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How do I make my pile hot?

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Re: How do I make my pile hot?

Post  GWN on 1/26/2013, 1:37 pm

Well my pile has gone up from 40 degrees to 44 degrees.. sunny
At least it is not frozen anymore.

I think if I could get some manure it would be great, perhaps next week.

Kelejan, my DH grew up in Grand Forks and has recently reunited with a classmate who has an organic blueberry farm in Castlegar, and makes a wonderful wine from it.
Perhaps we might run into each other this summer Very Happy
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Re: How do I make my pile hot?

Post  Kelejan on 1/26/2013, 3:59 pm

@GWN wrote:Well my pile has gone up from 40 degrees to 44 degrees.. sunny
At least it is not frozen anymore.

I think if I could get some manure it would be great, perhaps next week.

Kelejan, my DH grew up in Grand Forks and has recently reunited with a classmate who has an organic blueberry farm in Castlegar, and makes a wonderful wine from it.
Perhaps we might run into each other this summer Very Happy

GWN, talking about getting some manure; I have just returned from my exercise workout at Curves and I met a very nice lady who came over to talk to me because of the sweater I was wearing. We talked about geneology, gardening, compost, worms etc., and it turns out she has four horses. I can have all the horse manure I want so I will be down to see her in the spring. I did pick her up on her calling worm castings dirt, Very Happy telling her to think of it as gardeners' gold.
If you are in Castlegar this summer, give me a call or email and we can arrange to meet, even if only for half an hour. We could go down to see my new friend and collect some horse manure. Very Happy
Perhaps buy a couple of organic blueberry bushes or buy some blueberries straight from the farm.

In addition I have finally found a regular supply of coffee grounds, what with the manure, coffee grounds and fall leaves plus the veggie stuff from my friends, I am feeling great for this coming season.
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Re: How do I make my pile hot?

Post  NHGardener on 1/26/2013, 7:01 pm

Should we be concerned about adding too much coffee grinds to our compost piles/beds? I know there's the C/N ratio, but I was getting a 5 gallon bucket of coffee grinds (3/4 full) every day for about 3 months in late summer/early fall and spreading it on everything. Hoping I'm not overdoing it. I stopped once it got too cold.
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Re: How do I make my pile hot?

Post  camprn on 1/26/2013, 7:12 pm

@NHGardener wrote:Should we be concerned about adding too much coffee grinds to our compost piles/beds? I know there's the C/N ratio, but I was getting a 5 gallon bucket of coffee grinds (3/4 full) every day for about 3 months in late summer/early fall and spreading it on everything. Hoping I'm not overdoing it. I stopped once it got too cold.
you should be good! The worms will love it all.

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Re: How do I make my pile hot?

Post  NHGardener on 1/26/2013, 7:53 pm

Oh good camprn, thanks.
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The Nose Knows

Post  jdwheeler42 on 1/26/2013, 11:24 pm

@NHGardener wrote:Should we be concerned about adding too much coffee grinds to our compost piles/beds?

The nose knows.

Seriously.

If the pile stinks, you're adding to much. If it has a pleasant earthy smell, you're good.
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Re: How do I make my pile hot?

Post  llama momma on 1/27/2013, 6:56 am

@NHGardener wrote:Should we be concerned about adding too much coffee grinds to our compost piles/beds? I know there's the C/N ratio, but I was getting a 5 gallon bucket of coffee grinds (3/4 full) every day for about 3 months in late summer/early fall and spreading it on everything. Hoping I'm not overdoing it. I stopped once it got too cold.
Page 96 ANSFG coffee grounds is listed as a Caution-Limited Amounts at <10% of your total compost. There is a list of items.
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Re: How do I make my pile hot?

Post  NHGardener on 1/27/2013, 8:52 am

An interesting part about the large quantity of coffee grounds I used is that I started them in late August in the compost pile, and after growth was over in the beds, so they will have sat all winter and have been drained by a lot of rain and snow by the time spring comes. We'll see how things grow in the spring.

I don't want to help my soil to death, but who can turn down large amounts of free grounds? Smile

Still, I'm going to hold off on the grounds this spring/summer until I see how things grow and whether they all seem to have "disappeared" into the soil. To be cautious, I may only add them from late August thru fall again. Don't want to overdose on grounds.

By the way, I added a lot of things to my soil/compost pile, not just grounds. I added rotted wood from fallen trees, seaweed, leaves, whatever I could get my hands on, topped with moldy hay towards winter, and this spring the chicken shavings will go in there too.
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Re: How do I make my pile hot?

Post  llama momma on 1/27/2013, 10:03 am

Sounds good to me. It's quite comforting to stockpile browns so you can add all the coffee grounds and other N sources you want. And its interesting how coffee is brown but is considered a green, for any new folks reading this. I was confused a lot in the beginning.
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Re: How do I make my pile hot?

