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Sifting compost and finding the finished

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Sifting compost and finding the finished

Post  flower76 on 5/23/2013, 11:41 am

I am wondering if it works to just have one pile that I continue to add too and turn. Will finished compost be able to be sifted from newer, Uncomposed material? I figure the balance stays the same of greens to browns as we go through the seasons.

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Re: Sifting compost and finding the finished

Post  Kelejan on 5/23/2013, 4:29 pm

Flower, I feel that after you have your first pile reach a certain size, a second should be started and the first one left to finish. Continually adding fresh stuff, you will never get it completely finished and you will only make more work sifting.
After sifting the first one, any large lumps can be added to the second pile to help it in its way. Very Happy

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Re: Sifting compost and finding the finished

Post  Triciasgarden on 5/23/2013, 11:33 pm

+1

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Re: Sifting compost and finding the finished

Post  greatgranny on 5/24/2013, 4:00 pm

Okay so the temp goes down to "cold" and it's time to turn and/or sift. Compost is in a bin like this:



It has settled from the top down to the second level. Whether I sift or just turn, it is not deep enough to just leave it without building it up. I don't like to make a new pile outside the bin. (varmints galore in my woods)

Should I sift as much as possible and then see how deep it is with the unfinished stuff? Would you recommend how much lower should my bin go before I use what's left as a starter for the new batch?

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Re: Sifting compost and finding the finished

Post  flower76 on 5/24/2013, 4:18 pm

Yes, this is what I mean! Thanks great granny

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Re: Sifting compost and finding the finished

Post  plantoid on 5/24/2013, 6:13 pm

GG & fklower ,
I found my test compost " let alone bin " was only 1/3 of reasonably composted material down at the bottom ..that was the bin I never turned over , I just kept adding to it for 15 months or so .

Even then the bottom third had lots of stuff that had to go back into the composting cycle as it was not broken down enough .

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Re: Sifting compost and finding the finished

Post  greatgranny on 5/24/2013, 6:52 pm

I decided to turn it and found that most of it was not done and decided to not sift. We've had at least 5 inches of rain this past week and I know that some of it got into the bin - not immense amounts but enough to make the compost wet and packed down. By turning it I broke up some of the compacted areas and now it is higher than when I started.

So, how do I get the heat back up? If I'm not to add more - which I agree with - should I allow it to dry out a bit and add some urine?

Although I really don't need any compost at the moment it is nice to have it done and another batch started before we get to the winter months.

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Re: Sifting compost and finding the finished

Post  flower76 on 5/24/2013, 8:00 pm

I would turn it even if I kept adding to it

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Re: Sifting compost and finding the finished

Post  Triciasgarden on 5/24/2013, 8:58 pm

It may just heat back up on its own because you have gotten oxygen back into it. They say to dilute the urine and since you have plenty of water in your pile, I would just make some holes in the top and let it trickle down into the pile and it will dilute itself some. There is a good chance by turning it and adding the urine that it will heat back up. Someone may come along with better information.

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