 years.  I've taken stuff out maybe 3 times.  How does that work?

Date: 2017-06-08 06:39 pm (UTC)
firstfrost: (Default)
From: [personal profile] firstfrost
Compost, for me, is a place to throw stuff away to not end in a landfill. I strongly suspect that I am not doing it right either. :)

Date: 2017-06-09 07:01 am (UTC)
kelkyag: A cluster of red-blushed yellow apples on a tree (apples)
From: [personal profile] kelkyag
Does your household's gardener not use the compost in the garden?

Date: 2017-06-09 12:15 pm (UTC)
firstfrost: (Default)
From: [personal profile] firstfrost
Not often, I don't think. But yard waste goes in too. :)

Date: 2017-06-09 07:46 pm (UTC)
kelkyag: notched triangle signature mark in light blue on yellow (Default)
From: [personal profile] kelkyag
I think one usually only adds compost or other soil amendments to any given bed once a year, so "not very often" is about right. :) But possibly you are still creating more compost than your garden needs.

Date: 2017-06-09 06:55 am (UTC)
kelkyag: A cluster of red-blushed yellow apples on a tree (apples)
From: [personal profile] kelkyag
I'll guess you took a lot more out of the compost pile each of those three times than any of the times you added stuff. :)

But -- it's being digested. You're mostly putting plant matter into the compost pile, no? Plants build themselves primarily out of carbon dioxide and water, plus some nitrogen and assorted minerals. The microorganisms breaking the compostables down use the sugars and starches and proteins and oils from the plants for fuel, breaking them back down into water and carbon dioxide that escape the compost heap. What's left is other useful plant nutrients to to fertilize the garden, mostly even still in bio-available forms.

Date: 2017-06-09 08:00 pm (UTC)
kelkyag: notched triangle signature mark in light blue on yellow (Default)
From: [personal profile] kelkyag
Eventually, yeah, there's not much left. (Big/commercial composting operations can make it go much faster, by seeding the compost with microorganism, keeping it warm, and managing its moisture level, but the slow way is just fine.) If one's actively using one's compost, I think it gets added to the dirt while there's still a good bit of not-yet-broken-down cellulose in it, and that helps hold water in the soil.

I find the other side of the process, where a redwood tree builds itself out of a gas and a fluid and some sunlight and a few minor odds and ends, even more mind boggling. :)

Date: 2017-06-14 12:57 am (UTC)
sauergeek: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sauergeek
I am put in mind of the opposite possibility, as well told in Les Barker's poem Garden Waste (or you can see him reading it.)

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