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
» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by sanderson Today at 2:26 am

» Hello from Gilbert, AZ
by LizDTM Today at 12:33 am

» How's the Weather Where You're At?
by LizDTM Today at 12:22 am

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by brianj555 Yesterday at 8:47 pm

» A great offer for a local SFG,er
by jimmy cee Yesterday at 8:40 pm

» Garlic Growing Lovers
by Turan Yesterday at 5:14 pm

» Lower south Oct 2017
by brianj555 Yesterday at 5:02 pm

» Sowing Experiment! Anyone Tried This?
by brianj555 Yesterday at 4:50 pm

» Thumbs Up????
by brianj555 Yesterday at 4:47 pm

» BOOK GIVEAWAY - ENDS 10/20/17
by CapeCoddess Yesterday at 3:48 pm

» Turan in the Western Mountains
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 3:37 pm

» Third Year SFG in Canada
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 3:34 pm

» Gardening & Homesteading Skills Summit REGISTER NOW!
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 3:28 pm

» Carrot Week 2017!
by Turan Yesterday at 12:01 pm

» Hello from West Coast Of Scotland
by walshevak Yesterday at 11:44 am

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania, 3rd year SFG
by sanderson Yesterday at 12:17 am

» Today's Harvest
by brianj555 10/16/2017, 8:21 pm

» new greenhouse got drafted
by Scorpio Rising 10/16/2017, 8:08 pm

» Monarch Supporter
by Scorpio Rising 10/16/2017, 7:55 pm

» New England October 2017
by countrynaturals 10/16/2017, 1:09 pm

» October Avatar: Don't Fence Me In
by trolleydriver 10/16/2017, 11:45 am

» Does MM improve with age?
by countrynaturals 10/15/2017, 3:51 pm

» TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
by trolleydriver 10/15/2017, 3:28 pm

» Butterfly Junction
by countrynaturals 10/15/2017, 11:34 am

» Leaf-Footed squash bugs
by sanderson 10/14/2017, 11:21 pm

» N & C Midwest: October 2017!
by Scorpio Rising 10/14/2017, 9:12 pm

» Tomato Questions
by Scorpio Rising 10/14/2017, 9:06 pm

» large plant ID stakes
by has55 10/14/2017, 4:02 pm

» 2017 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by sanderson 10/14/2017, 3:12 am

» First time growing corn
by sanderson 10/14/2017, 3:07 am

Google

Search SFG Forum

Cool compost

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Cool compost

Post  lburgess on 4/12/2013, 8:18 am

Hello first time poster, and have a question. I started up a compost pile about a week ago that is about 3 X 3 X 3, used lawn clippings (primary nitrogen source) kitchen scraps and since I am out of browns I used the very small wood chips (3/8" avg. size) from a huge elm tree stump we had taken down about a year ago. I layered the pile with 1" wood chips to 4" of grass clippings, then mixed it well (I have it in a large tumbler)

The pile was at 140 - 150 degrees for the entire week (I had to add water a few times as it was drying out quickly) I checked it on Wednesday and the temp was still at 130. We had a cold front moving in so I thought it best not to turn it until after the cool front passed, I checked the pile temp last night and it was down to 80 in the center (ambient air was 62)

I assume that there is no way I should have consumed all the nitrogen in a single week (even though there is no distinguishable green left in the pile) My question is do I need to use alfalfa pellets to try to restart the pile or wait and see what happens?
avatar
lburgess

Male Posts : 7
Join date : 2013-04-12
Age : 53
Location : Dallas Texas

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Cool compost

Post  littlejo on 4/12/2013, 9:54 am

It's hard to know for sure.
1. Does it smell of ammonia? If not, I'd add just a handful of alfalfa, and turn to mix.

Check temp daily, if poss. repeat #1.

If it ever smells bad, don't add alfalfa, but turn daily if you have time.

If it smells really bad, you can add some tore up newspaper or cardboard, little bit at a time, and remember to turn. I think the oxygen is just about the most important part of composting.

Don't put off turning, compost doesn't care about the weather Smile
Jo
avatar
littlejo

Female Posts : 1532
Join date : 2011-05-04
Age : 63
Location : Cottageville SC 8b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Cool compost

Post  lburgess on 4/12/2013, 9:57 am

There are no bad smells, the pile had been turned every other day up until the cold front came thru. Will add some alfalfa and see how it goes from there. Thank you
avatar
lburgess

Male Posts : 7
Join date : 2013-04-12
Age : 53
Location : Dallas Texas

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Cool compost

Post  camprn on 4/12/2013, 10:23 am

Part of the problem is that you used wood. Wood cellulose takes a lot of nitrogen, energy and time to break down. http://www.compostjunkie.com/composting-wood-chips.html

There are a few other factors to consider.
It seems the carbon,nitrogen ratio is now off as the available nitrogen in the pile has been consumed. Sprinkling dried blood is pretty quick and inexpensive to get the pile heating again.
You may be turning the pile too often. I don't turn my pile until the temperature naturally drops to 100*F or below.

