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starting a new compost pile

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Re: starting a new compost pile

Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/14/2014, 7:37 am

NICE!  Looks wonderful!  Can't wait till mine looks like that.
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Re: starting a new compost pile

Post  southern gardener on 4/16/2014, 6:22 pm

The first pile is almost all screened. The second pile is that 140° Wahoo!!  Welp, there was supposed to be a picture with the thermometer at 140, but it won't post Smile
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Re: starting a new compost pile

Post  sanderson on 4/16/2014, 11:15 pm

I started a new pile 4-7 and it reached 160* 4-9.  I turned it Berkeley style 4-11 and it's been at 150* since 4-13 (today being 4-16).  If I have the energy, I will do a Berkeley tomorrow.  This is the first time I have used horse manure (any manure) so I really want it as hot as it can be for as long as it can.

The 8" of screenings from last fall's pile have made a nice worm hotel. I put some dying bait worms in it a few weeks ago (about 2 months) and I've seen 2 in 2 trowel full! It's under the orange tree so it stays shady.


Last edited by sanderson on 4/16/2014, 11:18 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added re: worms)
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Re: starting a new compost pile

Post  southern gardener on 4/17/2014, 12:18 am

@sanderson wrote:I started a new pile 4-7 and it reached 160* 4-9.  I turned it Berkeley style 4-11 and it's been at 150* since 4-13 (today being 4-16).  If I have the energy, I will do a Berkeley tomorrow.  This is the first time I have used horse manure (any manure) so I really want it as hot as it can be for as long as it can.

The 8" of screenings from last fall's pile have made a nice worm hotel.  I put some dying bait worms in it a few weeks ago (about 2 months) and I've seen 2 in 2 trowel full!  It's under the orange tree so it stays shady.
that's awesome! I can't turn my piles due to my problems, so they have to do it on their own.  I WISH I could. I love to shovel Sad  There are literally HUNDREDS of worms in the piles. I would say there were hundreds in a shovel full. My grandson said it looked like spaghetti!  crazy! Our piles are under our navel orange tree too. The oranges are HUGE and so sweet! I'm guessing it's from all that compost sitting on it's roots!!  Smile
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Re: starting a new compost pile

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 4/17/2014, 1:56 pm

So, SG, how long would you say it took to get that compost without turning?  I'm thinking of starting some compost piles that I just let sit and water from time to time (we're such a dry climate nothing happens without it being watered)  

I can hot compost for quick needs, but it's a lot of work for as much compost as I need to generate for my large gardens.
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Re: starting a new compost pile

Post  southern gardener on 4/17/2014, 2:01 pm

@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:So, SG, how long would you say it took to get that compost without turning?  I'm thinking of starting some compost piles that I just let sit and water from time to time (we're such a dry climate nothing happens without it being watered)  

I can hot compost for quick needs, but it's a lot of work for as much compost as I need to generate for my large gardens.

Audrey, I started this post in September, so that puts it at about 7 months. I have a feeling the bottom part of the pile was ready quite a while ago, since parts of it is almost PURE worms. We have 4 big barrels, and filled them all to the top. I think we could probably get another barrel or two, but we're out of barrels!  LOL. We did wet it down from time to time, because like you, we are in a drought area. I'd say we probably wet it down 3 times?? Not bad! There were some areas what were almost all wood chips (left over from our BTE stuff) and that seems to be where most of the worms hung out. Interesting??!! There were shovel fulls that were literally almost pure worms!!
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Re: starting a new compost pile

Post  Triciasgarden on 4/17/2014, 7:57 pm

Wonderful results all of you!
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Re: starting a new compost pile

Post  sanderson on 4/19/2014, 1:08 am

I Berkeley turned the pile today, inside stuff to the outside, outside stuff to the inside. The pitchfork I bought at HD is perfect for my back. The temp is back up to 110*F right now and if it gets to 135-140* I'll be happy. I don't know if I will use fresh horse manure again as they are bigger chunks that the chopped produce I used last summer.

On a side note, there were some small (pecan size) pieces of manure and I thought, "Wonder if the worms would like them." Each worm tube had at least one worm visible!! They are alive!  Very Happy 
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