Square Foot Gardening Forum

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.


Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing December 2016
by AtlantaMarie Today at 6:25 am

» N&C Midwest: December 2016
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 10:32 pm

» Mid-South: December 2016
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 10:26 pm

» Mid-Atl - Dec 2016 - Seed Catalog ?
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 10:24 pm

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 10:21 pm

» 1st Seed Catalog Arrived :)
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 10:15 pm

» Tomato Tuesday 2016
by AtlantaMarie Yesterday at 8:06 pm

» Holy snow Batman!
by donnainzone5 Yesterday at 4:40 pm

» Second Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 4:06 pm

» TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 4:01 pm

» Amaranth
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 12:06 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 12:03 pm

» Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave
by donnainzone5 Yesterday at 11:14 am

» Live and learn
by jimmy cee Yesterday at 9:08 am

» New England, December 2016
by sanderson Yesterday at 4:09 am

» AtlantaMarie's Garden
by countrynaturals 12/4/2016, 2:04 pm

» Mychorrhizae Fungi
by audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/4/2016, 1:28 pm

» December 2016 Avatar: Show your Winter Season Colors!
by Scorpio Rising 12/3/2016, 11:17 pm

» SFG not giving the results I expected
by No_Such_Reality 12/3/2016, 7:21 pm

» New Member
by trolleydriver 12/3/2016, 4:14 pm

» First season SFG results / lessons learned
by countrynaturals 12/3/2016, 10:36 am

» Eat Broccoli Leaves? Brussels Sprouts? Cauliflower?
by sanderson 12/3/2016, 2:55 am

» Winter's Coming!
by sanderson 12/3/2016, 2:53 am

» Dry versus fresh spices to infuse vinegar
by sanderson 12/3/2016, 2:50 am

» 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by sanderson 12/3/2016, 1:28 am

» Senseless Banter...
by MrBooker 12/2/2016, 5:17 pm

» Blanching and Freezing Vegetables
by sanderson 12/2/2016, 4:59 pm

» Your Christmas wish list?
by sanderson 12/2/2016, 4:29 pm

» SFG Adventure of a first time gardener in ND
by sanderson 12/2/2016, 4:14 pm

» Fusion Life Brands Power XL pressure cooker
by CapeCoddess 12/2/2016, 2:39 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Page 4 of 16 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 10 ... 16  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  sanderson on 10/22/2014, 1:04 pm

GS, The temp will be lower for a few hours after turning. Then, it will heat up again, as long as there is material that is still composting.

I'm excited that you and Audrey are using the Berkeley method. I think I was the only active member using it. Are you keeping a log?

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Fresno, CA
Click for weather forecast

sanderson

Forum Administrator

Female Posts : 12262
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Compost Log

Post  grownsunshine on 10/22/2014, 4:41 pm

Yep, keeping a log. Just bought a composting thermometer on Amazon.  Now logging my temps will be easier and more accurate.Very Happy  I'm starting to love the Berkeley method. I love the smell of hot steamy poo...that's what I tell my wife...lol! But really the steam has such a nice earthy smell that gets me so excited about my next crop.

I would do Back to Eden if I had a large property, but since I live in the burbs Berkeley is perfect for me.

grownsunshine

Posts : 255
Join date : 2013-05-22
Location : So Cal: Zone 10a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  sanderson on 10/22/2014, 8:28 pm

@grownsunshine wrote:Yep, keeping a log. Just bought a composting thermometer on Amazon.   since I live in the burbs Berkeley is perfect for me.
 The thermometer can double as a mix thermometer to see when the beds are warm enough for direct sowing in the spring.  Berkeley is perfect for burbites.

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Fresno, CA
Click for weather forecast

sanderson

Forum Administrator

Female Posts : 12262
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  plantoid on 10/22/2014, 10:02 pm

GS ,
Have I understood this right ?    You are forever adding new stuff to your heap ?


 If so at some point you have to stop adding things to the heap and then turn it over several time over the 18 day period only adding a spray or three of water it over to get the final quality compostresult.

If you keep adding heat producing materials thinking the high temp is good for weeks & weeks your wasting a lot of time & energy and it will never be a true finished compost.


 Re :-
Your thermometer ....... A simple very very cheap digital one with a probe/sensing head on a yard of sensing cable is ideal , Simply  slip the sensing head / probe down a yard long copper tube pushed deep in the pile.

plantoid

Male Posts : 3636
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 65

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 10/22/2014, 11:21 pm

I'm probably on my 6th or 7th Berkeley Method pile, been doing it a couple years now. I used to be so uptight about getting it just right. What I've learned over time is if you didn't get the mix right, just keep adding whatever you were short of and start it over again.

Once you're getting over 130-140 finish out that pile, it will be good enough. Not every pile gets all the way up to 160.

If you can't turn on a specific day, it will keep. All that will happen is it will take a little longer. If your pile is interrupted by life events, it will shift into regular compost mode and continue to take care of itself. This happened to me this spring when I had an unexpected medical emergency trip for my step-father's quadruple bypass. When I got home, it had continued to break down quite a bit but had gone cold. I just sifted the pile to get what was finished and put the big pieces back in to start a new one.

