Re: OT: Compost cola (and irises)
John, you are right about the moisture. I hose my bins down occasionally.
The other ingreients I use are wood ash (because I have it from heating)
and garden soil.
At the risk of inadvertantly adding to the undocumented lore of compost piles,
I was under the impression that it needs moisture to really get cooking.
Sometimes I think I am more serious about composting than gardening.
I keep at least 4 compost bins going all the time. One is exclusively for
iris foliage which is used in the vegetable and other gardens. I
run it through the shredder first. I use the coarse grate on my Troybilt.
It does tend to clog the shredder, but is easily cleared by throwing in
a tree branch occasionally. I add a few wood ashes to the pile and it matures
I have one bin exclusively for leaves, which I use in a potting mix.
I top it off each fall. I chop the rest of the leaves with the mower and
mulch hostas with them.
I have one bin conveniently close to the house which is for kitchen
waste. It fills slowly, so I throw in garden waste occasionally. I keep
a small plastic bucket with a tight fitting lid beside the bin. I put citrus
peel (which tends to compost very slowly) in it along with very wet kitchen
waste. It ferments the peel, which is then added to the bin and composts
rapidly. I add wood ash occasionally, which keeps the occasional bad odors
to a minimum. My sister uses a similar system, but she uses lime, since
she doesn't burn wood.
The last bin is a catch all of everything else. The only things I do
not compost is wire grass and mum weed.
BTW, I will drink Coca-Cola to get the energy to run the chipper/shredder.
R. Dennis Hager