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Restart Compost Bin

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Restart Compost Bin

Post  H_TX_2 on Mon 10 Mar 2014 - 7:59

I made a compost tumbler out of a blue 55 gallon drum before the winter and added some things to it. I only recently finished building the stand for the tumbler so until a few weeks ago my tumbler was just sitting on the ground and not doing any actual tumbling. The stuff in the tumbler that sat all winter was a little dry and I could still recognize the material so it was not finished compost. Now that I can turn the tumbler I have added some kitchen scraps, some more dried leaves and a little water. I added some blood meal a couple weeks ago and added some more yesterday along with a lot more kitchen scraps and some dry leaves and pine needles. If I grab a handful and squeeze it no water drips out of my hands but it is still plenty moist; I hope that is the correct moisture level.

I have tried spinning the tumbler and letting it sit for a couple days but it never seems to heat up. I know the best way is to put everything at one time but that didn't happen and now I am trying to get this batch to really heat up and start cooking. does anyone have suggestions on how to restart this batch.

Are there some leaves that don't work very well in a quick compost tumbler? A big tree in my yard drops a lot of leaves and these make up a big portion of my leaves. They seem to be a bit smooth and waxy; they feel like they wouldn't break down very quickly. I will need to take a leaf into the garden center and ask if they can tell my what type of tree it is.
-After a quick google search the leaves might be from a live oak. The leaves look very similiar and the squirrels bury very similar looking acorns in my SFG.


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Re: Restart Compost Bin

Post  yolos on Mon 10 Mar 2014 - 19:47

My leaves are all live oak.  I run them thru my shredder 3 times and they still take forever to break down.  I have to keep adding greens to the bin to try and bring the temperature back up.  Seems the greens compost real fast but the leaves take forever.

This year I started to put all my extra live oak leaves in an extra bin.  I keep them damp and after a while the waxiness disappears and the leaves start to turn dark brown.  By that time I hope to have green grass to add to the leaves that have partially started to decompose.  From what I have heard, live oak leaves have a lot of ligin (I Think) and they take forever to begin to break down.


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