Have you looked at the thread 'Are you a Hottie', and 'Compost 101'?


____________________________

41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



avatar
camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14165
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 55
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Cool compost

Post  lburgess on 4/12/2013, 11:00 am

While I agree about using the wood chips, these have been in some form of decay for right at a year, most of them will crumble to a light dust with very little pressure. I would have thought a 4" to 1" ratio would have been enough to finish breaking them down.

I have read thru the compost 101 thread, have not read the hottie thread will do so at my earliest convenience. The thought that I had been turning to often is the exact reason I did not turn it before the cold snap (even though the temperatures had remained high) I assumed it would be better for the pile to try to retain the heat. at this juncture I am not so sure that was the correct action.
avatar
lburgess

Male Posts : 7
Join date : 2013-04-12
Age : 53
Location : Dallas Texas

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Cool compost

Post  camprn on 4/12/2013, 11:17 am

The best composting site I have found.
http://compost.css.cornell.edu/

____________________________

41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



avatar
camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14165
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 55
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Cool compost

Post  Turan on 4/12/2013, 12:08 pm

Let me see if I got this. Small wood chips that have composted for a year mixed with grass clippings in a hot pile. Heats up and stays hot for a week and then cools down. It sounds like finished compost to me unless the wood chips seem to need more. In that case add more green (or blood meal) and let it heat once more. It is quite likely that the greens (nitrogen) were all used up in a week, that is my experience unless it is a very high greens pile (like from my chicken coop).

From the description the OP gave I think this compost is ready to plant in.

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Belgrade, MT
Click for weather forecast
avatar
Turan

Female Posts : 2302
Join date : 2012-03-29
Location : Gallatin Valley, Montana, Intermountain zone 4

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Cool compost

Post  lburgess on 4/12/2013, 12:45 pm

That could be, hadn't really thought about that with the short time span. I did not check to see how much of the chips were left intact. I will do that as soon as I get home today Smile
avatar
lburgess

Male Posts : 7
Join date : 2013-04-12
Age : 53
Location : Dallas Texas

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Cool compost

Post  littlejo on 4/12/2013, 1:03 pm

You very well may have completed compost, but I think I'd add a little bit of greens(alfalfa or blood meal) and go for another week just for good measure. Here are a few links for you to look at. Jo

http://compost.css.cornell.edu/Factsheets/FS4.html
http://www.urbangardencenter.com/oxygen.html

14 day compost I don't have their composter, but do most of the things they suggest.
https://www.compostumbler.com/StoreFront/how-to-make-compost
avatar
littlejo

Female Posts : 1532
Join date : 2011-05-04
Age : 63
Location : Cottageville SC 8b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Cool compost

Post  plantoid on 4/12/2013, 2:09 pm

Iburgess.
It seems that the reason for the heap coolinbg is slightly different to what most people say . you will have used up a lot of the oxygen in the heap so the bacteria will not react with the nitrogen to produce amongst other things heat thus the heap cools .
give it a forking through turning the outsides of the heap into the middle water it lightly as you do it and it will soon be back up in the high 100's .
One thing about wood chips and bark it consumes nitrogen from the other naqterials for several years then whwn the stage of decomposition has gone so far it will start producing its own nitrogen to feed bacteria that will fully comost it over another couple of years .

The smaller the wood particles the quicker it will break down , so medium saw dust well wetted is ideal if sprinkled in the compost heap . I've been composting all sorts of materials with some straw and green ( from fresh cut wet timber at the sawmill ) sawdust.
It all composted down fantastically in about 6 months using the 18 day hot composting method ( but only turning the heaps about every 10 to 15 days as I am a physical wreck )
avatar
plantoid

Male Posts : 3734
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 66

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Cool compost

Post  lburgess on 4/12/2013, 7:16 pm

Checked compost when I got home, same temp as yesterday around 82 or so , very little browns (wood chips) left solid. I added two handfuls of alfalfa pellets and gave it a little water, turned it and will keep a check on temps this weekend. What is left of the grass clippings are very crumbly and dark brown this may be close to done.

Thank you all for your help and advice, I look forward to participating in more discussions in the future Smile
avatar
lburgess

Male Posts : 7
Join date : 2013-04-12
Age : 53
Location : Dallas Texas

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Cool compost

Post  camprn on 4/12/2013, 7:31 pm

WOW! that's awesomely quick compost!! lucky you!!!
alrighta

____________________________

41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



avatar
camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14165
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 55
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Cool compost

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


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