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Are you a hottie?

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  morganfam7 on 4/17/2012, 9:41 pm

@Too Tall Tomatoes wrote:
The highest temperature today was 161. I put the thermometer in another part of the pile and it dropped down to about 156F but then since increased to 159F.
It's just amazing. What a Face

I would turn it when it's about 140...if you turn your pile when it starts to cool off, then it will kick back up a little bit (as you probably know). In your case...since it got so hot, I would wait until it's 140 or so. Anything over 130 is killing weed seeds and pathogens, so you're good! Congrats on such a hot pile!

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/17/2012, 11:48 pm

@morganfam7 wrote:
@Too Tall Tomatoes wrote:
The highest temperature today was 161. I put the thermometer in another part of the pile and it dropped down to about 156F but then since increased to 159F.
It's just amazing. What a Face

I would turn it when it's about 140...if you turn your pile when it starts to cool off, then it will kick back up a little bit (as you probably know). In your case...since it got so hot, I would wait until it's 140 or so. Anything over 130 is killing weed seeds and pathogens, so you're good! Congrats on such a hot pile!

Actually, the compost is done What a Face It's just sitting in the bin till I get screened topsoil for the bottom of the boxes.
600 pounds of rabbit poop?? Shocked Seems like an awful lot.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  morganfam7 on 4/18/2012, 1:23 am

Yeah, it was a lot of work too. I think there was a whole lot of urine in there, so the manure may be hotter than I figured. That mulch has to have a lot of N to break down. Basically I felt like I was salting the rabbit manure with the mulch. I think I'm going to sneak out there and see if the temp is rising...if I got the ratio right, it should show a rise within 24 hours.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/18/2012, 8:16 am

@morganfam7 wrote:Yeah, it was a lot of work too. I think there was a whole lot of urine in there, so the manure may be hotter than I figured. That mulch has to have a lot of N to break down. Basically I felt like I was salting the rabbit manure with the mulch. I think I'm going to sneak out there and see if the temp is rising...if I got the ratio right, it should show a rise within 24 hours.

You're right.....mulch is awfully woody. I'm anxious to see the progression of this pile.

600 pounds of poop? I wonder how long it took this rabbits to generate that. lol!

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  morganfam7 on 4/18/2012, 6:07 pm

It's around 100 now..got my fingers crossed.

My son wants to raise rabbits for 4H, so we were looking at this guy's rabbits. He has a whole lot of rabbit poop generated every day! affraid

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  morganfam7 on 4/18/2012, 6:09 pm

ooops, meant to ask about when you turned your pile...did it shoot back up there? I bet it looks wonderful now. Very Happy

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/18/2012, 6:36 pm

@morganfam7 wrote:ooops, meant to ask about when you turned your pile...did it shoot back up there? I bet it looks wonderful now. Very Happy

Yes.....the couple of times I turned the pile since the beginning of March, the temperature did climb.
Not only does it look good, it also smells pretty darn good What a Face

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  morganfam7 on 4/18/2012, 7:07 pm

Yay for you!!

I meant to tell you that the tumbler compost smells a little sour like it's fermenting. Not getting enough air, I'm sure. I wish I would have remembered to put it in the pile yesterday.

I heard a great idea that I'm going to try. I'm going to drill the holes bigger (1/4 inch or so) and use the tumbler as a sifter for finished compost. My worms are pretty much eating all our scraps now. I'll just put any extra veggie scraps in a freezer bag I have in the freezer door...saving up for a rainy day for the worms. The tumbler by the back door was originally there to save the kids from having to walk to the back, especially at night, to put stuff in the compost. Since it didn't work like I thought it would, I will settle for a tumbling sifter. I hope that works.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  GWN on 4/18/2012, 10:39 pm

Well I clearly need some POO. I have layered my compost and built it up to about 4 feet and think I got my ratios right, but this is my temp

It is good because as you can see it is warmer than the outside temp, but it has been at 80 for the past week. It started at 40 so I feel I am making headway, but feel I am going to need to turn it and add something.....
Just not sure what :scratch:

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  morganfam7 on 4/19/2012, 2:45 am

Did you water it while you were layering? What did you put in it?

