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Old 03-01-2016, 12:11 PM   #11
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I would not suggest using full sheets of newspaper as a mulch. If they get too wet or too dry, they become compacted and actually prevent moisture and gas exchange between the soil and the air. You can shred them and use them as part of the mix in a compost pile or bin. The author of this site, Linda Chalker-Scott, PhD, is a Cooperative Extension horticulturist. She has lots of great info for home gardeners: Horticultural Myths - Linda Chalker-Scott Linda Chalker-Scott | Washington State University

Whether you turn or not depends on how quickly you want the materials to break down. Creating a pile or using a bin and turning every so often concentrates the microbes and worms and the materials decompose more quickly - in a few months as opposed to a year or two.
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Old 03-01-2016, 12:24 PM   #12
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You're talking about using these to collect scraps to take outside, right? I thought PF was asking about using them to compost in.

Yes. I was thinking PF was talking about collection for outside. I take mine out weekly, otherwise we get fruit flies.
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Old 03-01-2016, 01:15 PM   #13
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Composting does work. I have a compost pile outside. But a worm box works better. Redworms eat the kitchen veggie scraps and turn them into worm casings, one of the best, slow release natural fertilizers on the planet. There are many site that give plans for building worm boxes, or even sell them. They are odor free and give you great fertilizer.

I read about a man who dropped out of university classes and built a massive worm farm. He runs water through his worm bins and collects the runoff. It is a very good fertilizer, and is in high demand. His worm farm nets him over a million dollars per year (must be a very large worm farm). The worms of choice are red worms. You can also sell the worms to local bait shops.

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Old 03-01-2016, 04:39 PM   #14
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Thank you for the response.

I want a bin for collecting in the house and then building a bin outside. A lot of information here and I appreciate the help.
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Old 03-01-2016, 07:23 PM   #15
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Much depends on how much room you have and how fast you want compost.

I've got lots of room and plenty of time so anything goes in my pile.

If it will rot then I pitch it in.

I keep a couple of old plastic coffee containers next to the sink and put everything except recyclables and things that don't rot but can't be recycled into them.

When I want to use my compost I sift it through a 1/2" screen and into the garden that goes.

What's left behind goes back into the pile.

Smaller composting bins and fast turn around times take more research and effort then I'm willing to devote.

Good luck with your efforts PF.
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Old 03-02-2016, 03:22 AM   #16
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I would not suggest using full sheets of newspaper as a mulch. If they get too wet or too dry, they become compacted and actually prevent moisture and gas exchange between the soil and the air...
True. However, PF, if you have a grassy area that you want to plant as a garden and are trying to kill the grass, you can layer about 4 sheets of newspaper onto the ground, then top with rocks to weigh it down. Even a nice layer or mulch or compost would work. Then when you're ready to plant, you need to chop up the paper, etc, with a tiller of sorts. However, if you wait long enough (a year or so?), the paper will eventually deteriorate.

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Composting does work. I have a compost pile outside. But a worm box works better...
Funny story about worms. I have a friend who lived in Heyworth, IL, a while back. She's a big-time gardener and had the compost bins and the worms and stuff when she lived near me. The first time I visited her in Heyworth she asked me if I wanted to see her "Wrigley Room". I figured she meant "wiggly room" and had build a worm bed in her basement to overwinter some worms and keep them working on composting scraps. Nope! She and her now-deceased hubby are/were huge Cubs fans! What they had done was decorate his basement office like a mini-Wrigley Field, complete with a painted version of the ivy wall and the "355" pole along the left-field line!
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Old 03-02-2016, 08:15 AM   #17
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Want compost fast...I have climbing roses coming. Those will be on the porch and north corner of the hose. Rose of Sharon along the back fence. North side of the house will have bleeding hearts, hostas and ferns. Lilacs at the front north border, lavender at the south with some poplar trees. A wild flower bed at the front south side of the driveway. Creeping thyme, Irish moss and blue fescue mounds on the street, around the Ash trees. That's it for this year...I have a lot of seeds and will be planting carnation, bachelor buttons, daisies...
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Old 03-02-2016, 08:22 AM   #18
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Want compost fast...I have climbing roses coming. Those will be on the porch and north corner of the hose. Rose of Sharon along the back fence. North side of the house will have bleeding hearts, hostas and ferns. Lilacs at the front north border, lavender at the south with some poplar trees. A wild flower bed at the front south side of the driveway. Creeping thyme, Irish moss and blue fescue mounds on the street, around the Ash trees. That's it for this year...I have a lot of seeds and will be planting carnation, bachelor buttons, daisies...
I couldn't resist!

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Old 03-02-2016, 08:40 AM   #19
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Nice!
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Old 03-02-2016, 08:44 AM   #20
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Nice!
One thing came to mind, In our city we have a composting program. The city collects yard waste, tree limbs, Christmas trees, etc... and makes compost from them. The compost is free to anyone that will take the time to go and scoop it up. I doubt that your little town has a program but it might be worth checking in the city where you work. Good luck!
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