Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


[/td][/tr][/table]
Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in December 2017
by CapeCoddess Today at 2:01 pm

» How's the Weather Where You're At?
by CapeCoddess Today at 1:50 pm

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by trolleydriver Today at 1:49 pm

» CarbSmart (tm) Potatoes
by sanderson Today at 1:41 pm

» Sweet Potatoes
by countrynaturals Today at 11:42 am

» California's Drought
by trolleydriver Today at 10:38 am

» Third Year SFG in Canada
by Kelejan Today at 7:51 am

» Happy Birthday!!
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 10:42 pm

» Areogardening
by brianj555 Yesterday at 9:42 pm

» Spring Fever Anyone?
by Robbomb116 Yesterday at 4:03 pm

» Air Fryer! HELP!
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 1:40 pm

» Butterfly Junction
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 11:01 am

» Garden Clean-Up/Preparation
by brianj555 Yesterday at 9:32 am

» New England December 2017
by AtlantaMarie Yesterday at 6:32 am

» 1st Seed Catalog Arrived :)
by Scorpio Rising 12/13/2017, 7:43 pm

» jalapeno variety question?
by brianj555 12/13/2017, 6:03 pm

» Sauerkraut & fermenting veggies
by brianj555 12/13/2017, 5:28 pm

» Tomato Questions
by sanderson 12/13/2017, 3:04 pm

» Mid-South: December 2017
by AtlantaMarie 12/13/2017, 8:24 am

» What's Up? Yukon gold potatoes!
by sanderson 12/13/2017, 3:15 am

» New Composter - Need Help Filling Correctly
by saganco 12/12/2017, 9:10 pm

» December Avatar: 'Tis The Season!
by sanderson 12/12/2017, 2:29 pm

» The Research Journey:cardboard covering of newly planted seeds
by saganco 12/12/2017, 1:15 pm

» 2017 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by Turan 12/11/2017, 6:39 pm

» Winter Sowing vs. Winter Growing
by countrynaturals 12/11/2017, 11:44 am

» Mushroom in my lettuce!
by Scorpio Rising 12/10/2017, 10:40 pm

» 5-BOOK BUNDLE GIVEAWAY - ENDS 12/1/17
by No_Such_Reality 12/10/2017, 4:15 pm

» N&C MW; Deep Winter December/January 2017-2018
by Scorpio Rising 12/10/2017, 1:36 pm

» December: What to plant in Northern California and Central Valley areas
by countrynaturals 12/10/2017, 1:24 pm

» WARNING! Please Read! (Especially Grandparents)
by Scorpio Rising 12/9/2017, 8:53 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

compost not heating

Page 5 of 5 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: compost not heating

Post  1airdoc on 3/14/2012, 9:49 am

Compost update - day 25. I turned my compost pile again yesterday and was surprised to find it still steaming on a day when it was 80 degrees outside. Out of curiosity, I measured the temperature, and it was still 130 degrees. It has been at least that hot for 10 consecutive days now, so hopefully all the pathogens and seeds are dying out. I noticed that the silvery-white bacterial appearance had vanished from the middle of the pile where it was previously prominent, but was now evident on material near the edges of the pile. I assume that means the heat has killed off many of the bugs near the middle, and now they have moved to the cooler edges where they are doing their thing.

I also noticed that the top half of the pile smelled rich and earthy, whereas the deeper bottom of the pile was beginning to smell more like the manure. Hopefully, by continuing to turn the pile, moving the outside material to the middle, the middle to the outside, and top to bottom, that will aerate the whole pile well enough to fully compost everything.