I went for my Master Composter refresher course last weekend, and the teacher said if you're short on Nitrogen you can add the cheapest dog food (composed of grains) to your pile. I'm a little leery of that until I read the labels, but he said it was fine. Of course cottonseed meal or blood meal or alfalfa pellets will really help get the N up (sprinkles not shovelfulls of those!) If you didn't water the pile, though, I'm not sure it will heat up much. Maybe you can poke holes down in different spots starting in the middle of the pile and then pour water in there.

The pile we made in class was made of leaves and grass, and someone was spraying the pile the ENTIRE time we were building it. (12 big black bags of leaves and loads of grass) Two days later it was 146!

I dumped buckets and buckets and buckets of water on my last pile while I was building it even though the rabbit manure was already wet. I'm at 117 right now - a little over 24 hours after building it. Hopefully I can get it beyond 130...not sure I'm gonna make that, though.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  GWN on 4/19/2012, 9:03 am

wow that is soooo cool
The pile is straw and leaves, last years garden stuff, dried lawn clippings, leftovers from last years tumbler, which never quite broke down.
There was some manure. I think it was well watered.
It is still pretty cold here at night, so I have covered it with a large tarp, I read where you needed some insulation, it is still freezing here some nights.

So for your refresher course, was it all leaves??
I have a forest behind me and thus, all of last years leaves, perhaps I should start over.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  morganfam7 on 4/19/2012, 6:50 pm

The refresher course pile was leaves and fresh green grass. The Parks department had just mowed, so I think that's where the grass came from. It was about equal parts layered.

What would be your Nitrogen source and how much? The leaves and grass worked in equal parts because the grass is maybe close to 20:1 and the leaves are 40:1...and you're looking for a 30:1 C to N ratio. At first when I saw that 30:1, I thought they were talking about volume, but that's about the C:N in the pile.

Gotta run, they are waiting on me to eat, but I'll be back. My pile is over 120 today, so I may make that 130 mark yet.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  morganfam7 on 4/19/2012, 8:43 pm

here's the picture from my pile - 126 F:


I looked up straw and it's somewhere around 80:1 and leaves are 40-80:1.

Compost is an art not a science, but I have been working the science side to get close.

1# straw 80:1 80:1
1# leaves 40:1 40:1
3.5# alfalfa 13:1 45.5:3.5
----------------------
165.5:5.5 = about 30:1

--or--

using the same method, for every 2# straw and leaves you could add

3# rabbit manure or--
3# cottonseed meal or--
3# bone meal or--
2.5# blood meal or--
5# cow manure or--
16# horse manure or--
5# hair / coffee grounds / veg scraps (one or in combination) or--
6# fresh cut grass or--
3# new spring fresh cut grass


If your original pile wasn't close to that kind of ratio, then you're short on nitrogen. Last year's garden waste and the dried grass clippings probably are more in the C category than the N, imo.

Someone who knows more than me might know about your low air temps, but I really don't think that's causing your pile to not heat up. I don't think it would affect it -60 degrees F. Oh wait, you were talking F, right? What a Face

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  morganfam7 on 4/20/2012, 3:15 pm

@GWN wrote:
It is still pretty cold here at night, so I have covered it with a large tarp, I read where you needed some insulation, it is still freezing here some nights.

Our temperature dropped about 10 degrees last night and the rabbit manure / mulch pile is up to 138 now, so as long as you have the mass (at least 3x3x3) I don't think the air temperature will affect the internal temperature of your pile that much. I realize that you are MUCH colder than we are.

You could rebuild with more Nitrogen. That's what I had to do for this pile.



