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Vorguen
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I just.hope I did my compost pile correctly... There is branches and leaves from a tree that got cut down at the bottom, grass clippings and different plants from the backyard, used coffee grounds, kitchen scraps, newspaper, and I mixed it with dirt from the backyard.

I water it every couple of days :)

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rainbowgardener
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Agree - you are doing a great thing and have a good mix of stuff to compost. Watering every other day sounds like probably too much unless it is really hot and dry where you are, right now.

And I wonder about the tree branches at the bottom. Doesn't that make it hard to turn your compost, or to get your nice black finished compost out of the pile when it is done? In my experience, the finished stuff tends to always be at the bottom (partly because I keep adding new stuff at the top), but for you it will be all mixed in with tree branches, which aren't going to break down any time soon.
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Vorguen
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Oh sorry for the misconception I have been watering the compost pile about twice a week not every two days... Mostly whenever I add new stuff to it but if the stuff is small I try to put it inside instead of on top, and I've turned it only once since I started it... Also as things soften up I try to break them up a little bit with my shovel to try to break them up a little more.. I figured it would be the last thing to decompose but I'm not too worried about this I figure I'll slowly cut them up since the branches are only 1 inch in diameter and soft :)

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Vorguen
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Ah thanks.. I figured about as much. :)

My compost just looks like its a random pile right now... Wonder how I can tell if there is magic going on in there.. lol!

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rainbowgardener
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Vorguen wrote:Ah thanks.. I figured about as much. :)

My compost just looks like its a random pile right now... Wonder how I can tell if there is magic going on in there.. lol!

Put your hand down in it towards the middle of the pile and see if it is warm. If it is working well, it will be at least a bit warm. If it isn't, cold piles can still compost nicely, just slower. But if it is warm, you will know for sure magic is happening! :)
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Vorguen
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Do you mean to stick my hand flat over the pile, or to dig it all the way inside the pile to see if its hot, today it was raining and I went outside to put some scraps on it and there were a lot of flies on it, guess that's normal haha it smells fine though which is good :)

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rainbowgardener
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Nope, sorry, putting your hand flat over the pile won't tell you anything, it will not be warm on the outside. You would have to put your hand down in toward the middle of the pile. If you are squeamish about that (there is garbage and earthworms and stuff in there), get a thermometer.

They make special thermometers for compost piles:

[url=https://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=compost+pile+thermometer&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=17868496188406507679&sa=X&ei=CNYnT-KPIeeq2gWNxZDkAg&ved=0CJUBEPMCMAI]compost pile thermometer[/url]

If you are all in to the science of it and want to track how your pile heats up and how hot it gets, and when it starts to cool off, you would need one of those. Me, I stick my hand in to get an idea of what is going on.... :)
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rainbowgardener
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PS there shouldn't be lots of flies if you cover the scraps thoroughly. I dump my bucket of kitchen scraps on the pile, then put a big layer of leaves / weeds/ grass clippings or whatever I have on top of that. No flies. But you're in a warmer climate, maybe it's more difficult to avoid. I wouldn't have flies this time of year, no matter what I did.
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Hortman
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My little backyard project

Hello Vorguen. Hortman here in Chicago. Your #9 looks like
Glechoma or ground ivy. Congrats on your new house! Enjoy!
Ken here with The Home Depot in the Chicago area

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