Greener Thumb
Posts: 728
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:15 am
Location: Ventura County, CA, Sunset 23

for hot compost

Hot compost takes more work. I'm lazy so it's plus when I get hot temperatures.

Turn to put air into it. One theoretical optimum was every 4 to 5 days.

Watch the moisture. A hot pile is thirsty. Add a little water each day if you're in a dry climate. Keep it out of the sun and the wind.

The other thing is the mix. Getting the right mix of browns and greens makes a difference. I work with what's on hand so I can't necessarily worry about that. Blend ingredients well.

For speed, monitor the temperature. Once the temperature starts to drop for a day or two, turn it again. As you turn look at what you have and add moisture as required.

If it's too moist turn it again and help things dry - a little. If it's dry, add some moisture as you turn.

When turning, mix the inside out and outside in.

It's a function of surface area so larger bits are going to take longer. Finely ground stuff, like coffee grounds, smother. Again, blend well.

Eventually it will cool down so don't just keep adding stuff. The longer you add stuff the longer it will take to finish. Best to start off with a pile or bin assembled all at once. Easier said than done for me.

I like the high temperatures for killing off weed seeds and pathogens. No stress if I don't get the temperatures. It just takes longer to finish. Any seeds that make it through come out easy in composted soil. The worms will kill the pathogens if you let it go long enough.

two cents

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