composter question

Never composted before, but am going to get a 55 gal poly drum. I live in Phoenix, AZ. the thing will probably be in shade most of the time.  Will that get too hot for worms? How many holes should I make, how close to the bottom and how big? Thanks.

Topic by dorothyroeder   |  last reply


rotating compost pricicng

How much do you think people would pay for a rotating composter made from a recycled 55 gallon drum and all recycled materials?

Question by Herbal_T 


DR. WHO Composter

I ran across this image of a 'Dalek' flower pot and noted that it's shape resembled a yard waste composter.  Arthritis now keeps me from many of my crafting hobbies.  So, I was wondering if anyone would like to take crack at it.  http://www.pinterest.com/pin/571535008935102257/

Topic by Helen Holden   |  last reply


Semi Compostable Wallet

Hey guys I just wanted to share what I'm working on right now. I was going to see the community's feedback on it. Right now I'm making a semi compostable wallet. I'm making it from the new sun chips bags. Now I say semi cause I'm also using some clothe, tape and thread. So I was thinking and wondering, should I make a semi compostable or should I just go fully. meaning nothing but sun chip bags (Although probably still using some thread to hold it together) So please feedback. Positive if you can. I'm making it for fun and other reasons. One of my favorite reasons is if people ask why. I could tell them when I'm done with it, I can leave it outside and soon it will compost. I'm hoping to make it a green wallet, not the color but in the since of being earth friendly. Thanks guys, hope to here from you all.

Topic by Onkei 


Is it better to put compost bin under direct sun or under shade?

I have several compost bags (ex flour). I put them on shade. But I just read from the web that compost works better under direct sun. My question is it better to put my compost bags under direct sun or just keep tem away from direct sun? Could you please give the reasons also. Thanks

Question by kelana   |  last reply


compost pile full of roots How do I stop this from happing?

Last fall I cut up a pile of leaves about 3 feet high. In the spring I added grass and kitchen scraps. when I tried to turn the pile it was so full of roots that I could not turn it over. I am unable to use it because these roots are so small and intertwined it is useless. how do I stop the roots?

Question by    |  last reply


is it ok to compost in galvanized metal containers?

Will galvanized metal containers leach chemicals into composting material intended for garden use

Question by    |  last reply


Does it make sense to compost indoors in an apartment? Answered

Or do you really need a big pile or bin outside in a yard? I imagine it would smell too strongly to keep inside.

Question by rachel   |  last reply


How can I run a CPU fan from a solar array? How big of an array do I need? This is to move air into a compost bid? Answered

I need to move air through a Compost bin using PVC pipe via a CPU fan powered by a solar array  Thinking 2 " pvc pipe

Question by uthyr   |  last reply


compost toilet for a camper van?

Want to explore the possibility of a small home built compost loo to fit in an 18 inch square space height of space 7 feet. considering dry compost method, poo only, using fine woodshavings as soak.

Question by Mother Malarky   |  last reply


Yeast fermentation for composting solution?

I threw some hay off my lawn and some green weecds into a garbage can, some sugar and yeast and formented it to slug beer but the slugs did not like it. It then fermented further to vinegar, and a crust of green "Mold?" covered it. seems to have protected the vinegar from further fermentation. I tried a second bigger batch ( morning glory weeds) with less sugar but after a few days of good fermenting it went rotten and stinky. So there are probably thresholds for sugar content. Would the yeast be a way of adding fertilizer to organic gardens? Yeast can (I think) convert urea and nitrate to protein. Perhaps some green stuff has enough sugar to work without sugar addition. vine prunings? maybe. The first batch, i put bleach in to kill off microbes before I added water and yeast. Perhaps hydrated lime would work instead of bleach and also get the ph good for yeast fermentation. This might be a cheap way of liming your garden. (Here in victoria, hydrated type s lime is cheaper than limestone for garden addition. (But it contains more calcium!) The "yeast tea" or vinegar tea could be used on the garden and the weeds could then be transfered to normal compost or used as mulch. It might be an alternative way of using diseased materials of composting seedy weeds to kill the seeds. Brian

Topic by gaiatechnician   |  last reply


It is safe to use treated lumber to build a compost box? Answered

I would like to build a compost box but I want this box to withstand termites, carpenter ants, rotting and weather. I am thinking about using treated lumber but I worry about preserving chemicals leaking to the compost pile and effecting the decomposition process of composting.

