Drain Coil for straw compost bin

by Ellen
(Colbert Georgia)

What is a drain coil used for a straw compost bin? I have used straw bales to make compost bins.

Comments for Drain Coil for straw compost bin

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Dec 06, 2010
Compost Heap Drain Coil Aeration
by: George

Hi Ellen. I have used lengths of drain coil as an air vent in my compost heaps. Before I form the heap I drive a stake into the middle of the space and slide the drain coil over it. This allows more air into the heap as the biota need oxygen to do their thing,as the lack of oxygen can lead to an anerobic heap which can smell badly and take longer to rot. An alternative is to turn your heap regularly but with my "dicky ticker" limitations turning the heap is too physical for me so I use the drain coil aeration method. Another option is to push a stake into the heap at 5 or 6 places and rotate it to form a hole which allows oxygen to reach the lower levels of the heap. I also use the drain coil and air holes I have formed to introduce seaweed and chook manure liquid manure into the heap to give the decomposition process a boost.
Regards
George

Dec 06, 2010
Compost with straw bales
by: Ellen

Thanks George for the new idea's. I have been using a long wooden handle from a broken rake. The bales are all covered now with tarps. When I add compost I use the handle and poke holes and stir it around. It has been very cold here in the teens every night and only in forty's in the day time.

Dec 06, 2010
Compost Heap Aeration
by: George

Hi Ellen, yep, you got it right with the rake handle. I have a commercial (round/green/plastic/with small air holes bored in the sides so I can side stir as well as top stir for aeration) compost bin which we use for all our kitchen scraps to prevent mice having a freebie. As it is impossible to turn the compost I have used the "top punching holes" aeration method (besides the side holes)and if I forget to open up the holes regularly the bin fills up quickly. However when I clear the holes the biota get into high gear with the increased oxygen and the bin compacts very quickly, so quickly in fact that I only empty it every 2 years. I do not remember if you have said where you live and as I am having an organic gardening holiday in Australia at the moment and canot access my past posts but in Wellington New Zealand where I live it gets down to day time 10C during the winter and frost at night so I cover compost heaps with carpet or rubber underlay and on tip of that a water proof layer.
Regards
George

Dec 15, 2010
Straw Compost Bin
by: Ellen

George thanks for your ideas on the side of the bale . I live in Georgia it has been very cold here down in the low teens for over a week now. This is unuasal for this time of the year. So I have covered the bins with three tarps and have them held down with bricks and large rocks. I didn't think it got cold in New Zeland. I have started to burn some of the fallen leaves because there are so many of them. Can I add the burnt leaves to the compost pile?

Dec 18, 2010
Compost Pile
by: Megan

It's a shame to burn leaves, because they make good compost. If they won't fit in your compost, it's better to heap them up to rot, and if possible shred them further first with mower or machine.

Leaf ash has some nutrients, eg: phosphorus and potassium, so it's okay to put in compost in small layer amounts. Same on garden, but sprinkle lightly, and not around acid loving plants like lemons and berries.

I understand ash can be used to make paths and drives less slippery.

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