toxcrusadr
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Newspaper will not take that long, especially shredded. It will disintegrate pretty easily when it gets wet. Just distribute it throughout and don't put big wads in, because they will stay in big wads.
Tox

pickupguy07
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Location: GA

Drought is so bad here in the south that leaves are falling early.
Today I picked up 3 wagon loads of leaves, and layered them in my compost pile.
The pile had gotten to where it stayed at about only 80*. Heck the outside temp is 95 every day...
In any event, I took the second pile I had started and layered that together with the leaves on top of the older pile.
I now have a pile that is 4x4x4.
Pile I moved on top was moist, but not wet. I still haven't decided if the pile isn't heating up because of too little water or too much... (or too small pile)
Maybe with all this combined I'll get better results.

This is the time of year DAD is canning apples, pears, etc and making jelly, wine, etc. SO I have LOTS of greens from the peelings, cores etc. He usualy comes every 10 days or so with two big 5 gallon buckets full.
Hoping I get SOMETHING to happen to point me in the right direction to go.
Life is great..... but if you get lemons - compost them :-)
Near Atlanta GA... newbie to gardening & Composting

john gault
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If you're not sure if there's enough water than you probably need to add water. Water is absolutely necessary for the mico-organisms to be active; without water eveything goes dormant.

Too much water is really only a problem if your compost is submerged in water (even just paritally) or organic matter is being carried away while watering.

yoseph
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Hi pickupguy07. I think I'm in almost same effort with you to temp up our compost. :lol: I want to temp up my compost pile caused of the main material I used is cow manure. I wanna surely myself to kill the danger E. Coli that maybe there. And I want my compost pile done faster too (around 2 months).

Two days ago I made my compost pile with fresh cow manure, sawdust, rice bran, and rice hull ash. My three Carbon materials are all powder. I mix all together form a heap and uncovered. Today, I monitored the temperature and got disappointed result. The temp. only 34 Celsius (the outside temp. is 33 Celsius). I think I made a mistake. My pile was too compact. Is it true?

So I added some grass clipping and dry leaves to give some space in my compact pile.

Then I'm wondering. Does manure release its nitrogen so fast so that it doesn't have nitrogen anymore? Does grass clipping release and keep its nitrogen longer than manure? So please advice what materials should I use to make my hot and fast compost?

Thanks :D
There are nature destroyers, there are nature guardians. But how awesomely some nature changers.

pickupguy07
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I'm not sure how fast nitrogen is released.
Maybe someone else with chime in that is more knowledgeable.
I "assume" the nitrogen stays in the pile, ot the compost wouldn't help too much..?? but thats only a guess
Life is great..... but if you get lemons - compost them :-)
Near Atlanta GA... newbie to gardening & Composting

toxcrusadr
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You may be onto something with the powder problem. A hot pile consumes a LOT of oxygen, so if it's too compacted and dense, it can't get the air to create that much heat.

Also, it can take more than 48 hrs. to heat up. But I think you are on the right track by adding some fluffy materials.
Tox

yoseph
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After I added more grass clippings and leaves, my compost pile could get temp up. I was happy at that time. But the temp is disappointing now, same with outer temp -wall-

My grass clippings dried. I think the nitrogen lost, so fast? :?:

I don't know what should I do? Please help me, must I let for the next few months with this condition? I know my pile is in 3' x 3' and only 2' height caused of I can't collect the materials easily.

Pleaseee... nutz:
There are nature destroyers, there are nature guardians. But how awesomely some nature changers.

toxcrusadr
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Grass clippings retain their nitrogen when dried, as many green materials do (such as leaves harvested when green, then dried).

I do not think your manure pile lost its nitrogen in a couple of days.

How is the moisture content? It should be damp but not dripping. Dig in and check the middle.

And if it's compacted down again, consider turning it so it gets plenty of air.
Tox

yoseph
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Okay Tox, thanks for info. I'll pay attention about the moisture.

Now my pile consist a lot of grass clippings, green leaves and dry leaves. I think my temp down caused of my pile have shrunk and buffeted by many winds (My pile structure is Freestanding Compost Pile). It's good, means that my organics decomposing :)

In struggle work, I always collect grass clippings, green leaves and dry leaves day by day and shred manually with grass cutter. I want to collect until 3' of height. Now my pile is 40" x 40" x 23".

Thanks all folks :D
There are nature destroyers, there are nature guardians. But how awesomely some nature changers.

yoseph
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Hooray, this morning my inner compost temp is about 105F. Now, I know about insulating in compost size, thanks all folks.

My Freestanding Compost Pile had shrunk from 40" x 40" x 32" to 40" x 40" x 24" in few days. Let me ask about optimal size in hot composting process. The optimal size of hot composting are 3'x3'x3' until 5'x5'x5'. Is this optimal size valid just in the early of building a compost pile? What should we do about the size after this pile have shrunk caused of decomposing?

Thanks for advise :)
There are nature destroyers, there are nature guardians. But how awesomely some nature changers.

toxcrusadr
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The best way to retain heat in any pile is to reduce the surface area. A sphere would be the most efficient, but not very feasible. :) A cube is the next best. So your 40 x 40 x 24 pile would retain heat better if it was 34x34x34. It will not make all that much difference, but try to keep it as high as it is wide to reduce the surface area.

And if you can make a bigger pile to start with, by all means do so if you want to retain more heat. Two cubic yards will work even better!
Tox

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PunkRotten
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I don;t think my pile is getting hot either. I never see steam. My green/brown ratio is probably half and half, maybe a 2 brown to 1 green ratio.

Anyway, I use 4 pallets tied together as my compost bin. I used to lay it all down evenly covering the entire ground. But now I rake it up into a tall pile. Is this better? I also throw new materials beside it and weekly I turn the compost and usually rake the pile on top of the newer materials beside it. Each week I rotate it like this.

yoseph
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For PunkRotten, sorry for my late reply. I'm afraid coz I'm still newbie in composting :roll:

Have your pile hotter now?

[quote]My green/brown ratio is probably half and half, maybe a 2 brown to 1 green ratio. [/quote]
May I know what is your green materials?

[quote]I used to lay it all down evenly covering the entire ground. But now I rake it up into a tall pile. Is this better?[/quote]
Underground I think it's good for insulating your compost but be careful of lack of oxygen (anaerobic composting). Hot composting consume more oxygen. Tall pile I think is better.

[quote]I also throw new materials beside it and weekly I turn the compost and usually rake the pile on top of the newer materials beside it. Each week I rotate it like this.[/quote]
As I've read in this nice helpfulgardener forum, it's better for you to build your new pile than always add your new materials with your old compost. Your mesophiles bacteria can't create hotter room for your thermophiles bacteria.

Hope, this help you and CMIIW.
There are nature destroyers, there are nature guardians. But how awesomely some nature changers.

yoseph
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BTW, last week my compost have temps down, black, and crumbly, smell is good. Two months totally for my first love compost process.

I make two pots for my young chili. One pot contain of ground only and the second contain of mix of ground and my compost. In extreme daylight my chili leaves in first pot are become withered. And the second still look fresh and strong.

Thanks for composting :D
There are nature destroyers, there are nature guardians. But how awesomely some nature changers.

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