I've become a very relaxed composter Very Happy

audrey.jeanne.roberts

Posts : 1866
Join date : 2012-12-07
Location : Central Calif Mtns.

View user profile http://audreyjeanne-roberts.artistwebsites.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  sanderson on 10/23/2014, 3:28 am

way to go  I guess I didn't realize you have been doing it all along. Embarassed

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Fresno, CA
Click for weather forecast

sanderson

Forum Administrator

Female Posts : 12262
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  jimmy cee on 10/23/2014, 8:18 am

@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:
I've become a very relaxed composter Very Happy
My sentiments exactly

jimmy cee

Certified SFG Instructor

Male Posts : 1848
Join date : 2013-02-16
Age : 81
Location : Indiana PA....zone 5

View user profile http://www.jcjigs.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  camprn on 10/23/2014, 10:03 am

@jimmy cee wrote:
@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:
I've become a very relaxed composter Very Happy
My sentiments exactly
+1  sawing logs

____________________________

40 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

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13983
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
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: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  grownsunshine on 10/23/2014, 12:31 pm

plantoid - nope, I only added additional greens and equal amounts of additional browns on the 2nd day to try to make the 5 different greens . Since then I haven't added anything else, except maybe more moisture and some fish emulsion. I already bought a 20" thermometer. We'll see how that works after it arrives and I'll make modifications if needed (using your idea).

You guys are a crack up!! I know I'm a bit excited right now  silly me . Maybe after a couple of piles and after I figure out what I'm doing, I'll add myself as another relaxed composting cucumber like you guys...a +1 Cool ... 

grownsunshine

Posts : 255
Join date : 2013-05-22
Location : So Cal: Zone 10a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  sanderson on 10/23/2014, 1:51 pm

@grownsunshine wrote: the 5 different greens.

??  I'm confused.  I don't think most folks have 5 sources of greens for the composting process.  I know I don't.  Some browns (dried leaves or grass, hay or straw, clean sawdust), some coffee grounds, some manure, maybe green grass, and various chopped up produce.  Those near the oceans may have seaweed or lobster shells to add but the rest of us have to make due.

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Fresno, CA
Click for weather forecast

sanderson

Forum Administrator

Female Posts : 12262
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  grownsunshine on 10/23/2014, 2:46 pm

Sorry I didn't explain myself very well. The compost I have has 5 different sources of greens (=nitrogen)? I think I only have 4 (horse manure, cow manure, chicken manure & coffee grounds), plus supplements of fish emulsion and a few veggie waste items to equal 5 (sort of). I only have 1 source of browns (carbon) which is brown grass. I used equal amounts of greens and browns measured using 5 gallon buckets.

I think my lingo (greens vs browns) was taken from different site I was reading, which didn't translate very well.  Embarassed

grownsunshine

Posts : 255
Join date : 2013-05-22
Location : So Cal: Zone 10a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 10/23/2014, 2:54 pm

@sanderson wrote:way to go  I guess I didn't realize you have been doing it all along. Embarassed
No biggie, LOL!!! Just love having company on the journey

audrey.jeanne.roberts

Posts : 1866
Join date : 2012-12-07
Location : Central Calif Mtns.

View user profile http://audreyjeanne-roberts.artistwebsites.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  grownsunshine on 10/24/2014, 12:14 pm

@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:
@sanderson wrote:way to go  I guess I didn't realize you have been doing it all along. Embarassed
No biggie, LOL!!!  Just love having company on the journey
I love sharing the journey too!   Back to you.

grownsunshine

Posts : 255
Join date : 2013-05-22
Location : So Cal: Zone 10a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 10/24/2014, 1:39 pm

Coffee and a compost check is a great routine Laughing  145 degrees this morning after turning yesterday afternoon.  I have this persistent bull frog that is loving my pile.  I've almost speared him the last two times I've turned it.  I hope he gets a little smarter about it over time!

This is my very first stinky pile - probably a little heavy on the manure.  Parts have a really nice earthy smell but when I get to the bottom it's not composting as well and is pretty strong smelling.  I may have to turn this one a little longer than usual.  It's getting better each turn though.

No.  Two.  Piles.  Are.  Alike.

EVER!

LOL!

audrey.jeanne.roberts

Posts : 1866
Join date : 2012-12-07
Location : Central Calif Mtns.

View user profile http://audreyjeanne-roberts.artistwebsites.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  plantoid on 10/24/2014, 4:52 pm

Wink AJR last but third line ...... Sounds like haemorrhoids.

plantoid

Male Posts : 3636
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 65

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  CapeCoddess on 10/24/2014, 5:17 pm

funny post  rofl

CapeCoddess

Posts : 5368
Join date : 2012-05-20
Age : 60
Location : elbow of the Cape, MA, Zone 6b/7a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  grownsunshine on 10/24/2014, 6:17 pm

@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:Coffee and a compost check is a great routine Laughing  145 degrees this morning after turning yesterday afternoon.  I have this persistent bull frog that is loving my pile.  I've almost speared him the last two times I've turned it.  I hope he gets a little smarter about it over time!

