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 Top Soil! 
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Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:05 pm
Posts: 26
Post Top Soil!
Is it ok to use top soil on the bottom of a compost bin for drainage and to keep it moist I was thinking about puting about 2-3 inches on the bottom of mine, what do ya'll think?


Sat Sep 27, 2014 7:22 pm
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Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:44 pm
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Post Re: Top Soil!
Hi papaschickens, - I assume you are operating a bin system that has a floor & not set directly on the ground. If this is the case look for something else that doesn't compact quickly.

Top soil is not generic; it can have different pore sizes. The porosity can allow water percolation anywhere from 17 cm/hr. to 69 cm/hr.; which means creating a muck is possible, especially since there will be constant weight pressing down from the food layer.

Aside from the fact that different compositions of a saturated soil will compact & then itself drain slowly that waterlogged soil will not
be oxygen exchanging. Top soil has many microbes & they are major "exhalers" of CO2; which in anything with non-porous sides will rise through where the larvae (& their natural symboiotic microbes) are trying to do their thing .


Sat Sep 27, 2014 10:44 pm
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Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:05 pm
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Post Re: Top Soil!
Should I just put vegi and fruit scraps and nothing else? Or could I put a layer of potting soil instead of top soil?


Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:16 pm
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Post Re: Top Soil!
You mentioned in another post that you are using a "35 gallon plastic tub" for a bin. What do you have for a drainage system? With all the moisture BSFL release from food as they shred it I think if you use soil you're going to end up with mud.

Bulking Material(link) might be a better choice as they'll allow drainage.

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Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:35 pm
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Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:05 pm
Posts: 26
Post Re: Top Soil!
I have a smaller flat bin inside that is at a 30° slant with drain holes drilled in the bottom and a collection hole cut on the upper part to catch the mature larva into a collection bucket. Would straw or hay be a good bulking material?


Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:45 pm
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Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:35 pm
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Post Re: Top Soil!
I've wondered about straw and hay as a bulking material, but haven't tried it. They might have some advantage if they're associated with beneficial strains of bacteria.

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Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:29 am
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