Question by blkhawk   |  last reply


Help - Worms of composting bin escape

Hello, I had some trouble with escape of worms in my composting bin. What should I do?

Topic by bkmaruyama   |  last reply





How to make a no smell, no flies, worm compost bin?

I want to make an indoor compost bin because it's too cold for the worms in the winter. My dad says it'll smell way too much and actually i'm worried about the flies. I already made (and used) a worm compost bin last year and it was smelly so it was sent into the garage and all of them died in the winter. So is there a way to make a no smell, no flies worm compost bin? BTW the compost bin will be put in my basement that has no ventilation.

Question by Pizzapie500   |  last reply


Colossal (to me, anyway) Compost Kerfuffle

[warning: contains some rant-like content]I am so angry that I can't see straight. My apartment building has a Community Garden, which is good. Our rules and guidelines which are especially emphatic about keeping the gardens all natural and organic, and chemical and pesticide-free. To this end, there is an "Approved Garden Products" list specifying the chemicals and fertilizers that may be used in the gardens. The list includes "Walt's" brand organic fertilizer, "Cedar Grove" compost, and six product made by Miracle-Gro.I had two 4' x 5' plots in the Community Gardens last year, which I heavily amended with the compost from my worm bins. I submitted a request to have an organic fertilizer mix that I have on hand added to the approved list, but the only response I received was another employee telling me: "I emailed Jane (not her real name) about it, and she emailed back to tell to you that Walt's is the best one to use." I should have followed up on this, but was too angry and aghast to speak to Jane about it immediately, and later never did get around to grasping that particular nettle.This year I'm doing just one 4' x 5' plot. I dug in some compost on Sunday, and on Tuesday I received the following letter (all names have been changed for internet purposes):Dear Ms. Gorfram,I wanted to follow up with you regarding an email I received about "homemade" compost that you may be using in your garden.The garden agreement has specific items that can be used in the garden, unless you are using a combination of those ingredients, your "homemade" compost hasn't been approved yet. If you would like to submit the ingredients of your compost for review we can take a look at it and try to get it on the list as well. In the mean time please use only the Cedar Grove compost or any other product on the approved list.We appreciate you help in this matter.Sincerely,Jane Doe,Property Manager(Spelling and punctuation very much hers, very much verbatim)She insulted my compost. She accused me of violating the gardening agreement. She is demanding that I list every last darned thing that I ever put into my compost and submit it to her for approval. She appears to be confusing my compost with the fertilizer that I asked to have added to the approved list. She either does not necessarily believe that I do make my own compost, or she is misusing quotation marks to indicate emphasis. ...She insulted my compost!Not wanting to alienate the manager of my apartment building by telling her that she is a slavering ignoramus who does not know the difference between compost and fertilizer, I responded with the following:In re: your letter of June 9, 2009Dear Ms. Doe,Perhaps there is some misunderstanding about my use of soil amendments in my Community Garden plot.The compost that I use in my garden plot contains no chemicals or pesticides. It is made entirely from vegetable waste from my kitchen and garden, to which I add water and locally native earthworms. It is my understanding that this sort of bulk organic matter does not need to be reviewed for the Approved Garden Products list. In answer to a related question asked at the July 15, 2008, Community Gardener's Meeting, John Galt (n.b. Jane Doe's boss) said, "As long as it doesn't contain pesticides or chemicals, you don't need to tell us about it."The email your letter refers to may have been in regard to my August, 2008 request to have "Dr. Earth Organic 7" fertilizer added to the Approved Gardening Products list. For your convenience, I have attached a new copy of the information about "Dr. Earth Organic 7" and its ingredients that I submitted with my request. I look forward to receiving approval of "Dr. Earth Organic 7" for use in the Community Gardens, or a statement of your reasons for denying this request, soon.Thank you,Evelyn Q. GorframAm I nuts? Should I be this mad? Should I tell her to take her 20 square feet of soil and suggest where she might put them? Should I demand that we duel at dawn unless she publicly retracts her dread insults to my compost?

Topic by Gorfram   |  last reply


How to build a self contained composting toilet like the commercial models for my tour bus?

