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Dogs love stinky stuff – compost stories

April 10, 2011

By Maggie Dwyer  permalink

My kitchen scraps build up in a large bowl during the day; trimmings, things too old in the fridge, whatever, as long as it isn’t meat or oily, and then I take them out to drop in an 18-gallon bin to break down for a while before pouring the slop into the middle of my compost pile. This process was an experiment to keep my dogs out of the kitchen scraps in the compost pile.

Last night I dug a hole in the top, poured this anaerobic soup into the pile, then covered it over and set a sprinkler on top for a while to soak it in and keep the dogs out until it soaked in. They stayed out as long as the sprinkler was running, anyway.

My pitbull, who usually telegraphs her misbehavior by looking guilty before I’ve discovered the problem (i.e., she loves to tear up boxes and newspaper), reeked of it, and showed not one iota of guilt; I can’t say how much she ate, if she ate any, versus just digging around or rolling in it, but twice I chased her out of it before I remembered Howard Garrett’s suggestion to make some “dog poop tea” (just what it sounds like!) and pour it over the area I want them to leave alone. When I checked this morning, they hadn’t gone in through the top where the poop is, but they did run an experimental tunnel from the side, so I can conclude that I must get full coverage for dog poop tea to really work. I scoop and toss poop in compost, but I hadn’t done it for a while. I rotate two of these bins, so when I empty the one that is still aging, I’ll police the yard and have a big batch of the tea ready to treat the compost.

The 18-gallon bins are very heavy and stink of the ripest compost. It’s produces a soupy slurry during decomposition, and except for the fact that it probably isn’t an aerobic process, it could be the way to produce a potent compost tea in it’s raw form.

I’m going to move on to worm composting for a while and see if it is any easier to manage. The dogs at least should smell sweeter.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 5, 2011 2:41 am

    I am obsessed with my compost pile, but it is still too cold at night for “cooking”. At least I can reach it to add more stuff, now that the snow around it has melted! When I was in middle school, I had a summer business for several years selling night crawlers to fishermen. I wintered them over in tubs in our basement and kept them outside in the summer in a very large old washtub.

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