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How long can/should I leave my compost?

Discussion in 'Organics' started by Maersk, Jun 16, 2017.


    Maersk Active Member

    Hey guys

    I mixed 120L - 60% peat, 20% perlite, 20% wormcastings and put it in a black sack.

    I also added 5L of water with unsulphered molasses to the mix.

    Am I supposed to open the sack and mix up the soil each day/week or just let it all sit?

    Can I leave this in the dark at a warmish temperature for over a month?

    green_machine_two9er Well-Known Member

    What's your intended result here?

    Maersk Active Member

    I am planning to put it into pots for use in about 4 weeks.

    The original plan was to leave it all separate, and then mix it up the day before I needed to use it, but after researching online I saw alot of people saying that you should mix it up and then let it mature for a while(mainly to help the organic matter break down, also for fungi/bacteria growth and then other microrganisms growth.

    I am not sure if I can leave it slightly warm and in a bag for a month, or if I am supposed to open the bag daily/weekly and mix it.

    If what I have said is wrong can you enlighten me.

    green_machine_two9er Well-Known Member

    The ewc casting is not enough to feed anything alone. Your need some nutrents and minerals. Unless your planning on bottle feeding. A good mix should star with 1/3 each peat. Perlite and ewc. Then 2-4 cups of kelp. Alfalfa. Crab she'll. neem. Or any ammendment. And 4 cups minerals.
    Also getting anything to moist and sitting in the dark in a sack isn't the greatest idea. A good rubber made tub. With hole drilled throughout would be better. Soil likes to breath. And you don't want it to go anaerobic.

    Maersk Active Member


    Ok, I will try to get some kelp and add it.

    As for the sack, as it doesnt have holes, I guess I will have to open it every 2 days to mix it. I guess putting in the 5L of molasses water was not a good idea...

    Maersk Active Member

    Should I try to dry out my compost now?

    That 5L added was prob a bad move...

    hillbill Well-Known Member

    The sweet water won't hurt. Inadequate drainage will. I run 40-60% drainage with COBs. With HIDs I ran about 35% drainage components. Our favorite plant likes a good shower but hates wet feet.
    ShLUbY and Wetdog like this.

    green_machine_two9er Well-Known Member

    I would pull it out. Mix in double yhe perlite you had. Double your castings. Then add some nutrients. And minerals. And put the soil into whatever pots your planning on using. No need to mix or stir. Really the fungal growth your going for doesn't like to be disturbed. I age AL soil directly in final flowing pots. And just transplant right in. Never mix anything up. Unless of course your waterlogged.
    calliandra, Johnei and Wetdog like this.

    Wetdog Well-Known Member

    Yeah buddy! ^^

    Inadequate drainage WILL cause a host of problems. I run 40% perlite as a starting point and usually end up wth 50%+ drainage components. This is both indoors and outside.

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    i also run closer to the 40% range of drainage now, and if it even looks or seems light to me in any way at all... i just put some more it! i bought one of those compost tumblers, abandoned it for making compost, moved it to the basement and just started mixing and inoculating my indoor soil with it. so it's real easy for me to just add whatever is needed, and spin that sucker till it's mixed in real nice :)

    OP, you need an all purpose fertilizer of some sort in that mix you're putting together. Kelp alone will not be enough. Find some sort of organic "all purpose" fert which usually contains everything the plant needs and the good ones have fungi and bacterial colonies in them as well in the form of humic and fulvic granules. something like a 5-5-5 would be a good starting point.
    Maersk and Wetdog like this.

    whitebb2727 Well-Known Member

    Either espoma garden tone or down to earth all purpose would be good.
    images.jpg 51aKkU3LrKL._SL500_AC_SS350_.jpg

    GrowGorilla Well-Known Member

    To cook your soil, you need to add amendments. Your base mix though should have been 1/3,1/3,1/3.
    ShLUbY likes this.

    Maersk Active Member

    @ShLUbY the all purpose 5-5-5 you speak of, is the purpose of adding that mostly for seedlings? or just generally to add it in the mix(even though we will have say 18 Phosphrous from bone meal)

    Im wondering why people seem to add ingredients which overlap big time in the NPK ratios..., I was thinking to source one ingredient for each NPK and leave it at that - bad idea?

