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How to become a real hottie

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How to become a real hottie

Post  GWN on Mon 2 Apr 2012 - 11:07

the thing that is great about this site is that SOOOO many things I thought I understood well, I have learned that I had not.
One of them is composting.
I have searched through previous posts and not really found the answer to what I am needing to know.
I have a large pile, approx 4 feet across, perhaps 3 feet high.

It is mixed well with what I feel to be a pretty good mixture of greens to browns, I have taken 3 piles from last year and mixed them all together.
I also have a compost thermometer, and the pile has been sitting for 4 days, it has been watered nicely by MN and today the temp is about 58 degrees, the ground temp in my SFGs is about 44. So it is a little warmer than the soil.
Reading more today about this, I have put a large black tarp over it, to insulate it a bit, and have found a couple of pallets left over from building stuff, and DH MIGHT know where I can find another one, but will use the tarp for extra insulation for a few days.
My question is this....
Since I have just freshly mixed it all up and it is moist, do I just watch the temp until it gets WAY up there, and then turn it?
I have seen places where they say if you really do it well you can get good compost in 2-3 weeks, is this possible?

Thanks
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Re: How to become a real hottie

Post  bwaynef on Wed 4 Apr 2012 - 12:00

Check my post count for exactly how much weight you should give my suggestions, but I've heard dried blood/blood meal/nitrogen can be added to quickly boost the heat of a pile.

Someone, please correct me where I'm wrong.
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Re: How to become a real hottie

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on Wed 4 Apr 2012 - 12:04

@GWN wrote:the thing that is great about this site is that SOOOO many things I thought I understood well, I have learned that I had not.
One of them is composting.
I have searched through previous posts and not really found the answer to what I am needing to know.
I have a large pile, approx 4 feet across, perhaps 3 feet high.

It is mixed well with what I feel to be a pretty good mixture of greens to browns, I have taken 3 piles from last year and mixed them all together.
I also have a compost thermometer, and the pile has been sitting for 4 days, it has been watered nicely by MN and today the temp is about 58 degrees, the ground temp in my SFGs is about 44. So it is a little warmer than the soil.
Reading more today about this, I have put a large black tarp over it, to insulate it a bit, and have found a couple of pallets left over from building stuff, and DH MIGHT know where I can find another one, but will use the tarp for extra insulation for a few days.
My question is this....
Since I have just freshly mixed it all up and it is moist, do I just watch the temp until it gets WAY up there, and then turn it?
I have seen places where they say if you really do it well you can get good compost in 2-3 weeks, is this possible?

Thanks

Temperatures vary but if you can get it up to the 130F area, that would be great. Let it sit there and when it drops to around 100F to 115F, give it a turn
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Re: How to become a real hottie

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on Wed 4 Apr 2012 - 12:05

@bwaynef wrote:Check my post count for exactly how much weight you should give my suggestions, but I've heard dried blood/blood meal/nitrogen can be added to quickly boost the heat of a pile.

Someone, please correct me where I'm wrong.

You are correct bwayne, but you should also have browns in there too. If you have alot of nitrogen in the pile and not enough browns, it won't cook properly.
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Re: How to become a real hottie

Post  bwaynef on Wed 4 Apr 2012 - 12:33

@Too Tall Tomatoes wrote:
You are correct bwayne, but you should also have browns in there too. If you have alot of nitrogen in the pile and not enough browns, it won't cook properly.

@GWN wrote:It is mixed well with what I feel to be a pretty good mixture of greens to browns,...

I assumed he had browns.
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Re: How to become a real hottie

Post  AvaDGardner on Wed 4 Apr 2012 - 13:10

Since my compost pile is 1lb coffee cans (no heat!), I've not paid attention to this topic. Someday though I'll have a yard and a get to be a hottie, too!

Do you hotties use the compost starters/mixes they sell? Are they necessary or do they just replace the brown/green mix you strive for?
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Re: How to become a real hottie

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on Wed 4 Apr 2012 - 14:21

@AvaDGardner wrote:Since my compost pile is 1lb coffee cans (no heat!), I've not paid attention to this topic. Someday though I'll have a yard and a get to be a hottie, too!

Do you hotties use the compost starters/mixes they sell? Are they necessary or do they just replace the brown/green mix you strive for?

Compost starters aren't necessary. I've recently used dried blood as a way to kind of give it a kick start. That was only after a winter of the pile just sitting there doing nothing.
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Re: How to become a real hottie

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