User avatar
smokensqueal
Green Thumb
Posts: 392
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:36 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO Metro area

Spring fever in my compost

Talk about having spring fever. I have two compost bins. One is about 3 squared and the other is just a 55 gallon barrel. We had a few days that hit 60 deg a few weeks ago. I went out to mix up my compost. It was still a bit frozen but after some mixing and chopping I got it all broke a part. My 55 gallon barrel is mostly food scraps along with browns (mostly leaves) because of the rat problem I had last year, with the barrel they can't get in. The barrel was actually starting to smell because it was about full and I was feeding it more food scraps then leaves hoping it would make it through the winter so I can mix it and the larger bin together and have it really start working.

Well, back to nights in the teens and days only into the 30s for about a week and I went back out to throw in more kitchen scraps and I dug down just a bit and wouldn't you know it, it was warm and steaming. All that mixing and adding leaves to help cut down on the smell must of been just enough of a boost to get it going.

It really is giving me that itch to get back out into the garden. I don't think I've ever had a compost that warm when it's been that cold outside. Just kind of cool or should I say warm to see it working at this time of year.

COME ON SPRING!

Charlie MV
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1544
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 3:48 am

I'm excited too. We start planting next week. I'll plant every 3 weeks till the plots are full.Makes harvesting in the 95+ days easier.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27715
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

I stirred up my "basically finished" compost pile a few days ago when the temps went up to 60's. Today, it was mid-30's and had snowed last night, but when I pushed aside the snow and the pile of straw, the compost was nice and fluffy and I was able to shovel out and screen a good tubful for making up my seed mix. :D (I did have to add HOT WATER to the seed mix to warm it up a bit because my hands were freezing by the time I finished mixing it. :roll: )

Elsewhere in the garden -- like right next to the pile where I tried to jam and stand up my shovel (like I always do in the warmer season), the ground was frozen solid :shock: (I actually hurt my elbow doing that!) :lol:

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

IT's spring!

yesterday the temp was well up in the 60's, snow drops, dwarf iris and crocus that had been just sitting there, suddenly bloomed and I turned my compost pile. Dug out a couple buckets worth of last year's finished compost, moved all of the stuff on top of the current pile into that spot to be the bottom of a new pile, moved the wire frame around the new pile. (New pile is right next to the old one, I just move the pile back and forth). So now I have a nice new pile all aerated and turned. What was at the bottom of the old pile is rough compost not really finished yet. But now being exposed to sun and air, instead of under 3 feet of other stuff (and with the weather warming, YAY :D ), it will finish very fast. In the meantime I used some of last years to plant cool weather crops: spinach, swiss chard, onion, lettuces.

2cents
Green Thumb
Posts: 616
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:04 pm
Location: Ohio

rainbow,
It feels good to get those cool weather plants started
You'll be eating out of the garden in a couple of months

User avatar
smokensqueal
Green Thumb
Posts: 392
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:36 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO Metro area

I pulled the bottom slats off my bin Saturday and pulled out about 5 gallons of good ready to use compost. That made a little space in the bin to do some good mixing. I pulled out another 10 or so 5 gallon buckets of almost done stuff from the bottom and mixed it on top. Added some water to the outer edges because it was really dry. In doing so I ran across a bunch of earth worms doing their stuff. I added some to the garden and kept the rest by the compost pile so they can keep working until my pile get's to warm for them. Then back to the ground or outer edges with them.

Return to “Composting Forum”