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Re: OT: Compost cola (and irises)

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.
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.

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 rapidly.

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
on Delmarva

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