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#3709579 - 07/14/14 10:28 AM Compost Question...
BlountArrow
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Registered: 07/13/12
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Loc: SouthEast Tenn

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I started keeping a compost bin last year early on and have it going just about all year. I throw my plant/veggie matter in there along with the horse and cow crap. This early spring/winter I had some very rich compost. It was an amazing thing to me as I have never done it before. It was very fine, had no odor to it - just amazing how all those things work together.

But, there is one problem. I have a blue million tomato plants sprouting from it anywhere I use it. Lord only knows how much viable tomato seed is in it. Literally I probably have 1000s and 1000s of volunteers growing anywhere I use it that I have to trim out. This might sound like a good problem but when I mixed in my compost as a seed starter and attempted to start my tomatoes, peppers, egg plants, etc it was near impossible to tell what was sprouting. For example, I ended up not getting a single egg plant to start because I picked the wrong sprout to keep when 10 or so started coming up in the same pod.

Is there any way to kill the viable seed in compost without "hurting" the nutrition of the compost?
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#3709588 - 07/14/14 10:42 AM Re: Compost Question... [Re: BlountArrow]
DaveB
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Registered: 09/03/08
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I know of no way to stop the seeds from germinating, why tomato seeds are so tough is beyond me. I have had similar problems with them but not as severe as yours. Anything that would kill the seeds I think will ruin the compost.

I guess one way would be to throw all your compost on your yard and mow down the mater's.

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#3709697 - 07/14/14 12:33 PM Re: Compost Question... [Re: DaveB]
TAFKAP
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Registered: 11/06/09
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I'm going off of ragged memory here, but I believe "true" composted compost has undergone the process where heat and gas byproducts of the micro-organisms is what kills all the viable plant matter. It sounds like you have very nutrient-heavy stuff, but perhaps not a true "compost" if it's sprouting its own crops.
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#3709748 - 07/14/14 01:14 PM Re: Compost Question... [Re: TAFKAP]
DntBrnDPig
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Registered: 04/12/05
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Loc: Cleveland, TN

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The heat cycle should have killed off those seeds I would have thought. Crazy.

Maybe just keep the compost 'cooking' for a little longer. Eventually all those seeds will germinate and die.
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#3710002 - 07/14/14 04:21 PM Re: Compost Question... [Re: TAFKAP]
BlountArrow
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Registered: 07/13/12
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 Originally Posted By: TAFKAP
I'm going off of ragged memory here, but I believe "true" composted compost has undergone the process where heat and gas byproducts of the micro-organisms is what kills all the viable plant matter. It sounds like you have very nutrient-heavy stuff, but perhaps not a true "compost" if it's sprouting its own crops.


Don't be hatin' on my compost!
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#3710004 - 07/14/14 04:23 PM Re: Compost Question... [Re: BlountArrow]
BlountArrow
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Registered: 07/13/12
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Well, it sounds like I need to turn up the heat. Maybe a few days under some thick black plastic every so often will cook it down faster.
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#3710479 - 07/15/14 05:33 AM Re: Compost Question... [Re: BlountArrow]
a retrohillbilly
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Registered: 09/16/09
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Loc: middle tn

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Hard to get heat all through the pile, it never gets hot enough around the edges. Just use pro mix for seed starting.Or start a second pile for seedy stuff.
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#3710513 - 07/15/14 06:58 AM Re: Compost Question... [Re: a retrohillbilly]
BlountArrow
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Registered: 07/13/12
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Loc: SouthEast Tenn

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 Originally Posted By: a retrohillbilly
Hard to get heat all through the pile, it never gets hot enough around the edges. Just use pro mix for seed starting.Or start a second pile for seedy stuff.


I wondered if I might be better off to use an organic seed starter and then re-pot them into something that actually had some nutrition (like a mix w/my compost) once the "desired" seedlings had emerged. This year i started off with seed starter and compost mix and the problem was again that too many veggies sprouted.
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#3710666 - 07/15/14 08:59 AM Re: Compost Question... [Re: BlountArrow]
chunkandwind
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Registered: 08/20/08
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Are you turning your pile?
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#3710694 - 07/15/14 09:35 AM Re: Compost Question... [Re: chunkandwind]
BlountArrow
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Loc: SouthEast Tenn

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 Originally Posted By: chunkandwind
Are you turning your pile?


Yes, sir. I'd say two or three times a week.
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