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Old May 8, 2017   #1
Rockporter
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Default Chain link dog kennel turned compost area and I have some ?'s

So, I have turned the old 6'x'6'x6' kennel into a compost pile holder and raised it up onto some cinder blocks to make it a little taller.

Question #1

There is no top, I keep saying I need something to help keep the rain off of it but I don't have a clue what to use for it.


The sides are allowing small paper products to blow out into the yard with the wind. We have a lot of wind here so it's a constant issue to pick up the pieces that have blown out. I have used a plastic trash bag on top of the pile held down with pvc piping but it still gets blown around because our winds are always high gusts of wind nearby the gulf of mexico. Plastic and even tarps deteriorate very quickly here so I need a better solution for covering the pile.



Question #2

So, what can I use to surround the kennel to keep everything inside? and I need it to be strong enough to handle if I accidentally hit it with the pitch fork when turning it all. Is it best to just use some wood to enclose the inside of the kennel for the composting? Or is that just taking away the need for the kennel in the first place?

I told my husband today that the kennel would be better served turned into a greenhouse instead of composting inside of it, lol.
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Last edited by Rockporter; May 8, 2017 at 07:39 PM.
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Old May 8, 2017   #2
Salsacharley
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I'm using 2" x 4" wire fencing to hold a compost pile and it keeps most of the stuff inside. I don't know how much rain you get but I don't cover my pile at all. I actually have to add water to it. I have to work hard with a pitch fork to turn my pile and its only 2 ft deep. I don't know how you will turn yours unless you don't bother turning it.
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Old May 8, 2017   #3
jillian
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I have used 1/2 inch hardware mesh. Small enough holes to keep stuff in but still allow good airflow. I have never covered my compost.

Last edited by jillian; May 8, 2017 at 08:37 PM. Reason: Needed to
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Old May 8, 2017   #4
brownrexx
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My compost pile is just that - a pile. I do not have it contained by anything and there is no top. It needs moisture to decompose. Some people actually have to water their piles with a hose to supply enough moisture.
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Old May 8, 2017   #5
Rockporter
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Thanks everyone, so far I get that I don't need to cover the pile so I won't bother doing that.

I definitely need to keep things inside that chain link from the wind somehow but can't find 1/2" hardware mesh. Where can I find that? It sounds like it might be my solution to my problem.

I am turning it with a pitch fork when I add straw to it, otherwise I don't turn it much. I always have torn up egg cartons, cardboard, paper towel rolls as well as used paper towels to add to it with the greens, so I think my green/brown ratio seems to be really good. The pile is decomposing really well and there is no smell. Oh, and I also toss in the water I use for the boiled eggs I cool for hubby into the pile with the egg shells crushed up in it as well. Coffee grounds from hubby's daily coffee go into the compost too along with any kitchen scraps. I generally fill the compost bucket with water before taking it out there to help things release from it.

I guess it would be called lazy compost, I didn't turn it for a long time when I got sick and it was anaerobic when hubby went out to do it for me. So, we went and bought some straw and pine shavings to mix in which worked very well. I also bought some composted chicken manure to add for heat. Seems all that worked well and it was a few months ago that I did that. It's been turned about once per month since.

So, last time turned was about 2 weeks ago when hubby went out there and pulled all the weeds out of the area that had grown in from the sides. He said it smelled just like dirt and looked really good in the middle and bottom. I think it's successful so far, this is my first time trying out composting.

Update:
Think I found the hardware mesh. Is it a.k.a. hardware cloth?

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Blue-Hawk-R...x-3-ft/4780957
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Last edited by Rockporter; May 8, 2017 at 11:47 PM.
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Old May 8, 2017   #6
jillian
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Lowes or Home Depot will have the hardware mesh. Sometimes called hardware cloth. You could probably use heavy duty zip ties to attach it to your fence. (I use a lot of zip ties in the garden lol).

One of my compost piles just has the hardware cloth supported by t posts. Simple and easy. I sifted one of my piles today, my back is talking to me now. But worth it I love black gold!
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Old May 8, 2017   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockporter View Post
Thanks everyone, so far I get that I don't need to cover the pile so I won't bother doing that.

I definitely need to keep things inside that chain link from the wind somehow but can't find 1/2" hardware mesh. Where can I find that? It sounds like it might be my solution to my problem.

I am turning it with a pitch fork when I add straw to it, otherwise I don't turn it much. I always have torn up egg cartons, cardboard, paper towel rolls as well as used paper towels to add to it with the greens, so I think my green/brown ratio seems to be really good. The pile is decomposing really well and there is no smell. Oh, and I also toss in the water I use for the boiled eggs I cool for hubby into the pile with the egg shells crushed up in it as well. Coffee grounds from hubby's daily coffee go into the compost too along with any kitchen scraps. I generally fill the compost bucket with water before taking it out there to help things release from it.

I guess it would be called lazy compost, I didn't turn it for a long time when I got sick and it was anaerobic when hubby went out to do it for me. So, we went and bought some straw and pine shavings to mix in which worked very well. I also bought some composted chicken manure to add for heat. Seems all that worked well and it was a few months ago that I did that. It's been turned about once per month since.

