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Are you a hottie?

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 12/3/2011, 11:17 pm

Before last week, the only time I kept my compost covered was during the rain. Now it's covered all of the time because I'm not really doing anything to it till March

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 12/3/2011, 11:18 pm

@Furbalsmom wrote:
@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:Now, as an egomaniac.....errrr, man.....I had to take the meat thermometer out and see the "official" temperature of the Pile of Pleasantry. Air temp about 38. Pile temp about 56.

Told you I was a luke-warmy.

BBG - You need to buy your wife a new meat thermometer.

You use hers too often in too many objectionable ways. Laughing

Would it surprise you it's mine? And would it surprise you that I rarely use it for cooking anything? Haha, I've mastered the Q....no need to check the temps in the meat. (Did I mention egomaniac earlier?)

Now, where else can I stick that thing? (Minds out of the gutters. I was thinking about the fridge, basement, or garage.)

By the way, Fubalsmom, how did your potatoes do? PM me. I never saw results in our thread.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  Lindacol on 12/3/2011, 11:27 pm

@arla wrote:Well, I just ripped my pile apart today and rebuilt it, since it was fairly mixed I couldn't really do 4inchs of one material, 4 inchs of another, just not possible, but I did add a lot of water (parts of the pile looked like it was becoming mummified rather than composting! So I think it was definitely too dry).

Temperature after finishing was 50 degrees, we'll see how it does over the next week.

How do all you hotties add water to the pile?

My quess it it will heat up a lot in the next 2-3 days

I water mine mostly by pushing the water hose down into the pile for a foot or more and letting it run for maybe 10-15 seconds in several places. I figure this also helps aerate the pile. If I try pouring water on the top without making holes it just runs off. My thermometer is only 6 inches long but at that depth gets up to 140F and stays over well over 100F for a number of days. This is in dry so CA and if it has not rained heavily I find I need to water about once a week.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  arla on 12/4/2011, 9:21 am

Great information in this thread! Hoping it definitely helps my pile, and the tips on how much to water are al good, given that this year we've not had much water in N CA yet.

So my final question, how do people turn the piles, I've coming to the conclusion that some actually take the entire pile out, re-layer it (watering as they go), others just stick a fork in and twist it lots, are there other ways I'm missing? I'm guessing that pulling the pile out is the "better" way to do it since it definitely breaks everything up more, the problem is that takes quite a bit of time and energy (and I'm not sure my 3.5 year old will enjoy helping do it!)

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 12/4/2011, 9:33 am

I never actually turned the pile from bottom to top. I have an add-as-you-go pile and I would just turn the most recent additions. Or sometimes I would stick my pitchfork in it and kind of mix it or fluff it up. Alot depends on how my back is feeling at that moment.
Somebody told me that I should get one of those compost aerators like this......



All you do is stick that in the pile and pull. Those winged thingies at the end will pull the stuff from the center of the pile and bring it outward. I don't know how well they actually work(I have to get one) but I hear that they work well.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  arla on 12/4/2011, 9:36 am

@camprn wrote:

Yeah, that really doesn't work here in CA, there just isn't enough of it, I thought it would work since we're now in the rainy season, but it's not rained in weeks.

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Cold Comfort Compost

Post  tomperrin on 1/15/2012, 1:20 pm

My newest compost pile is of shavings/sawdust bedding horse manure - Consequently, a lot of the pile's energy is going into breaking down the wood products despite the high concentration of horse product. Temperature of the pile was consistently in the mid 40'sF. During the last three day rain, I put a heavy weed barrier cloth over the top, and the pile immediately went to 52F and has stayed there despite the outside temp dropping to 20F. I add kitchen veggie scraps/coffee grounds daily. Today, I filled my coffee can of scraps with hot water from the tap. I'll be curious to see if that has any effect over the next 24 hours.

In the meantime, I've located sources for straw and chicken manure, which will be added to this pile sometime next week. Theoretically, the pile should then heat up considerably.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  martha on 1/15/2012, 2:18 pm

When I had my horse, she was the neatest pooper in the barn, even when she lived in a big barn. When I had her, though, I didn't have time to garden. Now that I garden, I wish I had such easy access to neat piles of poop!

Okay, so I'm a horse-poop connoisseur, whaddya want from me?

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  RoOsTeR on 1/15/2012, 3:34 pm

I can send ya some if you want Martha Razz
I gots plenty!

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  martha on 1/15/2012, 9:38 pm

Thanks, NR, that would be great! And if you send it UPS ground, it should be aged by the time I get it! Razz Razz

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 3/10/2012, 9:28 am

I forgot about this thread so I thought I'd give it a bump.

I have approached "hottie" status again. My compost is at 130F. I'll take pictures later today.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  camprn on 3/10/2012, 9:37 am

@Too Tall Tomatoes wrote:I forgot about this thread so I thought I'd give it a bump.

