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rainbowgardener
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No 100 degrees isn't too much for them, but really hot compost piles can be 150 or more. You usually have to work for that though.
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CitizenOfThePlanet
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I would love to get it that hot!! haha. What does one need to do to get their compost bin up to 150 degrees?

toxcrusadr
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Worms don't stay in one place but move up and down in the soil column depending on temperature and moisture conditions. If it's too hot, they go deeper to stay comfy. If it's too wet, they come up to the surface for air. So if you put them in your pile, they'll stay there for awhile if they like it, but if it gets too hot or dry they'll just leave. That's why we don't buy worms except for a dedicated worm bin (usually indoors) where they are captive. The compost store (lucky you to have one!) is probably selling red wigglers for just that purpose.

If you build it, they will come. And BTW you may get great compost w/o never seeing a worm. There are all kinds of microbes and other insects who work on the pile too.
Tox

toxcrusadr
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BTW, yes, add the coffee grounds!
Tox

gardenbean
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(Off Topic)
But TLC is now showing a new series called extreme couponing. I've watched it a couple of times and I have to say it is totally awesome to see someone purchase a thousand dollars worht of groceries and only have to pay like ten dollars for it all :)
Learning as I go and surprising myself when it all comes together......

rot
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The beauty of coffee grounds

..
What I like about coffee grounds is that you can apply them directly on the ground if you like so if you add them to your compost and they don't quite decompose when you need some compost - who cares?

I have some slow as you go compost bins that I just add to and then let sit for a year. I'll cap them off with coffee grounds on top to make sure everything underneath stays covered and breaks down. The trouble with that is that the coffee grounds will crust over and then you have to add water real slow to avoid it just running off. The counter to the crusting effect is a layer of grass clippings which will breakdown relatively quickly even if they're on top where things breakdown slower than the core of the heap.

The other problem with coffee grounds is you can over do it and they will smother the process. I'm only capping off a slow cold pile and only after it's been topped finally for a little while. I once made a 17 cu ft bin of 50 percent coffee grounds and I ended up with a dark gooey mess that I worked for months to get into some kind of useful shape. A fun experiment but not so fun that I'd do it again or recommend it.

Follow the ten percent rule and I'm sure the coffee grounds will be a great addition. The excess can go on beds and worms dig it.

When your pile cools off - don't fret, it will - the worms will move in from the ground. They'll leave their cocoons and you'll be spreading worms as you spread the finished product.

to sense
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toxcrusadr
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CitizenOfThePlanet wrote:I would love to get it that hot!! haha. What does one need to do to get their compost bin up to 150 degrees?
An add-as-you-go pile will not heat up to that extent. The way to do it is to mix up a nice big batch at one time, with fresh greens, and the right moisture content, and pile it up. I used to do big batches during spring grass clipping curb thieving season: Grass, bagged leaves from last fall, and sawdust or wood shavings if I had them. A cubic yard of that would go over 150 in a couple of days.
Tox

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swickstrum
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Re: The beauty of coffee grounds

rot wrote:..
Follow the ten percent rule and I'm sure the coffee grounds will be a great addition. The excess can go on beds and worms dig it.

When your pile cools off - don't fret, it will - the worms will move in from the ground. They'll leave their cocoons and you'll be spreading worms as you spread the finished product.

to sense
..
..
Speaking of worms, I'm not seeing many at all in my compost piles. I recently pulled about 18" of good composted soil off the bottom of my pile and saw maybe two worms. My pile is on the ground, and I still haven't seen many. Do you think I should invest in some worms and get the process started, or will adding coffee grounds this year do the trick (I've never added them before)?

I would really like to get some good earthworms working through my compost and my garden so I'm willing to try anything.
Find a job you love, and you won't work a day in your life.

bogydave
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Sounds like you got it "cooking".
The center of the pile may get to well over 100°f.
Unless you want to compost cooked worms, I'd either let them
come in when when they are ready of if you add some wait till it's cooled some & put them in the edges/sides.
Great job. Your bugs are spoiled & have plenty of "fiber" in their diet. :)
"

rot
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Worms dig it

..
Yeah the worms will come as things cool down in the bin. When the rains come, throw a cover over the bin and worms will escape the over saturated soil into your bins.

I've been picking up coffee grounds again from starbucks. I'll be spreading that stuff directly on the soil. If I get some grass clippings I'll cover the cover coffee grounds to counter the crusting of the coffee grounds. If I lay the grounds thick, I'll find worms there in a month or so.

So, yeah, coffee grounds will encourage the worms and if you add them to your bin, you don't really have to worry about the grounds breaking down or finishing because they can go directly on the ground.

I wouldn't buy worms unless I was going to seriously start a worm bin. i just assume feed the natives and encourage their reproduction.

to sense
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girltropical
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compost not cooking

i just started a compost in a tote box, a big one. i put all my ingredients in. it is not getting hot though. it has dirt in it as well as the food waste (not meat which i don't eat anyway, and not any of the things that should not go in there) but i do not know what i am missing to get it cooking. i do not have grass as i havea certified yard that is mulch and native plants. and a wildlife habitat. so what do i need to do to get things cooking? i turn it and i water it.
thanks for your reply.
Girltropical Ten Green Fingers

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rainbowgardener
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Did you make air holes in the tote? Composting is an aerobic process.

Does it have anything besides the food waste and dirt? Check out the sticky on greens / browns at the top of this section. Need a mixture of both. Sounds like you need some browns, something more dry and carbon rich. Perhaps shredded paper? If you use paper towels, paper napkins etc, do you save those for your compost pile?
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bogydave
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Damp (not wet) is key
Air is a must, mixing adds air.
"

toxcrusadr
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girltropical, how big is this bin? Length, width and height.
Tox

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