    @GrowGorilla what is the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3? Peat, Perlite, and worm castings?

    You guys are lucky in the states, Im having difficulity sourcing common ingredients like Seabird Guano, granite meal, good fish blood, etc...

    GrowGorilla Well-Known Member

    Yes Peat, Perlite and EWC

    Maersk Active Member

    Ok, il consider buying more EWC and perlite then...

    Also guys when my compost is maturing/cooking in the black sack, is it ok to leave it in the sunlight - I live in the UK so the suns probably not as hot as in the USA but its still warm right now, I actually cant put it in the shade right now because there is no space in the shade outside.... I would have assumed the warm temps may help the bacteria/fungi?

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    i really have come to dislike the term "cook"; there is no "cooking" involved.

    What we're doing is inoculating our pile with organisms, giving them a food source, and they're creating a stable environment for the plant, themselves, and the soil biota.

    no, actually seedlings should just be started in a mix of basically what your original post was: peat:perlite:compost/EWC, of equal portions 1:1:1. nothing more is needed to have healthy seed starts. hell even just peat/perlite equal parts is good to start seeds, but the EWC/Compost just adds a good touch of very low nutrients for the seedlings, as they don't require much food at all (its stored with them from seed).

    when saying "all purpose" it's a complete nutrient blend of all macro and micronutrients and would be suitable for most all stages of growth. you can get a "vegetative growth" blend that is slightly higher in N than P or K, or you can get a "bloom growth" that is slightly lower in N than P or K for flower production.

    you are fine to get a different product for each of the NPKs, however one must note that those numbers are a % of the total weight of the package. so for an easy example, if you have 10lbs of 10-10-10 fert, that is saying 10% 10% 10% by weight, so you have 1lb of N, 1lb of P, and 1lb of K.... not to mention all the minerals and micronutrients that may be contained in the package as well. so when you are blending nutrients together, it's important to mix them by weight ratios rather than going by just the numbers alone. for example, Kelp is 0-0-1 and weighs basically nothing... so 1% K by weight.... at the given application of generally 1/2 cup per cuft of soil... how much K do you think that product is really adding? Minimal is the answer. Kelp is far more useful for its enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and other benefits than it is for a flowering product. I'm not trying to put kelp down, it's a staple in my soil recipe, i'm just giving a clear example. on that same subject, the greensand i use is 0-0-7, and it's a heavy 1/2 cup of amendments, so 7% of something heavy is actually a substantial K source and since introducing it to my mix i've seen the results i realized that the coots recipe was missing.

    also when blending products, you need to be SURE that you are getting all the micronutrients: your Boron, manganese, magnesium, Iron, etc....

    good luck sourcing your products, and i hope that little ramble helps you figure out what you need.
    GrowGorilla, Maersk and whitebb2727 like this.

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    you're heating up the soil by doing that in a black sack, and in turn that is going to affect the biology that thrives in the soil. you should be cooking it in an environment that is as close as possible to what you'll be growing in so you can grow biota that will be stable in that environment.

    hillbill Well-Known Member

    Folks compost leaves in black or clear bags. That requires a healthy microherd. Sun will be fine but put in the shade if it makes you less anxious. Keep your drainage good and be reasonable with amendments.
    Maersk likes this.

    Maersk Active Member

    @ShLUbY Thanks for the info... I really hoped I could leave the compost outside for the month in the sacks, if what you said is true abo the biology being effected by some warmer temps in the day and colder in the night, then I will have to bring my soil inside in that case... my house is gona stink of it. dang it.

    Of all the different products offering multiples enzymes, minerals, vitamins, which one would you say I get?
    In the UK, we dont have such a big range like in the US...
    I can get Seaweed, insect frass, and Azomite

    Also, I think the word cooking seems appropriate, as doesnt the compost turn slightly warm in the center from all the bio-activity?

    ANC Well-Known Member

    While you are stewing that I would add a 20L bag of biochar. It will also take out the stink.
    GrowGorilla and Maersk like this.

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