I have approached "hottie" status again. My compost is at 130F. I'll take pictures later today.
Yup you're a Hottie! Congrats! What a Face

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 3/10/2012, 3:57 pm


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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  camprn on 3/10/2012, 4:11 pm

SO, TTT you want to leave it alone until the temp starts coming down 100F or less, then turn it over and do the process again. What a Face

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 3/10/2012, 4:28 pm

@camprn wrote:SO, TTT you want to leave it alone until the temp starts coming down 100F or less, then turn it over and do the process again. What a Face

Hey....I'll do whatever it takes for the compost to be ready by the beginning of May. I have the dried blood, so all I need to get is rabbit food which is cheap at the feed store in town

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  camprn on 3/10/2012, 5:32 pm

@Too Tall Tomatoes wrote:
@camprn wrote:SO, TTT you want to leave it alone until the temp starts coming down 100F or less, then turn it over and do the process again. What a Face

Hey....I'll do whatever it takes for the compost to be ready by the beginning of May. I have the dried blood, so all I need to get is rabbit food which is cheap at the feed store in town
You probably wont need the pellets if you lightly sprinkle the dried blood and water like last time. At least that has been my experience.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 3/10/2012, 6:30 pm

@camprn wrote:
@Too Tall Tomatoes wrote:
@camprn wrote:SO, TTT you want to leave it alone until the temp starts coming down 100F or less, then turn it over and do the process again. What a Face

Hey....I'll do whatever it takes for the compost to be ready by the beginning of May. I have the dried blood, so all I need to get is rabbit food which is cheap at the feed store in town
You probably wont need the pellets if you lightly sprinkle the dried blood and water like last time. At least that has been my experience.

I'll give it a shot then. Thanks for the tip.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/10/2012, 7:12 pm

TTT glad you're back! You inspired me yet again to get out and turn me pile With some warmer weather, it was basically all thawed out finally. There was a poop glacier here and there that I had to break up, but nothing major. I pulled up stakes and moved the bin over and just layered it back up with some fresh horse manure, cornmeal, and a few squirts of water and covered it back up with black plastic to help generate some heat Very Happy
My sister in law gave me an Earth Machine ? compost bin she had just sitting in her yard collecting dust, so I started a fresh batch in that bin as well. May not be the best, but hey it was free Very Happy

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 3/10/2012, 7:24 pm

Well Rooster, it is really good to be back. I'm glad I can provide some inspiration. I really forgot how much fun that this forum is. Full of all sorts of good information. And if I can give some advice to others, then I feel really good.

As soon as this batch of compost is done, I'm going to get one of those tumblers and make smaller batches of compost. It's nice seeing my compost pile working and I don't have to do much to it but as soon as it cools down, well then I just gotta put up with the discomfort of forking it around.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/10/2012, 7:48 pm

It felt soooo good being out working in the sun today. Very Happy

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 3/10/2012, 10:40 pm

It was nice being outside. I have always been a cold-weather person but now that spring is here, I really can't wait.

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I hope to be a hottie!

Post  morganfam7 on 3/15/2012, 9:12 pm

Hello, I'm new to posting here.

I just got a 55 gallon plastic drum today...and I filled it with free mulch from the landfill. Once I got it home, I added a case of rotten pears that a friend gave to me (lol, what a gift! I loved it).

As a side note, one of the kids was supposed to dump out some flour in the compost pile, but when I went back there this afternoon I saw it all over the ground in front of the pile. When I reached down to pick up a little chunk of plywood, I could feel the heat rising from the flour! We've had rain, so the ground was wet and the flour was caked on the top of the ground...anyways, I guess it was composting away!

Back to the drum, I eyeballed what I thought was 8 parts mulch to go with the 2 parts pears, and then I rolled the drum around the yard. I need to go and drill some holes in the barrel now even though it's dark. Maybe tomorrow or the next day I'll be a hottie. Very Happy If I achieve hottie status, I'll post a pic.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 3/15/2012, 11:52 pm

Welcome aboard morganfam7 Very Happy

Question......is this mulch you got from the landfill in big chunks, little chunks, or maybe mixed? The bigger they chunks are, the longer it's going to take to break down. You will have to add more green material. Those pears are a great addition but I would save every bit of veggie and fruit scrap you can generate and add that to the materials you're composting. Coffee grounds too. If you have a Starbucks nearby, grab some of their used coffee grounds and add that to the mix.


Also, do you have any idea what kind of mulch it is?

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RE: Are you a hottie?

Post  morganfam7 on 3/16/2012, 5:06 pm

Thanks for the welcome!

You're right - the mulch is a mix of small and larg chunks. I thought it would slow the pile down, but I was thinking it would still heat up with those pears in there. We will be adding our kitchen waste, too, and whatever else Nitrogen-ey I can find.

I may be wrong though about it still heating up. It's been some time since I read up on composting, and my pile has been of the "let it rot" kind the last few years.

I was amazed and bewildered when I saw someone mention 25:1 ratios! Again, I may be wrong, but I thought I always aimed at 70-30 or 80-20 mixtures. Back in the day, I used to get compost in a month or so - when bad attitudes meant turning the pile. Very Happy (One of those kids is in Afghanistan at the moment.) Well, being wrong means I'm learning, so I'm happy!

Thanks for the suggestion about Starbucks! We aren't coffee drinkers, so I was hesitant to ask them. Do you just bring a bucket for them to dump the grounds?

The mulch from the landfill is made up of the trees that people bring. They separate them, grind them up, use most for the city landscaping needs, but they leave a huge pile for residents. Yay for free! Speaking of which, there is a vegetable processing plant somewhat close by where I can get as much of their vegetable waste as I want. I may need to do that when I use this mulch in a pile.

I'm a backwards person - I like composting more than gardening! Can't wait to see those grey strands amongst the rich blackness...it's been too long.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  walshevak on 3/16/2012, 7:45 pm

I don't drink coffee either, but I do drink hot chocolate. I still went in and got some coffee grounds. Ask as a gardener building a compost pile and most stores are glad to help usually by emptying the grounds and filters into a bag they have going and giving you the whole thing. The store in Chesapeake even carried the bag to the truck for me . Except the one in Wilmington, NC on College Rd. They directed me to the dumpster in the rear of the store and the bags were full of trash as well as coffee grounds. UGG.

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