Posts Tagged With: Composting

Worlds largest compost operation (at one time)

The photo is from Google Earth and it is of the composting area of the Creek Side Mushroom Co. now defunct. The company was started by the Butler County Mushroom Farms in 1937 and provided 90% of the worlds mushrooms. You probably have seen them on the grocers shelves under the Moonlight Mushrooms brand. The mushroom growing area used 150 miles of abandoned limestone tunnels encompassing 800 acres beneath the surface with production capability of 60 million pounds annually. Creek Side Mushroom Co. downsized the operation and recently closed its doors.

What looks like two sets  of tire marks are the remains of the last four compost piles. They measure 330’ long and were 16’ wide and 16’ high. At the peak of business there were 8-10 rows of compost on that pad.

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Well this is my next chore.

The red arrow points to the roof peak of a 2-story house. The house sits in the middle of the trees so it does not appear smaller than it is. The canapé is roughly 80’ high, 160’ wide and 60’ deep. I have decided to hire someone to collect and dispose of the leaves and curtail my composting activities. The city will accept all yard and garden debris except grass and that is what I plan to do. My compost requirements will be supplied by a local horse boarding stables where I can get all the composted HM in all stages of decomposition that I need an no cost and they load the trailer. It’s hell when you have to govern you activities because of age.     John

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TPT sprouts part two (short post/photos)

I have set the TPT upright. I do not know if light was leaking in (I do not think so) but there are definitely leaves forming at the end of the sprouts. As long as they do not begin to rot, I will let them grow.

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This is the largest sprout that is visible and you can see the leaves. They have 10”-11” to go to break the surface. I will continue to take photos of there progress and keep you posted. As usual, all comments are welcome.    John

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Sprouts in the TPT (transparent potato tower)

The seed potatoes have sprouted and have about 18” to go to reach the surface. The first photo shows three and possibly four sprouts and minimal roots growing. Once the roots get into the compost, I expect the sprouts will grow much faster.p61003601

 

This photo is the second seed potato, which shows only two sprouts. The curious part is the sprouts look greener and appear to have leaves forming. I do not know what to expect from either one. It would be great if they made it to the surface though. I will make regular updates in my journal if you are interested in potato towers. As usual, all comments are welcome.   Johnp6090885

Categories: Potato Tower | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Some think there is no intrigue in gardening

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Today, I was filling a compost bin from a pile of kitchen, lawn and garden debris that had accumulated from late winter/early spring. While doing so, I noticed a particularly long sprout. Upon investigation, it turned out to be a potato sprout about 16” to 18” long. There were several small sprouts along the length of the main sprout (see red arrows, there are several on the underneath side you cannot see). Are they lateral stem sprouts or stolons?

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The next two photos are enlargements of the areas of the red arrows. The plot thickens and what timing for my experiments in my journal with potato towers. Stay tuned for further developments. As usual, all comments are welcome.   John

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Categories: My Gardening Journals, Potato | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chitting Potatoes among other things

About twelve days ago, I removed the Kennebec seed potatoes from the fridge and placed them in a standard nursery flat and covered them with another flat upside down. p4220171 

 

This photo taken yesterday shows the sprouts starting to grow.p5020854 

 

As you can see, the spuds are forming many sprouts. After all the sprouts are formed, I will remove all but the two nicest ones in an effort to reduce the number of small potatoes. It is claimed that this will increase the size of the remaining potatoes, we shall see.potato3

 

Speaking of potatoes, I added four inches to the top of my sweet potato bed, bringing the depth to twelve inches (11”).p5020853 

 

Some of the plants are on the way to there new home. I have several to get rid of yet and mine will be planted this week or next. The GH will then be closed down until mid to late August when I will start the winter garden.p5040219 

 

As usual all comments are welcome.     John

Categories: Greenhouse Gardening, My Gardening Journals, soil blocks, Square Foot Gardening, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Composting 2009

I was not planning on Bloging about this today but decided it would be of interest to composters and soon to be composters. I finished shredding yesterday, last falls garden debris along with grass clippings, a few leaves, all the annual flowers, 11 hanging baskets, about 15 rotting pumpkins and 4 bundles of corn with ear corn attached. I thought I would have enough shredded material to fill one of my 3 X 3 X 3 bins and was planning to add some urea to get it to heat up. This morning, about 36-38 HRS after I started shredding, I was going to build my compost pile. To my surprise there was steam vapor coming off like crazy. I think I was grinning from ear to ear. Now I am planning on letting it set until it cools to about 120 DEG then add some urea and fill my bin.

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I inserted my compost thermometer and sure enough, it was at 150 deg. I am hoping that, adding the urea and the aeration from filling my bin, it will reach or exceed 165 deg to kill any weed seeds that may be present.

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Soil Test

Since I had the core sample, I decided to do a soil test. The test chambers on the left side of the containers are lighter in the photos than they were with the negated eye. I think the light averaging of the camera screwed it up. The Nitrogen test was between N1 and N2, the Phosphorus test was between F2 and F3 and the Potash test was between K0 and K1. I think I will add some 10-10-10 sparingly this year.

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The pH test indicated between 6.5 and 7. I also had some pH test paper and it indicated between 6 and 7. I will not do anything for the pH this year.

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Categories: My Gardening Journals | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Almost finished composting for 2008

About the middle of June, I had one bin full of composted grass and 2007 leaves and the semi-finished compost in two bins on either side. The material in the foreground is wood chip mulch that is going in the first bin on the left. This material along with two loads of composted HM and composted leaves from 2007 went in to my new SFG boxes.

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The second bin from the right, is annuals, canna lilies, dahlias, potted plants and of coarse HM.

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This is my third load of HM and it is fresh, right out of the horse’s dupa. It will be used for my fall composting. The third bin back, contains the early crops from the garden and the pile of debris in front of the bins is essentially my 2008 garden.

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 I shred everything that goes into the compost bin. This debris along with about ½ yd of HM filled the first bin.

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 After about three weeks, the three bins had reduced in volume to where I could put the contents of the three bins into two bins. The debris in the foreground is some fall leaves, grass clippings, more cannas, hanging baskets and mums.

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At the time of this photo, it was 45 deg and you could see some vapor coming from the piles after composting for three weeks.

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Categories: Composting | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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