How do I get my compost to speed up?

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by Evilt, May 15, 2011.

  1. My 6 month old compost is a mixture of kitchen scraps, leaves, coir, alfalfa and I recently added some worm castings. It got very hot to start with and now it has cooled down. It is alive with mites and a few worms, but the decomposing has slowed and I have a lot of knats. My compost is in a tumbler outside and I don't want to bring those stinking knats back in my house. I added Neem seed, about a cup last week and tumbled it, still have knats. Any suggestions would be appreciated. This is my first try at compost.
  2. I wonder if there is a good compost thread on GC? If not there should be.

    Off to check...

  3. Any quick composting method requires keeping the C:N ratio in the optimum range. If the microorganisms run out of N (greens) composting will slow tremendously. Also, if you have your tumbler outside and the weather has been cool/cold that too can slow down the process. When your compost was 'hot' the N was being rapidly consumed.

    The quickest way to get it going again is one of either a) using an "amount" of a good organic N-P-K fertilizer, b) purchasing a compost starter (Bonide makes one) - but these are typically a alfalfa/kelp/fish meal product, c) adding some more Green (N). In short a boost of N and warmer temperatures will get it cooking again.

    I'm not sure about neem seed in the raw form being effective for controlling fungus gnats but neem cake or meal will work. I think I recall folks suggesting that the neem seed is best used in a bubbled tea in order to extract the chemical that is effective for fungus gnats. Be sure you kill all those bastard though because when you see ONE in the grow room, you've got an infestation already. And it's not the adults that are the problem it's the larvae. The neem tree/seed/meal/cake has a chemical (forget the name ATM) that destroys the larvae. It has no effect on the adult gnat.

    Just a thought or two on a cold, rainy day...
  4. Possuum,

    Thanks for the information, that is exactly what I needed to know. I'll add more N and see if I can get it heated up. Will that kill the worms?

    The neem seed I used was the meal, so maybe the larvae are dead and the remaining adults are all I am seeing. I'll keep an eye on them. You are so right about knats. I live in the south and have debt with them all my life, but it is much worse when they are breeding in your home.

    Rep to you!

  5. Possum

    About a year back you asked me about a compost activator - do you remember the specific product name?



  6. Yessir, here it tis:

    Bonide Compost Maker

    It's a big box specialty item. Seems to work "ok" and is comprised mostly of kelp and fish meal. Should do for folks that are in a pinch and can't find anything else locally.
  7. Possum

    Around the middle of this page you will find information on their recommendations to consider for thermal composting.

    In particular check out the recommend rate when using Yarrow leaves - 1 part Yarrow leaves to 10,000 parts compost material, i.e. 2 chopped leaves to 1 c.f. of composting material. Huh?

    This is not a misprint. This range of numbers is the recommended rate by Demeter-USA and the other biodynamic groups around the world.

    Heck - throw caution to the wind and go with 4 leaves or even 6! Only on a full moon however. With a bone buried in the field for 6 months.

    "And you do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around - that's what it's all about!"

    Eh - who knows?

  8. LD I read that and at first I'm like NFW! But, WTH... I need to get some yarrow! LOL!

    That is a bookmark worthy site! Thanks for sharing.
  9. Leave it to LD2 to pull another tidbit of good information out of the hip pocket....

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