I want to build a composting toilet with a finishing tray like the commercial units that I would only have to dump once a year. I need to know how the internal workings function. i will have solar heat piped into it to keep it hot.

Question by Charley Davidson   |  last reply


Dig a hole in the ground. Compost in hole. Bugs in hole. Lid on top of hole. Hassle free Compost bin?

I was walking down the street, Gandering at my fellow human beings flower gardens and I noticed one of them had a garbage lid on the ground. I went to pick it up and noticed that underneath there was a hole in the ground with compost and bugs doing there work. I thought hmm.. BRILLIANT! I might be rambling, but I was just wondering... Why havent I heard of this before. Is it a good idea?will it work?

Question by CrawdadMan   |  last reply


Using Worm Tea as Hydroponic nutrients? Answered

Would that work? I want a totally organic hydroponic system, and using worm tea sounds like the best solution. I know I would have to dilute it, but how much, and does it provide everything the plant needs?

Question by Rotten194   |  last reply


Farming - I need some help

NEW QUESTION: Should I grow food, or food and commodities (IE wheat, cotton, etc) Well, I grew vegetables last year, and the crop was a failure. Don't ask me why, since there were at least 20 things I did wrong, and on top of that, mother nature was pissed off at me. Well, I already have some ideas on how I'm going to make my farming more eco-friendly, but I'd like some more, some ideas I have are: No fertilizer (I grew organics last year too) collecting rainwater in buckets to use to water on drier days (I'm going to make a small shed which I can store the water for just such an occasion) Allowing bugs into my garden Also, I plan to compost all the plant waste (I also use my dog's "Waste" for fertilizer... weird, I know, but it works, and it means I don't have to use up plastic bags, or pick the stuff up. Plus, it's better in the ground being broken up than in the landfill taking up space) And some things I worry about are: Moving sand into the area. I hear that sand is better for beats and carrots, but I wonder if it would be a bad environmental change to move sand into the area. It's not a large area of land, but still. Please excuse me if I didn't make too much sense, I'm really confused right now... school is getting to me :(

Topic by A good name   |  last reply



Potting soil formula? Perlite substitute?

I want to formula my own potting soil - 50% soil, 50% compost, but how much perlite? And possibly substitute something else for the perlite - more "green", more natural, cheap as "dirt", just as available?

Question by    |  last reply


This device is the opposite of environmentally friendly.

This machine burns energy year round. Is there or is there not another way to compost without a plug?

Topic by A good name   |  last reply


I want to make Compost from a 55 gal plastic barrel that contained "Built Liquid Alkali", if washed will it be usable? Answered

 I recently acquired a couple of blue plastic 55 gallon barrels in the hopes of making my own rotating composter(s) and upon doing some reading via I-net found a lot of people saying "Only use food grade plastic barrels".  The barrels contained "Built Liquid Alkali", which is a silicated alkali builder designed for when combining with laundry detergent it makes for better soil removal and improves whiteness retention. Cautions read: Industrial use only, may cause burns, keep away from eyes mouth and skin. The first aid instructions are to use plenty of water to flush or wash affected area(s), leading me to believe that this is water soluble. I am hoping that possibly using OxyClean or some other suitable cleaner that I can make these barrels usable for what I need them for. If anyone has knowledge on this chemical and can provide some insight it would be most appreciated.

Question by WV_Kokamo_Joe   |  last reply



any practical use for cat poop? Answered

I have five cats and lots of poop. jokes are expected and welcome but anybody with any real ideas? composting and fertilizer are out. thanks

Question by dannemillerd   |  last reply


How do I clean a 55 Gallon Plastic Drum that contained Industrial Grade Detergent?

