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restarting an old compost pile

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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  Pepper on 6/21/2012, 4:04 pm

camprn. These were taken last year, well last fall. I tried to be a "hottie" but like most old farts my ideas did not match reality

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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  camprn on 6/21/2012, 4:26 pm

funny post darn funny

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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  RoOsTeR on 6/21/2012, 6:28 pm

Love the shredder Pepper

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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  toledobend on 6/21/2012, 6:52 pm

One disadvantage to living out in the middle of nowhere: I tried to find a rental chipper/shredder. Not one to be found within 100 miles. Since we can burn our brush piles, leaves, cut down trees etc., nobody chips or shreds. How far in the middle of nowhere?: We live two hours from the closest Home Depot (in five different directions).

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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  GWN on 6/22/2012, 12:06 am

We live two hours from the closest Home Depot (in five different directions).
ME too.
However we just recently sold our second vehicle to pay off our debt and a little bit was left over.... and so we got this NEW BABY>>>>
http://www.patriot-products-inc.com/csv2515images.htm

I put through all of the plant carcasses from last year (that have not broken down yet) and layered with paper and leaves and in 2 days have gone from 80 degrees up to 100 degrees
This machine totally shreds everything ..... it does get jammed up often, but when that happens I run water through it and cram a stick down it, and when it finally unplugs I get this powerful stream of MUCK, which I have been spreading on my gardens (must be good stuff(

My DH seems surprised whenever I come back into the house and still have 10 fingers, 2 arms etc etc.........

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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  Pepper on 6/22/2012, 12:09 am

toledobend use a lawn mower since you can't get to a shreader. Any thing is better than leaving them whole.

GWN neet machine and electric too. Ya mine does clog sometimes esp when the leaves are wet. Mine has a feed door that you open to help clear the cloggs.

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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  floyd1440 on 6/22/2012, 8:05 pm

@Pepper wrote:toledobend use a lawn mower since you can't get to a shreader. Any thing is better than leaving them whole.

GWN neet machine and electric too. Ya mine does clog sometimes esp when the leaves are wet. Mine has a feed door that you open to help clear the cloggs.

I checked it out and it seems like a good machine but a little pricey. Like that they have a gas version as well.

Stumbled upon a website for "cyclone rake system" which claims to not only pick up leaves but also shread them as well. Would be nice to have something to pick up and also shread leaves as it has a seperate motor to provide suction and also an impeller to also shread leaves as well.

Check it out and let me know what you think?

http://www.cyclonerake.com


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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  Coelli on 6/23/2012, 12:14 am

I took a picture of my compost bin today and wanted to share. My oldest had just put a bunch of trimmings in it that should have gone to the guinea pig.. oh well!



Anyway, this bin is in full sun during the day and it gets HOT HOT HOT... the last couple of times I've turned it in the evening, it's literally steamed. I'm assuming that's okay!

This should be some incredible compost - if I had to guess I'd say it's about 30% coffee grounds (thanks, Starbucks!), 40% my guinea pig's paper-based bedding and associated poop, and 30% kitchen waste including lots of eggshells. We don't have a single tree in our yard nor any grass to mow, so there's very little yard waste.

This one's almost full so I guess it's time to buy another trash can and break out the drill. Smile

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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  ramarks on 6/23/2012, 11:42 am

Our church is hosting the county compost expert this afternoon - for a community event. I'm going to ask them about restarting an old pile. I'll let you know what they say.

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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  Kelejan on 6/23/2012, 1:41 pm

Right now the rain is bucketing down and the forecast is for more of the same tomorrow, and tomorrow, up to about 50mm. I am feeling very smug that I have turned my compost for the second time this week and that is is covered by weed cloth (for when the sun shines) and plastic and no longer soaking up the rain. I am hopefull that I will get some useable compost in a while.

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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  GWN on 6/23/2012, 1:51 pm

I am within 5 degrees of being HOT....
I started a new pile on Wednesday using my new shredder machine and shredded paper and alfalfa pellets and a little bit from the old compost and it went from 80 on wednesday to 135 today.
And it is not really hot here..... yet today

NOT raining either though Kelejan, the storm missed us, but I guess it did not miss you Smile

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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  Pepper on 6/23/2012, 4:59 pm

Wow today I checked my pile don't have a thremometer yet so the old tent pole went in; about 30 seconds later it was hot enough I would have been uncomfortable holding on to it. For the last several days it has been increasing in heat, so I guess I have atleast one 'hottie'. Now just ;what will be; three more to get hot.

@ floyd1440 I am glad someone here can afford one or even several of these, when can I expect delivery of mine......

@ Coelli The misses and I were in LA once a week (we were truckers running team; she is not driving now, I still do) so I do understand your lack of compost material. Looks like you are adapting as best you can.

@ ramarks Thanks for your help and cuddo's to your church sounds to me yall preach to the mind, body, and soul. Would that everyone could experience such a congregation.

@ Kelejan Send me some PLEASE!!!!!!! The rain is what ruined my piles last fall. I did not cover them when the rains came and came and came. Are you turning on a schedule or just when temps start to fall?

