Monday, July 16, 2012

Millions of tiny plants in my compost top dressing

I think I may have used my compost prematurely. I thought once it looked and smelled 'dirt like' it would be ready. I have millions of little fine clumps of seedlings and oodles of tomatoes coming up in the gardens where I spread the compost. Is this typical? I never did get the heat that people speak of.


.09 Acres said...

I agree about the heat. Probably didn't achieve a high enough temp to kill the seeds. This has happened to me before. I just lightly "raked in" the tiny seeds before they grew their first true leaves and then never had a problem with more seeds growing after that.

Joan said...

I usually use my compost too soon - I can't seem to wait until it is ready. So I too have tomatoes or potatoes growing where they were not planted.

The only time I had alot of heat was once when I was living in Sask. my pile smelt strong to ammonia. I decided to turn it and it was smoking instead! And whew what a smell, the
whole neighbourhood could smell the pile.

I guess I need compost lessons. ;)

Erin said...

Oh good, that is exactly what I've been doing. Wow, this composting thing sure occupies a lot of time and energy doesn't it. I must say alpine strawberries have almost doubled in size since I spread my immature compost.

Erin said...

Hi Joan. Sorry I missed it. I would have been over there like a rocket to check it out!! I think I need lessons too!! Compost is a challenge.

George said...

I run a couple of piles at one time. By the time the oldest pile is used, it is two to three years old. Most of the seeds have died by then. I don't bother to turn the pile or add supplements. I do try to cut everything that goes in to less than six inches. That should allow the pile to stack on more clippings.

Erin said...

Hi George. Sounds awesome. Here's what went wrong. My raspberries were dying. The compost looked pretty good. But...I only started vegetable gardening last year. Hence no compost. So instead of doing the smart thing, I opted to use my 'less than one year old' compost. And now, I weed.
This fall I'm going to buy or shovel for free, manure and go pick up bags of kelp, and let the compost bins do their job for a couple years. Your is the most sensible approach I've heard yet. An it will work for my very busy life. Thank you.