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gixxerific
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Compost: she's a steaming!!! EDIT!

Just went out to throw an almost full head or rotted romaine on the pile (chopped up of course). I dumped it on and grabbed a handful of the top layer to cover up the lettuce when I see steam coming out of it. Hard to believe after all the rain we have had lately.

So I go grab my hand dandy digital thermometer and it was 131*F and slowly rising. A ton of life in it as well.

Can't remember right now should I turn it or leave it?
Last edited by gixxerific on Wed May 19, 2010 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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soil
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we just got 15 yards of fresh chipped trees from when the city cleaned around the road near us. this morning it was steaming like mad, its about 150 inside the pile.

if the temp starts to drop, turn it. if its still rising, leave it be.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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gixxerific
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Thanks Soil that's what I thought. I even looked it up.

I don't know what the true center is that was only a meat thermometer's distance in. Can't believe with 3-4 inches of rain it didn't cool down but instead went the opposite way.

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rainbowgardener
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Yup, the moisture helps. That's what made the biggest difference in my compost running hotter. I finally figured out that it takes quite a bit of water to keep a pile that "wrung out sponge" damp that we talk about. We think it is moist enough, but the moisture isn't necessarily getting to the inside where it needs to be. Since I started thoroughly watering the compost pile anytime I am watering the garden, it cooks a lot more.

(I do have a confounded variable though: I made two changes at the same time, the other one was using lots more browns than I used to. My pile through the growing season used to be mainly green, kitchen scraps and pulled weeds. Last year and this year, I've been keeping it a lot more balanced.)
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gixxerific
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That's what I was thinking about the water. I water my pile quite a bit but obviously not enough. I usually don't have the c;n too far off.

I was planning on waking up today and going to get a truckload of leaves from up the street to shred than add to my compost and garden as mulch. But it is raining yet again.

I now have to go out and buy a bunch of snorkels for my plants, they are drowning. :lol:

rot
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Done mostly

..
I've got about 16 cu ft of compost I thought was largely done. Done enough I figured to mix it with some dirt the squirrels unearthed and put it in a planter box I made from a discarded pallet or skid. So I haven't bothered to turn it in a few weeks and I slacked off on the water.

When I went water another bin, I moved the thermometer to the would be finished bin and forgot about it. I came back later and noticed it still there and it was reading 80 degrees F.

I guess I will turn and water and let it finish a little while longer. Once again, ready to plant and no compost to go.
..

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gixxerific
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EDIT

Well I went and got a truckload of leaves from up the road today. Who would have thought raking leaves in May. :lol: I brought them home and used my mower to chop them up. I than added 3 overflowing mower bags of leaves on the compost and the rest in the bed I'm preparing for next year. I than added two mower bags of grass and an indoor trash bag of shredded paper and cardboard. This brought my pile up to a little over half full in my bin.

Than I dragged it out a bit and ran my tiller through it mixing it up real good. Just went out there figuring all that mixing would have cooled it down. Heck no! It's pretty hot already I was going to water it but I think I will leave till tomorrow and see how it is doing. I will take some temp measurements n the morning. Hopefully I can have some good compost before the end of the year.

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engineeredgarden
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gixxerific - it's funny that you mention compost, because I tended to half of my bin systems this evening. I have 6 pallet bins that have been cooking since last November, and they have all been reduced by about 70%. What that's left me with is 8 cu. ft. of (almost) finished compost that has been consolidated into 2 bins, and i'll start another batch in the other 4 bins next week. After that's finished, I shouldn't have to do any composting for probably 3 years. Lol.

EG

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gixxerific
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I will have to come down and get a load from you. I'll bring some some frosty beverages. :D

Oh and call me Gixx. :wink:

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engineeredgarden
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Ok, gixx it is ! A few of them "silver bullets" would be nice - especially after turning those piles. :D

Here's what I started with last fall - a mountain of shredded leaves.

[img]https://i48.tinypic.com/2052ji0.jpg[/img]

pickupguy07
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engineeredgarden wrote:Ok, gixx it is ! A few of them "silver bullets" would be nice - especially after turning those piles. :D

Here's what I started with last fall - a mountain of shredded leaves.

[img]https://i48.tinypic.com/2052ji0.jpg[/img]
thats about the size of the horse manure pile I got (stable manure)
Life is great..... but if you get lemons - compost them :-)
Near Atlanta GA... newbie to gardening & Composting

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Halfway
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The rain likely kicked it into high gear as it did with mine.

I actually thought my main pile was done, but the rain soaked it and a day later it fired right back up. Must have had just enough carbon that needed broken down and just enough nitrogen to push it over the edge.

Hungry little microbes they are!!
Zone 4a.

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