@ GWN hip-hip huraaaaa Don't make the same mistake I did last year when the leaves begin to fall. GET THEM ONLY IF THEY ARE DRY store them in someplace/way that is dry. Wet cloggs the shreaders; now what you going to do with them??????

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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  ramarks on 6/23/2012, 7:38 pm

We had a great class today with our local county recycling Guru. She does all kinds of composting - heaps - bins - trenches - post-hole - worm bin composting - and making compost tea.

I asked her specifically about restarting an old compost pile. Her answer was, "Yes, by all means." There were some caveats.

1) If the pile was covered so rain has not leeched off the nutrients, then go for it.
2) You may have to add a bit more nitrogen (green and veggie scraps) than if you were starting new.
3) When you turn the pile you may be pleasantly surprised to find ready, good compost at the bottom. Again, if not leeched from rain, it is perfectly usable.

Her advice was to turn the pile - take out the usable - add nitrogen and water - and get it going again - like a new pile.

Just thought I'd let you know what an expert says about restarting an old pile.

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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  Pepper on 6/23/2012, 9:03 pm

Thanks I really appreciate the info. Since they never really got hot I am going to proceed with all the piles. If nothing else they will teach me "how to get it done". I will test the compost when complete for nutrient values. What I had left has really got hot during the last 6 days and getting still hotter so I am going for it.

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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  ramarks on 6/23/2012, 9:18 pm

That's encouraging. I'm going to start in on my old pile this week.

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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  floyd1440 on 6/24/2012, 7:45 pm

@Pepper wrote:Wow today I checked my pile don't have a thremometer yet so the old tent pole went in; about 30 seconds later it was hot enough I would have been uncomfortable holding on to it. For the last several days it has been increasing in heat, so I guess I have atleast one 'hottie'. Now just ;what will be; three more to get hot.

@ floyd1440 I am glad someone here can afford one or even several of these, when can I expect delivery of mine......

@ Coelli The misses and I were in LA once a week (we were truckers running team; she is not driving now, I still do) so I do understand your lack of compost material. Looks like you are adapting as best you can.

@ ramarks Thanks for your help and cuddo's to your church sounds to me yall preach to the mind, body, and soul. Would that everyone could experience such a congregation.

@ Kelejan Send me some PLEASE!!!!!!! The rain is what ruined my piles last fall. I did not cover them when the rains came and came and came. Are you turning on a schedule or just when temps start to fall?

@ GWN hip-hip huraaaaa Don't make the same mistake I did last year when the leaves begin to fall. GET THEM ONLY IF THEY ARE DRY store them in someplace/way that is dry. Wet cloggs the shreaders; now what you going to do with them??????

@Pepper....Everyone has a different enviroment and I am blessed with tons of browns. My neighbor has 20+ years of leaves but moving and shreading is very labor intensive so I am considering alternatives to both moving, retreaving, and shreading compost material and then putting in a pile.


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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  Pepper on 6/25/2012, 4:20 pm

Well today the tent pole was not so hot. Time to turn the pile. In true fashon I took the outside and put it to the inside and the inside to the out.

The center looked grey in color somewhat like ashes; is that normal.

Seems like every time I try to take a compost picture the sun comes out.

The final product is on the left

I did not add anything but water, hope I was not susposed to add nore starting materials.

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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  GWN on 6/25/2012, 4:51 pm

how DO YOU manage to turn those piles, I have just gone back to a very small pile for that reason, it was killing my back..

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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  ramarks on 6/25/2012, 4:52 pm

Looks pretty daunting to me, too.

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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/25/2012, 5:11 pm

Pepper, I think what you are doing is perfect from where I sit. I wish I had gumption to turn my pile when I'm supposed to....

I'm with you, GWN...oh my aching back! But now that I've taken all the stix out (that I put in thinking they were good for aeration), it's so much easier.

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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  RoOsTeR on 6/25/2012, 5:23 pm

Yup, looks good Pepper. I would say you're a HOTTIE Very Happy Shocked Razz

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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  plantoid on 6/25/2012, 6:11 pm

I second that Rooster ..... that grey mould colour is what we are looking for ...the bacterial action is at optimum effect .

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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  floyd1440 on 6/25/2012, 7:23 pm

@RoOsTeR wrote:Yup, looks good Pepper. I would say you're a HOTTIE Very Happy Shocked Razz

I agree as well!!!! The grey in the pile is the same I have and it is definately working. This is my first year at it as well and will be turning mine tomorrow.

Will also have to wet my pile as it hasn't rain in 10 days.




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Re: restarting an old compost pile

Post  Pepper on 6/26/2012, 12:24 am

Glad to know about the "gray" color. Got the shipping notice yesterday for the compost therometer so the 'tent pole' will be retired soon.Laughing

The piles can be daunting to turn. That is probally why mine went cold in the first place, keeping five turned was just tooooooooooo much. I did find that making the top the bottom then digging the middle out for the sides then alternating as I went made it easier this time around.

I will probally wait for the therometer to get here before tackling the remaining piles. Truth is I am lazyyyyyyyyy.Laughing Laughing Laughing

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Re: restarting the compost pile

Post  tabletopper on 6/26/2012, 7:56 am

Where did you order the compost thermometer? I need one......

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Re: restarting an old compost pile

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