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Are you a hottie?

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  brainchasm on 10/16/2014, 10:37 pm

I had my first hottie pile, after like four attempts in the past couple years.

Was definitely nitrogen-heavy, but in the desert you don't get a lot of choices.  It was over 130degF one night, was at 138degF when I woke up the next morning, and then cooled to 132 by the end of that day, so i turned it and added the last bit of greens that I had...

and it never got past 120 again. Sad

Ah well, maybe next year.  Le sigh.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  camprn on 10/16/2014, 11:00 pm

@brainchasm wrote:I had my first hottie pile, after like four attempts in the past couple years.

Was definitely nitrogen-heavy, but in the desert you don't get a lot of choices.  It was over 130degF one night, was at 138degF when I woke up the next morning, and then cooled to 132 by the end of that day, so i turned it and added the last bit of greens that I had...

and it never got past 120 again. Sad

Ah well, maybe next year.  Le sigh.
Well bummer. Good luck next time. I typically don't turn the pile until the temp drops to near 100F or is in the neighborhood of 160F.

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Sage Advice

Post  grownsunshine on 10/17/2014, 4:49 pm

Thanks for your sage advice  bounce  I turned the pile after 4 days and then again after 2 per the Berkeley instructions and I'm over anxious and slightly obsessive. I sprinkled some water on it to keep it moist when turning. I think I'll wait longer, 3-4 days before turning to see how it heats up and to let the process happen a bit longer inside the pile.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  camprn on 10/17/2014, 5:59 pm

@grownsunshine wrote:Thanks for your sage advice  bounce  I turned the pile after 4 days and then again after 2 per the Berkeley instructions and I'm over anxious and slightly obsessive. I sprinkled some water on it to keep it moist when turning. I think I'll wait longer, 3-4 days before turning to see how it heats up and to let the process happen a bit longer inside the pile.
I believe this is good thinking. Wink

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 10/17/2014, 6:39 pm

@grownsunshine wrote:Thanks for your sage advice  bounce  I turned the pile after 4 days and then again after 2 per the Berkeley instructions and I'm over anxious and slightly obsessive. I sprinkled some water on it to keep it moist when turning. I think I'll wait longer, 3-4 days before turning to see how it heats up and to let the process happen a bit longer inside the pile.
If I have a pile that's not heating as well as I would like I do this.  I want to get the most out of that heat as possible.  I've found that when I turn cooler piles it doesn't seem to heat them up much, so it's better to let them run for a while.  

You really can't do it to wrong - it will cold compost just as well.  It just takes longer, but it produces great compost all the same Very Happy

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  sanderson on 10/18/2014, 1:15 am

The fast lane or the slow lane, either way, you will get to your destination.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  camprn on 10/27/2014, 12:24 pm

BUMP! Shocked

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  Turan on 10/27/2014, 12:40 pm

On Saturday I built a compost pile in my greenhouse.  This morning it is warm to the touch so it is taking off  Very Happy
We are getting frosts most nights now and the greenhouse is full of ripening tomatoes and peppers and 3 cucumbers.  So I am hoping a hot pile in there will give it a couple more weeks.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 10/27/2014, 1:38 pm

Turan;  Keep us posted on how that goes, I simply don't have room to do one but have thought about it if I did!

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  grownsunshine on 10/28/2014, 1:38 pm

@Turan wrote:On Saturday I built a compost pile in my greenhouse.  This morning it is warm to the touch so it is taking off  Very Happy
We are getting frosts most nights now and the greenhouse is full of ripening tomatoes and peppers and 3 cucumbers.  So I am hoping a hot pile in there will give it a couple more weeks.
Smart idea!

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  Turan on 10/28/2014, 2:24 pm

It got down to 22F last night.  I did not dare go in the greenhouse to see how it was doing until the sun was up and hitting it.  Besides the compost pile there is a small area electric radiator set at its lowest setting.
When I did go in it was 50 in side and about 30 outside.  The compost is a little over 100 so far.  There was frost damage near the doors where there are leaks and the whole interior walls/roof were coated with heavy frost.  Anything hitting a wall is damaged but I had pruned most of that away this weekend any ways.  The rest looks fine.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  plantoid on 10/28/2014, 5:57 pm

Will the compost pile moisture & ammonia gas etc released during the composting cause you condensation problems such as blight or does it  not arise ?

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  Turan on 10/28/2014, 11:43 pm

I think if blight were a problem it would of shown up before now.  Have you heard of a hot box or hot bed made by putting a thick amount of stable muck in a bed and then planting above it?  I have seen it done to make a warm bed for seed starting in the early spring.  I figure it can work similarly at this end of the season as well.