PS I did see that your pile was at 80F (and it started at 40F) after hitting reply above. I couldn't see the picture again until after I replied. Very Happy

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  GWN on 4/21/2012, 10:01 am

OK

I am SOOO excited...
I rebuilt my pile. I found a large quantity of leaves from a tree along our property line. Think that the leaves had been there for a few years.
Also got into my neighbours lawn pile (I am sure he will not notice).
Then went around the back acre and picked up a bucket of deer poop. Not a huge amount.
I had a pretty good sized bucket of kitchen compost and large container of coffee grounds.
So then I layered the pile, and watered very frequently like you said. Oh I also took out the last years vines from the tomatoes (too big)

Before I rebuilt it the temp was 78, and after I rebuilt it, the temp was 78. It froze here last night and there is frost on everything.
HOWEVER the temp of the pile is 82. Very Happy
Thanks for the advice

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/21/2012, 10:05 am

@GWN wrote:Before I rebuilt it the temp was 78, and after I rebuilt it, the temp was 78. It froze here last night and there is frost on everything.
HOWEVER the temp of the pile is 82. Very Happy
Thanks for the advice

That's excellent. What a Face

Whenever I would rebuild my pile, I would see an average increase of 5-10 degrees per day.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  GWN on 4/21/2012, 10:16 am

thanks TTT
After reading what morganfamily wrote I was out checking every hour yesterday.
I am going away for a few days, so it should be really hot when I get back on Friday

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/21/2012, 10:19 am

@GWN wrote:thanks TTT
After reading what morganfamily wrote I was out checking every hour yesterday.
I am going away for a few days, so it should be really hot when I get back on Friday

Hey....I was checking my compost temperatures at nighttime with a flashlight. If my neighbors saw me, they must've thought I was nuts.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  GWN on 4/21/2012, 10:44 am

they must've thought I was nuts.
....... Aren't you lol!
I have one of those remote thermometers that I have next to my bedside and monitor the hoop house temp...too bad that it does not have the probe otherwise I COULD watch the temp of my compost pile from inside.... lol!

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/21/2012, 1:30 pm

@GWN wrote:
they must've thought I was nuts.
....... Aren't you lol!
I have one of those remote thermometers that I have next to my bedside and monitor the hoop house temp...too bad that it does not have the probe otherwise I COULD watch the temp of my compost pile from inside.... lol!


Am I nuts??
Does a bear you-know-what in the woods??

I think rooster has one of those remote thermometers in his compost. If he doesn't I know SOMEONE here does.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  GWN on 4/21/2012, 9:37 pm

well by the end of the day today it was up to 88, ... Very Happy just in case anyone was wondering.... lol!

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/21/2012, 11:03 pm

@GWN wrote:well by the end of the day today it was up to 88, ... Very Happy just in case anyone was wondering.... lol!

6 degree increase over the day is excellent What a Face

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  GWN on 4/22/2012, 9:45 am

I have to say I find this totally amazing. Nature DOES really blow me away sometimes.
It is up to 94 degrees this morning and though I did not measure the height (should have), but the pile looks a bit smaller.
I have been composting the cold way for years and always found that amazing, but this takes it to a whole new level.
I have a friend who I have SOLD ON SFG. good job!
He is just getting the stuff together, and he is the one who is going to watch my garden when i am away.
He (like me) lives in bear territory and has never composted for fear of attracting bears. He ALSO is finding that buying all that compost for mels mix is too expensive for him.
SO I was thrilled to be able to show him my pile yesterday, AND he will be the one who will be checking it all week.
I am sure by the end of the week, he will be making his own pile.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  GWN on 4/22/2012, 9:57 am



Just in case EVIDENCE is required for the hottie club. Sorry for the blurriness it is EARLY here, not lots of light

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  RoOsTeR on 4/22/2012, 10:13 am

I'm always down for Hottie confirmation Razz
Congrats GWN It's an amazing process for sure.
How long is your probe? I would bet if you were able to get it down deep more towards the middle, you would be even hotter.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

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