The Organic Oklahoman

August 1, 2007

Maggoty Compost

Filed under: Compost, Pests, Rot — Josh @ 1:46 pm

Ick.

One of the problems I have with compost is that my kitchen, though it produces a lot of organic waste, doesn’t produce enough to make a hot batch all at once. What ends up happening, then, is that I have to layer it on one bucket at a time. It takes about a month and sometimes I end up with a teaming gob of maggots. The cure for this is to make your compost so hot that it kills the eggs or shoos off the flies. Either way…. You can also leave out meat, which I don’t. I compost everything that comes out of the kitchen.

Anyway, once I get enough ‘stuff’ stored in a bin I then move it and layer it with ‘green’ and ‘brown’ layers to get it to heat up. (This is Rodale’s terminology) It works pretty well–even though it stinks to high heaven. My tomatoes don’t seem to mind either.

As far as the maggots? Well short of lighting a whole batch at a time it may just be something you have to deal with. I have had pretty good luck encasing the batch in grass clippings–top, bottom and sides. (I remove the top layer to add more material.) It seems that a good dense layer of grass will keep the flies out for the most part especially if its green. Just be careful because green clippings which are watered into your compost bin can catch fire.

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March 7, 2007

OO: search terms

Filed under: Dirt, OO, Rot — Josh @ 10:01 pm

Composting Sweetgum Balls
Believe it or not, I’ve actually tried this. It seems to work best in a really hot batch but not as the primary ingredient. I use them as ‘brown’ material, but not very much. Probably adding some extra green helped out too. I screen all my compost so what happens is that after about the third or fourth time through they simply disappear. If you’re using a three bin system, be sure to mix in a little more green–grass clippings, ect.–each time you turn a batch with gumballs. This seems to help them digest a little.

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