I picked up three free 55 gallon plastic drums after seeing them posted on craigslist.  I was inspired by the compost tumbler and rain collection instructables, and I was looking to build my own.  However, the plastic drums contained an industrial grade detergent used in food and beverage processing facilities.  Two of the barrels were FiChlor Foam HD and the other contained Liqualin CC.  Do you think I could clean these out enough to make them safe for these projects?  Would the chemicals have leaked into the plastic? For rain collection, I was going to use the water for flushing my toilet, so it wouldn't be for watering a garden, and definitely not for drinking.  For the compost, would the chemicals remaining in the plastic leak into the compost?  And then would any plants exposed to that compost die? I really appreciate some feedback on this.  I've read most instructables on here that involve 55 gallon plastic drums, and the recommendation is to use Food Grade containers.  I'm just disappointed about the possibility of not being able to use the ones I picked up because they contained a detergent.  The containers are marked as "Corrosive" and "Do not reuse this container unless it is first professionally cleaned and reconditioned."  This is definitely a bad sign. :( Thanks guys, Eoin Here's some information I found from the manufacturer, Chemetall: Safety and Handling Precautions: Oakite FiChlor Foam HD is a highly alkaline chlorinated material containing sodium and potassium hydroxide. Direct contact causes irritation of eyes and skin. It is harmful if swallowed. Avoid contact with eyes, skin and clothing. Wear safety goggles, rubber gloves and other protective clothing when handling. Wash thoroughly after handling. Avoid breathing vapors. Use only in well-ventilated areas. Do not take internally. Liqualin CC:  Heavy-duty, low foaming, non-silicated alkaline liquid for use in CIP systems or spray washing stainless steel processing equipment in beverage and food plants.

Question by eoingrosch   |  last reply


What's the most efficient way to build a new small home in a midwestern climate? Can a laymen really pull this off?

I'd like to build as green and as efficiently as possible, most likely building it off-grid, and incorporating a composting toilet (clivus multrum style), and energystar appliances.

Question by bhsx   |  last reply


Seed Bomb Vending Machine

Seed bombs are little balls of clay, compost, and seeds that you can toss into a vacant lot to try and get some new plants to grow. It's a guerrilla gardening technique and you can see how to make one here. If you just want to pick one up and live in San Francisco you can now buy them from a vending machine. These were designed by Common Studio from LA and repurpose old gumball machines with the benefits going to Project H Design. First Seedbomb Vending Machine Lands in San Francisco!

Topic by fungus amungus   |  last reply


Lets save the Bees. Things YOU can do!

Bee habitat is not just flowers, it is also brood space and shelter. Most bees are not honey bees or bumble bees, they are little solitary bees  and they do a lot of polination. We need to provide them with lots of brood space and overnight shelter too!  And modern garden practice is simply not doing it. First of all, I am not a bee racist. I am trying to help all the bee species.  I find that there is a succession of different bee species through the year. And they use different size holes .   In fact they don't just lay eggs in these holes, they shelter in them too. I did not know this..  This year I also discovered that they burrow into the pith in old raspberry stems and in grape vines! So if you compost your old raspberry canes,  you are probably composting bee babies  too. Dave from Camas, Washington has been bundling teasel stems for several years for orchard mason bees.   You could do the same with raspberry canes!? http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/520_0/critter-care/orachard-mason-bees I found this a week ago after I had started my project.  I make holes in cop blocks for the bees. I have also started layering plant stems At least 4 bee species are using the first cob bee blocks for brood or shelter.  I have some pictures at the link below.  Hopefully you can see the captions too. Brian https://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=246092&id;=736625766&l;=26546198d6 I am too Lazy to post an instructable right now and I am still learning the cob bee house thing.

Topic by gaiatechnician   |  last reply


Hi, I am running a wood work project ,re-using pallets, any designs or ideas would be really appreciated.

Thanks for you answers so far, To give more info to you, I Have been lucky enough to have the use of a workshop for running wood projects with young people, so we will be running projects depending on there individual skill factor , I had got a design for a bird box and picture frame, and of this site a compost bin, I would like to try and make some more things, so really i am looking for some more designs we can try, which we can then post back on here and will help anyone else out in the future.. CHEERS..

Question by brownie18   |  last reply


Can anyone help me identify this plant, please? Answered

Found in my new Community Garden plot, among the weeds that had sprung up over the winter. I was going to pull it, but then it starting looking to me like it might be a desirable garden plant. A few clues:garden is in Seattle, WA; in a Temperate Rainforest climate.raised bed garden, filled with a none-too-rich commercial compost, built on top of native soil composed of equal parts clay & glacial till.this plant or its seed survived an unusually long hard freeze (for this area) this last winter, 12 days of temps ranging from 10-20 F.discoloration on leaves is probably Leaf Miner damage, of which our community gardens have a minor plague.just before deciding that it might not be a weed, I discovered that it has a thick white taproot that extends well below the 4 inches or so that I'd dug out.Thanks for any help you can offer.