What I wondered was if the off gasses would speed or slow fruit ripening.  Among the ingredients are two 5 gallon buckets of apple pomace from cider pressing.  Those apples should be giving off gasses to stimulate ripening.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  plantoid on 10/29/2014, 7:39 pm

Here the hot beds of old used to be a two foot deep pit with two foot high sides of a wooden frame filled with fresh manure in spring .  Then covered in about 18 inches of sieved soil in mid summer when the muck had " dropped " ready for planting crops for over wintering .

Lots of crops were started without the use of the glass covers  but these were soon put in place as the days shortened from the end of September .
The ammonia released in the anaerobically decomposing manure would have almost ceased by planting time , so the soil capping would hold it in , letting it turn into nitrogen in the soil capping ( I think ) which the plant roots wanted.

 Your apple fruit will produce quit a lot of CO 2 , mild Malic & Acetic acid gases as it decays ( think making wine )

CO 2 which is a green house gas that may reduce the quality of winter UV but in theory absorb sun heat and retain it ( fat change when it's minus 40 oC Laughing


 The decomposition will as you already know produce heat , which will be transported out of the heap in the form of moisture laden gasses.

 It seems the the released moisture has been frozen on the inside of the house .  So it may make an " Igloo effect " and be slightly warmer inside than outside in the freezing temperatures than if you just had the plastic skin .  Plastic /polythene are fairly effective cold conductors. At least the ice particles will have tiny pockets of insulating air in them .  Any melting of the frosting inside will see it glaze over & capture the microscopic pockets of air and help make a simple slight thermal barrier . So I can see how the heat of the heap raises temps at night .

 I hadn't thought of the moisture produced changing state into ice and it being taken out of the gasses given off from the heap , so it may be that blight will not be a problem after all .

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  Turan on 10/31/2014, 1:21 am

David I love the level of thinking you put in to this.

THe greenhouse is double walled but only a 6mm gap, so it has reasonable but not wonderful insulation.  Ripe apples give off lots of ethylene gas which should push rapid ripening of other fruits, this is why one should not store apples and potatoes near each other.

At work we made a 3X 4 X 16 cage with cattle panels that we filled with barn stuffs, wetted as we filled.  Once it had started heating we put trays on it filled with soil cubes seeded.  We raised the trays when the compost got too hot.  Covered it all with blankets and hung plastic sheets to make a greenhouse inside a greenhouse.  It worked well, a bit hard to control the sprouting temperature but made a nice warm place for plants to get started.  There was no problem with the gasses let off. 

Blight is a huge concern here but is not a problem.  We are a major seed potato growing area because our winters are so cold, it is so arid and we are isolated from other potato growing areas by mountain ranges.  You can not bring in tomatoes or any such plants to this area because of the fear of blights getting to the potatoes.  So I might be a bit naive about the environment in the greenhouse.  All my plants were grown from seed here or at a local nursery.

Any rate.  When I checked back the next day all the plants showed some signes of frost damage on the leaves.  It had gotten down to 17F....  colder than it can handle.  Something I have noticed is that early in the season that cold would of been ok, but now the ground is losing its latent heat stored.  I bigger greenhouse could manage longer, or if had gotten that compost pile charged up and really moving earlier.  Sealing up the roof vents would of helped too.

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compost thermometer fir Christmas

Post  dstack on 12/25/2014, 2:12 pm

I finally have a proper 20" compost thermometer!   What a great Christmas gift for me!   Very Happy



  The gift certificate to rareseeds.com was fantastic too!

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 12/25/2014, 4:06 pm

Yay for you!  I love running out in the morning to check how the pile is doing  Laughing  You will really enjoy it and it's amazing how motivating those numbers are to keep working your pile!

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  sanderson on 12/26/2014, 2:06 am

Worms, compost thermometer and seed gift certificate. What more can a gardener want?? Very Happy

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  dstack on 12/26/2014, 8:01 am

@sanderson wrote:Worms, compost thermometer and seed gift certificate.  What more can a gardener want?? Very Happy
Seriously!  What a great Christmas for the garden!   santa

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 12/26/2014, 9:12 am

+1!

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A Record High Hottie!

Post  dstack on 2/17/2015, 8:04 pm

My compost heap reached a new record high!  My heap is a HOTTIE!   Very Happy


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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 2/17/2015, 10:38 pm

Yay!  Mine still is lower than usual with the winter.  It's only getting up to about 120 right now.  Oh well, it's still breaking down, just more slowly than I'm used to.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  sanderson on 2/17/2015, 11:39 pm

Your Christmas gift!

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  dstack on 2/18/2015, 5:34 am

Yes, my Christmas gift.  Usually my pile is around 130℉.  I have four co-workers who bring me compost from their kitchens, so that's been a help in adding to the greens in the pile.   Very Happy

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Re: Are you a hottie?

Post  camprn on 2/18/2015, 7:06 am

120°F is hottie status.

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Re: Are you a hottie?

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