This is my very first stinky pile - probably a little heavy on the manure.  Parts have a really nice earthy smell but when I get to the bottom it's not composting as well and is pretty strong smelling.  I may have to turn this one a little longer than usual.  It's getting better each turn though.

No.  Two.  Piles.  Are.  Alike.

EVER!

LOL!
Beautiful way to welcome the day...to take a moment, stop and smell the...compost. 145 - nice!! ...and you've found another Berkeley sojourner to join us. Ya! The more, the merrier!! I hope he stays safe too, so he can welcome you each day you visit him and enjoy some of the tasty compost morsels crawling around the pile while you enjoy your coffee.

I'm sure that when you turn your pile, the bottom stuff will air out and become beautiful like the rest of your pile, plus you'll get a full body workout in the process. My stuff is on the drier side, so I water it about every other time I turn it. 

No.  Two.  Piles.  Are.  Alike. I'll have to keep that in mind for next time. I'm sure I'll be posting for help again  Wink

PS - my 20" compost thermometer arrived today. Yahoo! 

Other than logging the days you turn the compost and the temperature, is there anything else you log?

grownsunshine

Posts : 255
Join date : 2013-05-22
Location : So Cal: Zone 10a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  grownsunshine on 10/24/2014, 6:46 pm

Plantoid - I'm crackin up!!  darn funny

grownsunshine

Posts : 255
Join date : 2013-05-22
Location : So Cal: Zone 10a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  sanderson on 10/24/2014, 7:51 pm

@grownsunshine wrote:
PS - my 20" compost thermometer arrived today. Yahoo!

Other than logging the days you turn the compost and the temperature, is there anything else you log?

Yeah on the thermometer arriving! At the top of the page, I list the ingredients I was able to find.  I also note if and when I have to water, and how much the pile has shrunk every few days.[/quote]

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Fresno, CA
Click for weather forecast

sanderson

Forum Administrator

Female Posts : 12262
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 10/24/2014, 10:03 pm

Sanderson is the "detail oriented" gardener.  Me... not so much, LOL!  I'm an artist by profession so that will give you a hint as to my organizational skills.

I throw stuff together.  It looks right.  I call it a pile.

I check the temps to see if things seem to be progressing and if they are I start the process.  If they aren't I adjust the mix and watch temps again.

I rarely write days down (and if I did I'd probably lose it).  I try to fix in my mind the date it "should" be finished (last one was my birthday, next one election day) but if I turn it a few times too many, no biggy!  You can tell when it's getting ready.  It starts to cool down and it's brown, crumbly and smells good.

audrey.jeanne.roberts

Posts : 1866
Join date : 2012-12-07
Location : Central Calif Mtns.

View user profile http://audreyjeanne-roberts.artistwebsites.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 10/25/2014, 12:07 pm

153 degrees this morning, I'll turn it this evening.  Very Happy

audrey.jeanne.roberts

Posts : 1866
Join date : 2012-12-07
Location : Central Calif Mtns.

View user profile http://audreyjeanne-roberts.artistwebsites.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  sanderson on 10/25/2014, 12:30 pm


____________________________

Find more about Weather in Fresno, CA
Click for weather forecast

sanderson

Forum Administrator

Female Posts : 12262
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  grownsunshine on 10/25/2014, 12:51 pm

153!!! Nice!!! You are definitely a Hottie! Your throwing the pile together method is really working well.

Note to self: log watering days. I think my pile is too dry...not wet like a wrung towel. I'll water a bit more than before when I turn it tomorrow. Hopefully that will promote more microbial/bacterial growth and increase the heat of the pile a bit...we'll see. Logging and getting a sense of the right texture should help me for the next pile. Thanks for the input.

Organizationally, I guess I'm between both of you guys but on the less organized side = unorganized for someone with an accounting background... Embarassed ...LOL!!

grownsunshine

Posts : 255
Join date : 2013-05-22
Location : So Cal: Zone 10a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 10/25/2014, 3:25 pm

Because my fresh manure source is sun baked and bone dry, I start my pile by deep soaking the manure.  Every wheel barrow load gets soaked for about an hour before tossing it in to create the pile.  That helps a lot.

Then I water about every 3rd time I turn the pile.  It always drops the temp for a while when watering so don't panic :-)

audrey.jeanne.roberts

Posts : 1866
Join date : 2012-12-07
Location : Central Calif Mtns.

View user profile http://audreyjeanne-roberts.artistwebsites.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  April on 10/25/2014, 10:11 pm

After reading all your inspiring posts I decided to start a Berkley pile 13 days ago.  This is my first time really putting any effort into composting and I think it's going pretty well.  I'm a little confused on the temps though.  Is the pile suppose to be kept hot the whole 18 days (130 to 150)?  Thanks for clearing this up for me!

April

Female Posts : 31
Join date : 2012-05-14
Age : 45
Location : Michigan

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost: Berkeley 18 day [hot] method

Post  Sponsored content Today at 7:14 am


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 4 of 16 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 10 ... 16  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


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