Post  camprn on 1/27/2013, 10:11 am

I freely use coffee grounds as a thin mulch layer in my garden beds, the native worms love them which means I have more worm castings and ultimately more earthworms in the soil. As to the amount going into the compost pile, though the recommendation of less than 10% of the pile, a bit more will certainly not impede the composting process unless your pile is tremendously out of balance nitrogen:carbon. The nice thing about getting used coffee grounds is that they frequently come in plastic bags and these can be set aside until you find a place and time to use them.

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Re: How do I make my pile hot?

Post  GWN on 1/27/2013, 10:12 am

Just a thought on coffee grounds on a slightly different subject.
I had accumulated a lot of grounds and read where worms love them, well I found that they do not love them in large amounts.
They all went away from that part of the pile. for awhile..
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Re: How do I make my pile hot?

Post  llama momma on 1/27/2013, 10:16 am


I get 15 to about 40 pounds at a time from my Starbucks and it stores well in the garage. Sometimes in summer it gets a little moldy so I try to use it before it gets too gross.
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Re: How do I make my pile hot?

Post  llama momma on 1/27/2013, 10:18 am

GWN
It is nitrogen so it could irritate a little I suppose. The acidity might factor in a bit too but I recall most of that is washed through the percolating process.
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Re: How do I make my pile hot?

Post  camprn on 1/27/2013, 10:18 am

@GWN wrote:Just a thought on coffee grounds on a slightly different subject.
I had accumulated a lot of grounds and read where worms love them, well I found that they do not love them in large amounts.
They all went away from that part of the pile. for awhile..
It is quite possible that if you put a clump of grounds within the pile without dispersing them well, the temperature rose enough in that spot to be uncomfortable for the worms and they migrated elsewhere, for a while.

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Re: How do I make my pile hot?

Post  GWN on 1/27/2013, 10:28 am

I just try to do it in moderation now though..... not too much at once.
I did use them a lot in the garden last year especially around the tomatoes and it really really seemed to help them. Unfortuantely the only coffee place out here ... she uses all of her grinds creating places to grow more sun flowers. She has massive sunflowers each year and it has become the trademark of her little coffee shop flower sunny
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Re: How do I make my pile hot?

Post  NHGardener on 1/27/2013, 10:32 am

@camprn wrote:the native worms love them which means I have more worm castings and ultimately more earthworms in the soil.

I discovered recently that earthworms are non-native species! Brought over with the colonists. I was surprised. Supposedly they've altered our native species by aerating soil while some growth likes the soil compact and condensed. (maybe we talked about that here, I forget)

Anyway, one other question you brought up is that I read earthworms are not attracted to MM, so does adding compost to the beds then attract earthworms?
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Re: How do I make my pile hot?

Post  NHGardener on 1/27/2013, 10:34 am

@GWN wrote:She has massive sunflowers each year and it has become the trademark of her little coffee shop flower sunny

Uh oh. You just did it. Now it looks like I will venture for the daily grinds again, because I plan on growing a sunflower patch this year, non-SFG.
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Re: How do I make my pile hot?

Post  GWN on 1/27/2013, 10:44 am

You know for 2 years I have tried to grow them from seed inside first... MISTAKE...

Then this year she gave me some up starts... and they were growing gradually, then I noticed that I had HUGE ones growing from where my bird feeder was.
My advice about sunflowers (not that anyone would be as silly as me) don't start the inside... Embarassed
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Re: How do I make my pile hot?

Post  NHGardener on 1/27/2013, 10:49 am

That's interesting, GWN. Last summer I planted many sunflowers outdoors but only one grew. I was thinking maybe I should try seeding them indoors.

Some people seem to grow them like crazy, I had problems growing them, but this summer I'll have a dedicated patch for them and I'll cover it with row cover (Agribon). It could be chipmunks, etc. were digging the seeds out of the ground. I'm not sure what could stop that.
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Re: How do I make my pile hot?

Post  GWN on 1/27/2013, 10:52 am

It almost seems that they like to seed themselves better. That is what I found. THis lady at the coffee shop swears that they grow from previous plants.... I cannot see that being true.
But she never has to plant them anymore
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Re: How do I make my pile hot?

Post  NHGardener on 1/27/2013, 11:34 am

Wow. That's almost a perennial then. Smile

She must not have furry and feathered seed lovers at her site.
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Re: How do I make my pile hot?

Post  camprn on 1/27/2013, 11:48 am

@GWN wrote:It almost seems that they like to seed themselves better. That is what I found. THis lady at the coffee shop swears that they grow from previous plants.... I cannot see that being true.
But she never has to plant them anymore
Sunflowers self seed. But to get back to compost.... affraid

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