I'm hoping to have the pile complete and ready to use in the MM for my new beds no later than early April. We'll see!
avatar
1airdoc

Male Posts : 188
Join date : 2011-05-04
Location : 7a (Northern middle Tennessee)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: compost not heating

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 3/14/2012, 10:17 am

The more the pile cooks, the less you'll have that manure smell. Mine's happily cooking along and it doesn't smell as bad as it did a week and a half ago.
avatar
Too Tall Tomatoes

Male Posts : 1069
Join date : 2011-10-24
Age : 47
Location : Pennsylvania, Zone 6A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: compost not heating

Post  1airdoc on 3/20/2012, 2:12 pm

Last compost update. I turned my compost 2 days ago and found it was finally cooling down a bit: still warm, but no longer steaming and definitely cooler than before. The white, ashey look is now gone, and the whole pile smells rich and earthy. I'll let it sit a bit longer to cool and cure, but I think it will be ready to use in a couple of weeks in my new boxes - hopefully just in time!

Here are the things I have learned from everybody that have helped me get my compost cookin':

1. There needs to be plenty of nitrogen in the pile. I didn't realize that my pile had way too much carbon. The key for my pile was using chicken manure, but I know others have had success with alfalfa pellets and blood meal. Until I had enough nitrogen, my pile was "warm" at best. Horse manure doesn't have a high enough N:C ratio if it contains sawdust and bedding (I read in one source that the N:C ratio in that case is only 1:60).

2. There needs to be enough oxygen. Regular turning and creating air shafts in the pile helped the composting organisms breathe, and turning also distributed the effects throughout the whole pile more quickly.

3. Hot composting doesn't "just happen." Although my cold compost did OK with a laissez faire approach, it was really slow and stuff on the top of the pile wasn't ready to use. That approach doesn't cut it if you want to heat things up. Hot composting requires collecting the right materials, building the pile correctly, making sure there's enough moisture, and regular turning (frequent if you want the process to go quickly).

Hopefully the product will be well worth it and better than my homegrown compost from last year. If I remember, I'll post later in the season with an update on the relative productivities of the new beds that use the new compost.
avatar
1airdoc

Male Posts : 188
Join date : 2011-05-04
Location : 7a (Northern middle Tennessee)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: compost not heating

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 3/20/2012, 11:22 pm

@1airdoc wrote:Last compost update. I turned my compost 2 days ago and found it was finally cooling down a bit: still warm, but no longer steaming and definitely cooler than before. The white, ashey look is now gone, and the whole pile smells rich and earthy. I'll let it sit a bit longer to cool and cure, but I think it will be ready to use in a couple of weeks in my new boxes - hopefully just in time!

Here are the things I have learned from everybody that have helped me get my compost cookin':

1. There needs to be plenty of nitrogen in the pile. I didn't realize that my pile had way too much carbon. The key for my pile was using chicken manure, but I know others have had success with alfalfa pellets and blood meal. Until I had enough nitrogen, my pile was "warm" at best. Horse manure doesn't have a high enough N:C ratio if it contains sawdust and bedding (I read in one source that the N:C ratio in that case is only 1:60).

2. There needs to be enough oxygen. Regular turning and creating air shafts in the pile helped the composting organisms breathe, and turning also distributed the effects throughout the whole pile more quickly.

3. Hot composting doesn't "just happen." Although my cold compost did OK with a laissez faire approach, it was really slow and stuff on the top of the pile wasn't ready to use. That approach doesn't cut it if you want to heat things up. Hot composting requires collecting the right materials, building the pile correctly, making sure there's enough moisture, and regular turning (frequent if you want the process to go quickly).

Hopefully the product will be well worth it and better than my homegrown compost from last year. If I remember, I'll post later in the season with an update on the relative productivities of the new beds that use the new compost.

Congratulations on your success. It's rewarding when something you work on actually turns out the way you hope.


This Sunday it will be 3 weeks since I redid my compost and two weeks since it really got hot. Now it's at 120F. I hope to be able to turn it again this week, although camprn told me not to touch it till it drops to 100F
avatar
Too Tall Tomatoes

Male Posts : 1069
Join date : 2011-10-24
Age : 47
Location : Pennsylvania, Zone 6A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: compost not heating

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 5 of 5 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum