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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.

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TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Readings for Wednesday Dec 7, 2016. The ambient temperature is +3C (37F) under sunny conditions.

I may get one more reading in tomorrow but then I will be away for almost a week.

New Bin #1 - Now at 33.7C (92.7F) which is DOWN from 40C (104F) yesterday. The temp in this one continues to drop drop quickly. 

New Bin #2 - Now at 8.8C (47.8F) which is DOWN from 9.5C (49.1F) yesterday.

Old Plastic Bin - Now at 7.3C (45.1F) which is DOWN from 8.6C (47.5F) yesterday.

Looks like two of the bins will soon be down to ambient temperature and New Bin #1 is heading quickly down to the mark.
by trolleydriver
on 12/7/2016, 4:51 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Readings for Tuesday Dec 6, 2016. Today is the 59th anniversary of the date when I first stepped onto Canadian soil as we moved from England. The ambient temperature is -0C (32F) under sunny conditions with more snow on the way tonight and tomorrow.

New Bin #1 - Now at 40C (104F) which is DOWN from 44.4C (112F) yesterday. The temp in this one continues to drop drop quickly. 

New Bin #2 - Now at 9.5C (49.1F) which is DOWN from 10.3C (50.5F) yesterday.

Old Plastic Bin - Now at 8.6C (47.5F) which is DOWN from 10.2C (50.4F) yesterday.
by trolleydriver
on 12/6/2016, 1:04 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Readings for Monday Dec 5, 2016. The ambient temperature is -3C (26F) under partially sunny conditions with chance of snow flurries for the next three days. We got several inches of snow overnight and into this morning. Our son and his wife could not get into work early this morning. It was taking people up to two hours for what is normally a 20 to 30 minute drive.

New Bin #1 - Now at 44.4C (112F) which is DOWN from 49.4C (121F) yesterday. The temp in this one is dropping quickly. I noticed that the depth of the materials in the bin has dropped a lot from when it was started.

New Bin #2 - Now at 10.3C (50,5F) which is DOWN from 11.1C (52F) yesterday.

Old Plastic Bin - Now at 10.2C (50.4F) which is DOWN from 12.5C (54.5F) yesterday. Some more kitchen scraps were added yesterday.

Photo in the snow of Bin#2 on the left, #1 on the right and plastic bin further to the right.
Topics tagged under 2 on Square Foot Gardening Forum - Page 3 Img_3310
by trolleydriver
on 12/5/2016, 4:01 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Readings for Sunday Dec 4, 2016. The ambient temperature is +1C (33F) under sunny conditions.

New Bin #1 - Now at 49.4C (121F) which is well DOWN from 53.2C (127.8F) yesterday. 

New Bin #2 - Now at 11.1C (52F) which is DOWN slightly from 11.4C (52.5F)  yesterday.

Old Plastic Bin - Now at 12.5C (54.5F) which is DOWN from 13.9C (57F) yesterday. Some more kitchen scraps were added yesterday.
by trolleydriver
on 12/4/2016, 2:42 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Readings for Saturday Dec 3, 2016. The ambient temperature is +2C (36F) under sun and partial cloud.

New Bin #1 - Now at  53.2C (127.8F) which is UP (strangely) from 52.6C (126.7F) yesterday. 

New Bin #2 - Now at 11.4C (52.5F) which is UP slightly from 11.0C (51.8F) yesterday.

Old Plastic Bin - Now at 13.9C (57F) which is DOWN slightly from 14.2C (57.6) yesterday. Some more kitchen scraps were added yesterday.
by trolleydriver
on 12/3/2016, 1:32 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Readings for Friday Dec 2, 2016. The ambient temperature is +4C (39F) under cloudy conditions.

New Bin #1 - Now at 52.6C (126.7F) which is down from 53.8C (128.8F) yesterday. 

New Bin #2 - Now at 11.0C (51.8F) which is UP slightly from 10.5C (50.9F) yesterday.

Old Plastic Bin - Now at 14.2C (57.6)  which is UP slightly from 13.8C (56.8F) yesterday.
by trolleydriver
on 12/2/2016, 1:29 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Readings for Thursday Dec 1, 2016. The ambient temperature is +6C (42.8F) under cloudy conditions.

New Bin #1 - Now at 53.8C (128.8F) which is down from 56.0C (132.8F) yesterday. Definitely cooling down.

New Bin #2 - Now at 10.5C (50.9F) which is down slightly from 10.9C (51.6F) yesterday.

Old Plastic Bin - Now at 13.8C (56.8F) which is down from 14.9C (58.8F) yesterday.
by trolleydriver
on 12/1/2016, 1:50 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

@sanderson wrote:Are you still turning Bins 1 and 2?

I'm no longer turning them. It's been too cold and messy (snow). The ambient temps are better today and tomorrow so I had thought of turning them. But now it's wet outside and I am too busy with other things. Bin #2 looks to be just about finished for this year. It did not heat back up the last time I did anything with it. Bin #1 is still cooking.

There's not going to be much time to do anything significant for the rest of this year. Early next week I have some appointments, then we leave to spend time with our daughter and pick up my Mum and bring her back here for Christmas. After that we will be into the Holiday Season followed by taking Mum back home. It's going to be crazy.

I'm trying to decide what to do with kitchen scraps over the winter. Once the contents of the plastic bin freeze up, I won't be able to add kitchen scarps to it. Mrs TD wants to put them in our "green bin" which the city empties each week. I'm thinking of getting a metal garbage can with a tight fitting lid and put that within easy access to the back door. I would use that for storing the kitchen scraps until things warm up. The problem is that if we get a warm spell (above freezing) during the winter then it may get smelly. BTW I cannot have an indoor worm bin and we do not have space in our freezers for storing kitchen scraps. If anyone has any thoughts on this, I am open to suggestions.
by trolleydriver
on 11/30/2016, 4:27 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Readings for Wednesday Nov 30, 2016. The ambient temperature is +2C (36F) and there is fog.

New Bin #1 - Now at 56.0C (132.8F) which is down from 58.0C (136.4F) yesterday.

New Bin #2 - Now at 10.9C (51.6F)  which is down from 11.8C (53.2F) yesterday.

Old Plastic Bin - Now at 14.9C (58.8F)  which is down from 16.8C (62.2F) yesterday.

So everything is on the way down.
by trolleydriver
on 11/30/2016, 1:41 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Readings for Tuesday Nov 29, 2016. The ambient temperature is +1C (33F) and the freezing rain has stopped.

New Bin #1 - Now at 58.0C (136.4F) which is down ever so slightly from 58.5C (137.3F) yesterday.

New Bin #2 - Now at 11.8C (53.2F) which is down from 12.5C (54.5C) yesterday.

Old Plastic Bin - Now at 16.8C (62.2F) which is down from 19.1C (66.4F) yesterday.
by trolleydriver
on 11/29/2016, 2:35 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Readings for Monday Nov 28, 2016. The ambient temperature is -1C (30.2F) with a freezing rain warning in effect for tomorrow morning (glad I don't have to drive anywhere).

New Bin #1 - Now at 58.5C (137.3F) which is down ever so slightly from 59.0C (138.2F) yesterday.

New Bin #2 - Now at 12.5C (54.5C) which is down 13.4C (56.1F) yesyerday.

Old Plastic Bin - Now at 19.1C (66.4F) which is down from 22.6C (72.7F) yesterday. Keep in mind that yesterday I added kitchen scraps and made some vertical holes so that I could stir things a bit. I also re-positioned the temperature probe.
by trolleydriver
on 11/28/2016, 3:01 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Readings for Sunday Nov 27, 2016. The ambient temperature is 0C (32F) with an overnight low forecast to be -8C (18F).

New Bin #1 - Now at 59.0C (138.2F) which is up from 57.9C (136.2F). This bin continues to impress as it keeps on cooking.  Very Happy

New Bin #2 - Now at 13.4C (56.1F) which is down from 14.9C (58.8F) yesterday.

Old Plastic Bin - Now at 22.6C (72.7F) which is down from 25.9C (78.6F) yesterday. I added more kitchen scraps today. As well, I poked some holes down from the top and stirred things a bit. I also noticed that the temperature probe was not in the centre of the pile but was close to the edge. I must have moved it accidentally a couple of days ago. It will interesting to see if the temperature reading changes very much now that the probe has been moved back to the middle of the pile.
by trolleydriver
on 11/27/2016, 4:02 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Readings for Saturday Nov 26, 2016. The ambient temperature is 2C (35F) and the overnight low is forecast to be -5C (23F).

New Bin #1 - Now at 57.9C (136.2F) which is up from 55.9C (132.7F) yesterday.

New Bin #2 - Now at 14.9C (58.8F) which is down again from 16.4C (61.5F) yesterday.

Old Plastic Bin - Now at 25.9C (78.6F) which is down again from 28.9C (84F) yesterday.
by trolleydriver
on 11/26/2016, 2:11 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Readings for Friday Nov 25, 2016 (only one month to Christmas). The ambient temperature is 0C (32F) at the time of the readings

New Bin #1 - Now at 55.9C (132.7F) which is up nicely from 52.9C (127.2F) yesterday.

New Bin #2 - Now at 16.4C (61.5F) which is down ever so slightly from 16.8C (52.2F) yesterday. This is two days after it was "stirred" and blood meal added. Looks like this one has gone into hibernation for the winter. 

Old Plastic Bin - Now at 28.9C (84F) which is down from 32.2C (90F) yesterday.
by trolleydriver
on 11/25/2016, 1:25 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Readings for Thursday Nov 24, 2016. Ambient temperature is -1C (30.2F).

New Bin #1 - Now at 52.9C (127.2F) which is up from 48.7C (111.4F) yesterday. Amazing what those bacteria can do to generate heat even when the outside temp is around freezing and even lower (-5C, 23F) overnight.

New Bin #2 - First reading one day after stirring the contents and adding blood meal and coffee grounds.  Temp is at 16.8C (62.2F) which is up from 10.6C (51.1F) right after it was stirred.

Old Plastic Bin - Now at 32.2C (90F) which is down from 34.2C (93.6F) yesterday.
by trolleydriver
on 11/24/2016, 2:01 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

This is an experiment to see if I can display a graph of the compost temperatures in New Bins #1 and #2

The big dips are the temps on the days after turning the compost.

Topics tagged under 2 on Square Foot Gardening Forum - Page 3 Compost%20Bins%20Temps%202016_zpsnfgnqbd0
by trolleydriver
on 11/23/2016, 5:45 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Checking in with the temperature readings for the afternoon of Wednesday November 23rd. Current ambient temp is -2C (28F).

New Bin #1 - Now at 48.7C (119.7F) which is up from yesterday's 44.1C (111.4F).

New Bin #2 - At 37.2C (99F) which is down from yesterday's 45.6C (114.1F). So I decided to semi-turn the pile. What I did was fluff up the compost in the bin while trying to move some of the stuff from the top outside edges to the middle of the pile. I did not remove the compost from the bin ... just stirred things up a bit. At the same time I added some blood meal, coffee grounds and a small amount of snow for moisture. The temp after the semi-turning is 10.6C (51.1F). It will be interesting to see if this one heats back up.

Old Plastic Bin - At 34.2C (93.6F) which is down very slightly from yesterday's 34.8C (94.6F). Yesterday I added some kitchen scraps to this pile.
by trolleydriver
on 11/23/2016, 3:21 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

@sanderson wrote:
@trolleydriver wrote:Now the readings for Tuesday Nov 22, 2016. The current ambient temp is around freezing and overnight lows are around -4C (25F). Nice to see that the temps in the bins are staying a lot higher than the outside temperature.

New Bin #2 -  This compost needs to be turned to give it another push back to higher temps but with the bad weather that probably is not going to happen.

Aww, where's the old pioneering spirit?  Didn't you used to walk 20 miles uphill to school?  Yeah, me neither.  If you do turn it one more time, just pull it out and throw it back in.  Forget the careful Berkeley separation.

Only 20 miles???  

It was 30 miles to school for me and it was uphill in both directions!!!  

rofl
by trolleydriver
on 11/22/2016, 4:54 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

@trolleydriver wrote:Now the readings for Tuesday Nov 22, 2016. The current ambient temp is around freezing and overnight lows are around -4C (25F). Nice to see that the temps in the bins are staying a lot higher than the outside temperature.

New Bin #2 -  This compost needs to be turned to give it another push back to higher temps but with the bad weather that probably is not going to happen.

Aww, where's the old pioneering spirit?  Didn't you used to walk 20 miles uphill to school?  Yeah, me neither.  If you do turn it one more time, just pull it out and throw it back in.  Forget the careful Berkeley separation.
by sanderson
on 11/22/2016, 4:37 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Now the readings for Tuesday Nov 22, 2016. The current ambient temp is around freezing and overnight lows are around -4C (25F). Nice to see that the temps in the bins are staying a lot higher than the outside temperature.

According to 
http://www.homecompostingmadeeasy.com/compoststages.html
all three bins are in the range where thermophiles (excellent bacteria) are active.

New Bin #1 - Moved up to 44.1C (111.4F) from yesterday's 39C (102.2F). Nice!  It should be noted that I started with two thermometers in this bin. Only the lower one is working now and that is what was used today and the previous two days. It is possible that the thermometer located higher in the bin would have been reading a higher temperature.
Topics tagged under 2 on Square Foot Gardening Forum - Page 3 IMG_3219_zpsqwreihmi



New Bin #2 - Down again to 45.6C (114.1F) from yesterday's 53.3C (127.9F). That's a significant drop over the past few days from over 60C. This compost needs to be turned to give it another push back to higher temps but with the bad weather that probably is not going to happen.
Topics tagged under 2 on Square Foot Gardening Forum - Page 3 IMG_3218_zps0ur1lj9z




Old Plastic Bin - Down slightly to 34.8C (94.6F) from yesterday's 36.1C (97F). I added more kitchen scraps after today's reading was taken.
Topics tagged under 2 on Square Foot Gardening Forum - Page 3 IMG_3220_zpsqfpvfhzr
by trolleydriver
on 11/22/2016, 2:16 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Here we go with the readings for Monday Nov 21 and part way through our first big winter storm.

New Bin #1 - Has moved up to 39C (102.2F) from yesterday's reading of 33.6C (92.5F).

New Bin #2 - Down to 53.3C (127.9F) from 60.8C (141.4F). So this one is dropping quickly.

Old Plastic Bin - Up slightly to 36.1C (97F) from 35.2C (95.4F).
by trolleydriver
on 11/21/2016, 2:36 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Reading afternoon Sunday Nov 20 under brutal wintery weather conditions. The thermometer readouts are covered in snow and ice.

New Bin #1 - Moved up to 33.6C (92.5F)

Topics tagged under 2 on Square Foot Gardening Forum - Page 3 IMG_3201_zpsfhhps36e


New Bin #2 - Still cooking at a slightly lower 60.8C (141.4F)
Topics tagged under 2 on Square Foot Gardening Forum - Page 3 IMG_3200_zpswkeuhhnk


Old Plastic Bin - Now up to 35.2C (95.4F)
Topics tagged under 2 on Square Foot Gardening Forum - Page 3 IMG_3202_zpsfckmaasx
by trolleydriver
on 11/20/2016, 3:40 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Readings this afternoon (Sat Nov 19).

New Bin #1 - 28.7C (83.7) and struggling to increase temperature.

New Bin #2 - 62.4C (144.3F) and doing well.

Old Plastic Bin - 30.7C (87.3F) and I continue to add kitchen scraps.
by trolleydriver
on 11/19/2016, 4:52 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

New Bin #1 - One day after turning and adding blood meal, this bin refuses to heat up. Sad By mid afternoon it had only achieved 22C (71.6F). Unfortunately, the bin did not work long enough to produce usable compost. I am finished turning the contents and will let it slow cook or turn into a block of ice over the winter months. Hopefully I will be able to rejuvenate it in the Spring.
Topics tagged under 2 on Square Foot Gardening Forum - Page 3 IMG_3173_zpssexep91j



New Bin #2 - This one is still cooking. After two full days from the last turning it is at 58.1C (136.6F). I would like to see it over 60C but it may not get there. If I feel energetic enough I will turn the contents one more time. However, the weather forecast is for cooler temps and snow starting on Sunday so that may put an end to my composting for this year.
Topics tagged under 2 on Square Foot Gardening Forum - Page 3 IMG_3171_zps63jqagn8



Old Plastic Bin - This bin is much smaller. Temperature this afternoon was 25.1C (77.2F). I'll keep adding kitchen scraps to this bin until winter really sets in.
Topics tagged under 2 on Square Foot Gardening Forum - Page 3 IMG_3175_zpsdkpdk8ip
by trolleydriver
on 11/18/2016, 5:06 pm
 
Search in: General SFG Talk
Topic: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
Replies: 317
Views: 10006

Second Year SFG in Canada

Another busy day in the garden which included winterizing the lawnmower and adding polymeric sand in the spaces between some interlock pavers on the walkway at the side of the house.

First the bad news for me. New Compost Bin #1 refuses to heat up after yesterday's turning even though I added blood meal. New Compost Bin #2 is quite warm at around 57 Celsius. More about this on the "Trolleydrivers Compost Thermometer" thread. I will no longer be turning the material in the compost bins until next Spring.

Now for some photos from the garden. First, here is the last harvest from the SFG beds, It includes Swiss Chard, Kale, Parsley and Rosemary. That's it for this year. Overall it has been a successful year for the SFG and other veggie and flower gardens.
Topics tagged under 2 on Square Foot Gardening Forum - Page 3 IMG_3185_zpsklzppfnx



These four Parsley plants were all growing in one square in the Table Top. Amazing what can be done in SFG.
Topics tagged under 2 on Square Foot Gardening Forum - Page 3 IMG_3163_zpsknwxopxe



The Table Top all cleaned out and amended with compost.
Topics tagged under 2 on Square Foot Gardening Forum - Page 3 IMG_3164_zpsncnwexqb



The pond (horrible green water) and empty flower beds. Note the bags of leaves hiding under the tree for the winter.
Topics tagged under 2 on Square Foot Gardening Forum - Page 3 IMG_3165_zps80tfweou



The SFG beds are ready for winter. The beds with deep straw contain garlic (9 squares), multiplier onions (1 square) and strawberries (one whole 4x4 bed of 16 squares). The green tarp is covering a pile of wood chips.
Topics tagged under 2 on Square Foot Gardening Forum - Page 3 IMG_3176_zps0vr8wzmr




Looking over toward the three compost bins, garden shed and miscellaneous stuff. The blue and yellow totes are full of coffee grounds which I am still getting from the local coffee shop.
Topics tagged under 2 on Square Foot Gardening Forum - Page 3 IMG_3178_zps8c6epxcc




I decided to top up the pond to give it a bit more depth which may help the goldfish to survive the winter.
Topics tagged under 2 on Square Foot Gardening Forum - Page 3 IMG_3180_zpselrsjfss




Another view of the SFG beds from a different angle.  I still have to string the Christmas lights of the trellises.  The next time I post photos this area they probably will show a covering of snow.
Topics tagged under 2 on Square Foot Gardening Forum - Page 3 IMG_3168_zpskmtgzjkp
by trolleydriver
on 11/18/2016, 4:39 pm
 
Search in: Canada
Topic: Second Year SFG in Canada
Replies: 776
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