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Thread: keyhole garden compost

  1. #1
    jdlondon's Avatar
    jdlondon is offline Sprouter
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    Default keyhole garden compost

    So I found out about keyhole gardening from here and on the web, where you have a composting pit in the centre of a circular raised bed and you just add your waste in and it feeds the plants.

    Send a Cow | Keyhole Gardens - raised bed - kitchen garden design - school grounds ideas

    http://www.rice.edu/energy/research/...0ENGLISH-2.pdf

    Anyone tried it? Suggestions?

    I was thinking of doing it for my L-shaped raised bed on my balcony. It's more appealing than keeping a separate compost bucket as space is limited, and well, it just sounds simpler.

    Another question - meat waste? Some say don't put it in compost, but then when I see some planting instructions, sometimes they say put a piece of liver etc into the planting hole for the seed/plant to eat. And surely you can use meat because there's fertiliser that's bonemeal or fish?
    Last edited by jdlondon; 15-02-2012 at 10:20 AM. Reason: added second link

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    chris's Avatar
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    Great idea

    edit: ^ not related to meat in the compost
    Last edited by chris; 16-02-2012 at 07:23 AM.

  3. #3
    perkin's Avatar
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    Sounds like an option if you're stuck for space. The recommendation not to put meat waste into compost is because it can attract vermin. Depending how big your 'compost pit' in your raised bed is, it could take quite a while to breakdown properly (as volume of material and heat generated/retained will affect rate of decomposition). But in theory it's possible.
    I've never come across the 'put a piece of liver in the planting hole' advice before. Doesn't appeal to me (as a vegetarian) but I guess it may work in a very slow release nitrogen/iron kind of way.
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    jdlondon's Avatar
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    I'm hoping since I'm on a high-up balcony that vermin won't be a problem, and also, if I mince up the meat waste, shouldn't that help the breakdown process?

    The smell could be a problem though, I suppose, and possibly tempt any vermin wandering around the flat to stick around and try its luck. Might be best to chuck the meat waste down the chute instead then.

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    allotment grower is offline Seedling
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    Try and find a local garden center or large diy depot b&q buy some bagged farm yard manure it even may come pelletized.

    add to compost.

    alternativly chicken manure pellets are sold in tubs...
    do a little every day...
    keep it organic and taste and see the difference..

    http://allotmentveggrower.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    singleseeder is offline Tuber
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    I used to dig holes between the shrubs in the border of my old garden. Bunging in the kitchen waste and covering when full worked well. It just cut out the middle man.

    Edit: Just a thought....... isn't it the same principle as the old fashioned (still current for some) bean trench
    Last edited by singleseeder; 16-02-2012 at 07:51 AM.

  7. #7
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    On a hot summer day the meat might start to smell like a decomposing body and could attract flies/maggots. I have never come across this idea before and would not want to try it myself unless I was guilty of a very sinister crime.

    Also it takes a lot of resources to raise meat so I would say it's a waste. You should be eating the meat/liver yourself. Fish, blood and bone is a different kettle of fish....excuse the pun! As in it's a bi product of the meat and fishing industry.
    Last edited by donnakebab; 16-02-2012 at 08:10 AM.

  8. #8
    taff's Avatar
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    yup, I was wonderinh why you'd spend money on meat to throw it away again.
    Bones I can understand, but meat, nope.
    Ask for some thrifty tips
    otherwise, regarding the rest of your post, yup, good plan. Will your balcony actually support all this extra weight?

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