Question by Gorfram   |  last reply


Can an existing home be eligible for LEED Certification?

My home was built in the early 80's and I've made several environmentally-inspired improvements since I bought it - compost, rainwater harvesting, Energy-Star Appliances, insulatiion, low VOC paint and a 47 panel solar PV system. I've been looking on the Green Building Council's website to see, but all I can find is info on new construction. All I really wanted to do is see if there was a list of possible improvements that can be made on existing residential homes (and possibly the point rating) so I could know if I'm even in the ballpark to meet the LEED certification requirements. I checked into this a few years ago, but with this new 2009 LEED v3.0 it looks like they dropped anything to do with existing residential homes, or maybe I'm just not looking in the right place. So, has anybody else looked into this? Is anybody here familiar with where I can find this information? I want to see what it's like before I register and get inspected so I can tell whether or not it is worth the effort right now.

Question by iPodGuy   |  last reply


Help me make my apartment self-sufficient and green

Hello,I'm interested in making my apartment greener and more self sufficient than it already is. I want to do this for many reasons, but mostly to see how far I can take this. I'm sure a lot of this will depend on what I can put up with, but i'm looking for some ideas of things to implement. I'll follow Instructables if they exist about it and if they don't, I'll create some to document this.There are some restrictions: I am a renter and I don't own the place. I can make some changes, but I can't cut the walls out or replace appliances. I also can't put anything on the roof or outside of my apartment. I'm also very serious about conserving floorspace in my apartment and not accumulation a lot of junk. I need a bit of space to do my projects and have some sanity in this place (I live in NYC). This means no giant compost piles or what not in my living room.Here's my thoughts on things that I will need to work on:Measuring my consumption of thingsReduce energy useReduce energy wasteProduce some of my own power (Solar? I have a big window)Alternate lighting and heating methods?Making my own food to reduce the amount of waste packagingUsing local ingredientsjoining a CSA (just did that this week actually!)Growing some of my own foodReducing garbage and waste waterReusing things that I canCan you add to the list? Anything that you could help clarify? Anyone interested in taking the challenge with me? Thanks!

Topic by drocko   |  last reply


need ideas on greenhouse

Hi there,I live in Boston, MA and I am looking for some advice on Greenhouse construction for winter gardening only (and vegetables that are appropriate for that as well). I am looking to build a greenhouse that I can put up in the fall and take down in the spring for growing a winter garden. It will have to be able to be taken apart into its components and stored in a shed in summer months since my family has no need for it then. Due to the fact that it will be used in the winter, it will have to be highly insulated and have a heat sink that will be able to help maintain a constant growing temperature for the plants inside. Ideally I would like to avoid expending much energy heating the greenhouse. I am, of course, also doing this on a budget. Here is what I have come up with so far. 1. I will use triple-wall or 5 wall polycarbonate panels for the walls of the greenhouse2. I have found a few insulating products that look like they could be useful3. I am thinking of using a solar collector water heater as part of the heat sink- easy to construct on my own : https://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Thermal-Water-Heater-For-Less-Than-Five-Doll/ that could circulate hot water into the heat sink4. I am learning about heat sinks and thinking that I want to use the simplest design and organic materials (mud, rocks, or water) to hold the heat during the day and release it at night.5. The greenhouse footprint can’t be larger than 8’ x 10’ 6. I prefer the simplest construction that meets my needs (and the easiest to put up and take down)Questions that I have:1. What are the possibilities for using compost as a source of heat?2. What about a PVC frame?3. How would I circulate hot water through the heat sink?4. What are methods to reduce daily management of the project?5. Types of hinges to use?6. What type of material should I place the greenhouse on?- it will be sited on the concrete area around our swimming pool and I don’t know what sort of insulation is necessary after that. I had the idea of wood pallets with insulation inside them but that may not be enough at all.7. Any ideas of ways to re-use materials to do this cheaply and reduce waste?8. Any suggestions on the optimal shape of the greenhouse roof/sides to increase heat retention and circulation of warmer air.9. Any suggestions of retailers that might have the materials that I am looking for.Some links that have been useful so far:http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/solar-gh.html#storagehttp://growerssupply.com/farm/supplies/cat1;gs1_greenhouse_building_materials;gs1_corrugated_sheets_panels.html

Topic by ocea46   |  last reply