><<hundreds of maggots (i quess that's what they are) eating
>the grapes and tomatoes that i tossed in the past few days.
> the surface was boiling with them. Eeeek. i thought the
>years growing up on the farm had cured me of a squeemish
>stomach, but this made me a bit sick.
>i know the advice was to mush everything up before it went
>into the composter, but i haven't been doing that. should
>i worry about all these squirming things?
Yup. You can kill them with insecticidal nematodes, poured in with a
And prevent them in the future with a 'Brown-Surround' strategy, rigorously
for every inch of fresh garbage type stuff (aka 'Greens') put two inches of
chopped straw, shredded newspapers and cardboard, shredded leaves, sawdust,
woodchips or peat moss ('Browns').
Put the garbage in the center of the composter, spreading it out only to
within an inch or two of the edge, never right up to it, and immediately
cover it with the browns of your choice. You might also wish to top off the
pile with a piece of burlap, landscape fabric, or window screen; hardware
cloth, typically available in 1/2 and 1/4 inch sizes, is not useful to keep
out flies....its holes are too large. (But it will keep out rats, which the
The browns I have listed above are typically obtained dry, and the kitchen
wastes you will be adding are both green and wet. You want to stay within
40-60% humidity so that the pile stays aerobic, since the by-products of
anaerobia are foul-smelling *and* attractive to flies.....
Unless you have worms. About four pounds of worms in a 2 x 2 foot composter
should get you started, and then you can keep the moisture up in the 80%
range; you still need to follow the Brown-Surround program, though. If you
do go for worms, get a compost thermometer and be sure temps are below 100
degrees F in the bottom of the pile before you introduce them there....
In short, composting is a skill, and like all skills, requires a certain
period of time to acquire, as well as some trials and errors....
Hopefully you aren't finding it too trying, and will soon be able to exclaim
"There ain't no flies on us! There ain't no flies on us!
There may be flies, on some youse guys....
But there ain't no flies on us!"
P.S.--gloves are de rigeur for any work you do in maggoty compost, but not
yer baseball glove.....;-)
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