So, last time turned was about 2 weeks ago when hubby went out there and pulled all the weeds out of the area that had grown in from the sides. He said it smelled just like dirt and looked really good in the middle and bottom. I think it's successful so far, this is my first time trying out composting.

Update:
Think I found the hardware mesh. Is it a.k.a. hardware cloth?

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Blue-Hawk-R...x-3-ft/4780957

Yes that is it. It comes in different heights I think mine is 4 ft.
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Old May 9, 2017   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jillian View Post
Lowes or Home Depot will have the hardware mesh. Sometimes called hardware cloth. You could probably use heavy duty zip ties to attach it to your fence. (I use a lot of zip ties in the garden lol).

One of my compost piles just has the hardware cloth supported by t posts. Simple and easy. I sifted one of my piles today, my back is talking to me now. But worth it I love black gold!
I want black gold, lol. I would love to have any kind of compost pile but I used the kennel to keep animals out. We have a family of possum that use our fence line for their pathway across the yards back there. I also use lots of zip ties, easy to cut when needed to redo something. Hubby thinks I am nuts, it's the lazy way of doing things to him and I told him it's easier than getting out the drill to unscrew the heavy duty screws you put into everything, lol. Screws have a place, but zip ties have their own too, lol.
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Old May 15, 2017   #9
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So, today hubby and I put some 1/2" hardware cloth on the sides and the two gates of the chain link fence. We lined the inside of the fence in hopes things won't get caught between the chain link and the hardware cloth. If something does get caught it will be easier to take it out of the chain link because it will be on the outside. The kennel is up on 2"x8"x16" concrete cinder blocks and we put a 2" thick cap block on each cinder block to cover the holes. We used 3' tall by 25' long hardware cloth and it was perfect for the project but it does only cover the bottom 3' of the kennel around the inside of it. I'll be keeping watch and if I still have problems with things blowing out from the wind we will purchase another roll and do the same for the top 3' of the kennel.

When we finished installing the hardware cloth I took my bag of straw and put it all around the compost pile to block out the sun, in hopes of keeping the weeds from growing in there. I wet everything down real well and I put cardboard across the top of everything which I also wet down very well. Hopefully this will keep the moisture in and the compost moving faster.

Either way, both of these items can be incorporated into my compost when I need it. I can always replenish the straw when necessary as well. It will be easy to lift the cardboard out of the way to add to the pile and re-wet everything down as needed.

Thanks to my awesome husband for all the help he has provided for the garden this year.
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Last edited by Rockporter; May 15, 2017 at 02:23 AM.
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Old May 15, 2017   #10
jillian
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Awesome, have fun composting!
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Old May 16, 2017   #11
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pics pls ?
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Old May 16, 2017   #12
Rockporter
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pics pls ?
I would like to put pics on the site but I lost my good camera and it's a pain in the rear getting them on the computer from my phone. Sorry.
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Old May 17, 2017   #13
bower
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We have similar issues with wind! My big issue is in springtime just after the thaw, the coffee filters are all over the yard. I don't have anything to contain the pile except for some old wood framed around the bottom to make the edge a little neater. But I have lots of material for layering and this is what I do to contain it in the season. I have a lot of herb straw I use for 'browns' layer, and pretty often it's just a bucket of weeds on top of that to hold it down and keep from blowing off. Kelp (since you're coastal!) makes a fantastic layer for your compost, it is hot and also if wet it's heavy and does the same thing of holding the other stuff. Kelp makes a super cap for a pile that's as big as I want it, and then I start another one and let it cook.
I am supremely lazy and don't turn the compost for a year. Ants however go nuts in these unturned piles, but what the heck... if I turn it, they'll be all over me. Hate hate ant bites.
One great thing about the hardware cloth, it will keep out rodents too. Big bonus.
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Old June 15, 2017   #14
Rockporter
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Quote:
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I am supremely lazy and don't turn the compost for a year. Ants however go nuts in these unturned piles, but what the heck... if I turn it, they'll be all over me. Hate hate ant bites.
One great thing about the hardware cloth, it will keep out rodents too. Big bonus.

Don't know how I missed this post but seaweed sounds good. I don't go to the beach though, lol. It's to hot and humid out right now. I may try that in the fall when it's much cooler and I can stand to breath out there. I haven't as of yet seen any rodents in there but if I do I will close the entire thing with hardware cloth.

I haven't turned mine much either and a couple weeks back I discovered something growing in it. Now to me it looks like a squash plant but I won't know until it starts putting something out. I just avoid that spot when I toss new material on it. Hubby asked me the other day what it was and when I mentioned possible squash he agreed with me. At least I know the compost underneath is pretty good stuff to grow a volunteer.
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Old June 16, 2017   #15
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That sounds good... squash is one of the best things to grow in an unfinished (resting) compost pile. They don't mind the decomposing activity below and will get lots of nutrients from the pile.
I often have potato volunteers in my winter compost, after I tidy it up and covered with some kelp or soil on top in the spring. Get a few nice potatoes most years from that, without much effort. Sometimes laziness does pay off...
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