Finding Ingredients for Millipede Substrate

Mitch Webb

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 1, 2017
Messages
12
Hey all,

I'm currently making my own substrate for the first time, following @mickiem's recipe (you can find that here)

Everything is going well—I've got a great source for oak leaves and rotting wood, coir, aspen, and traeger pellets are all easy to find, and I have some safe eggshells ready and ground for calcium.

That leaves the leaf compost. Now, if it were the pellets or the aspen, I would be comfortable leaving it out and calling it good (I'm mixing this stuff half and half with what I already have from BugsinCyberspace).
But the leaf compost seems like such a crucial element to what they would naturally find out there. I've already bought a leaf mold compost, but I soon after found that it contains much more than just leaves, and I'm just not comfortable using it.
Green Envy (as suggested in the recipe above) doesn't ship to where I am (Texas).

Does anyone have any ideas for this one missing element? Could I grind up leaves, soak them, and then strain them, or would that be missing to much of the microbial activity that composting provides?
It seems like a shame that this one ingredient would stop me, but I really just can't find any organic leaf compost that I trust, either near me or online.

Thanks in advance!
 

Aquarimax

Arachnoprince
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
1,059
Hey all,

I'm currently making my own substrate for the first time, following @mickiem's recipe (you can find that here)

Everything is going well—I've got a great source for oak leaves and rotting wood, coir, aspen, and traeger pellets are all easy to find, and I have some safe eggshells ready and ground for calcium.

That leaves the leaf compost. Now, if it were the pellets or the aspen, I would be comfortable leaving it out and calling it good (I'm mixing this stuff half and half with what I already have from BugsinCyberspace).
But the leaf compost seems like such a crucial element to what they would naturally find out there. I've already bought a leaf mold compost, but I soon after found that it contains much more than just leaves, and I'm just not comfortable using it.
Green Envy (as suggested in the recipe above) doesn't ship to where I am (Texas).

Does anyone have any ideas for this one missing element? Could I grind up leaves, soak them, and then strain them, or would that be missing to much of the microbial activity that composting provides?
It seems like a shame that this one ingredient would stop me, but I really just can't find any organic leaf compost that I trust, either near me or online.

Thanks in advance!
Organic leaf compost is difficult or impossible to find out in my area as well. I follow @mickiem ‘s recipe as a guide, but I generally end up settling for organic compost of some kind...not specifically leaf co post, although it generally contains some leaf matter. II add a lot of leaf litter to to mix, and it seems to compensate just fine.
 

Mitch Webb

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 1, 2017
Messages
12
Organic leaf compost is difficult or impossible to find out in my area as well. I follow @mickiem ‘s recipe as a guide, but I generally end up settling for organic compost of some kind...not specifically leaf co post, although it generally contains some leaf matter. II add a lot of leaf litter to to mix, and it seems to compensate just fine.
Thanks for the reply!
Do you have anything you look for in a general organic compost? Or anything you look to avoid?
Manure is the big one that sticks out to me. It's not like they wouldn't come across manure in the wild, but my human brain feels like I should avoid it.
 

Mitch Webb

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 1, 2017
Messages
12
So I've identified a compost that looks promising:

I called the company, and I was told that it consists of a lot of material from the beneficial insects they sell (including chitin and runoff of other sorts), mixed with the wood shavings they ship their Fly Eliminators in.
Given the specialization of parasitic wasps, and the fact that I'm going to bake this in my oven for a little while, is there any reason I should be worried about any of this?
 
Top