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Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]
How to become a real hottie Toplef10How to become a real hottie 1zd3ho10

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.

How to become a real hottie I22gcj10How to become a real hottie 14dhcg10

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How to become a real hottie

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How to become a real hottie Empty How to become a real hottie

Post  GWN 4/2/2012, 2:07 pm

the thing that is great about this site is that SOOOO many things I thought I understood well, I have learned that I had not.
One of them is composting.
I have searched through previous posts and not really found the answer to what I am needing to know.
I have a large pile, approx 4 feet across, perhaps 3 feet high.
How to become a real hottie Dsc_0137
It is mixed well with what I feel to be a pretty good mixture of greens to browns, I have taken 3 piles from last year and mixed them all together.
I also have a compost thermometer, and the pile has been sitting for 4 days, it has been watered nicely by MN and today the temp is about 58 degrees, the ground temp in my SFGs is about 44. So it is a little warmer than the soil.
Reading more today about this, I have put a large black tarp over it, to insulate it a bit, and have found a couple of pallets left over from building stuff, and DH MIGHT know where I can find another one, but will use the tarp for extra insulation for a few days.
My question is this....
Since I have just freshly mixed it all up and it is moist, do I just watch the temp until it gets WAY up there, and then turn it?
I have seen places where they say if you really do it well you can get good compost in 2-3 weeks, is this possible?

Thanks
GWN
GWN

Posts : 2804
Join date : 2012-01-14
Age : 67
Location : british columbia zone 5a

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Post  bwaynef 4/4/2012, 3:00 pm

Check my post count for exactly how much weight you should give my suggestions, but I've heard dried blood/blood meal/nitrogen can be added to quickly boost the heat of a pile.

Someone, please correct me where I'm wrong.
bwaynef
bwaynef

Posts : 128
Join date : 2012-03-18
Location : Clemson SC, zone 7b-8a

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Post  Too Tall Tomatoes 4/4/2012, 3:04 pm

GWN wrote:the thing that is great about this site is that SOOOO many things I thought I understood well, I have learned that I had not.
One of them is composting.
I have searched through previous posts and not really found the answer to what I am needing to know.
I have a large pile, approx 4 feet across, perhaps 3 feet high.
How to become a real hottie Dsc_0137
It is mixed well with what I feel to be a pretty good mixture of greens to browns, I have taken 3 piles from last year and mixed them all together.
I also have a compost thermometer, and the pile has been sitting for 4 days, it has been watered nicely by MN and today the temp is about 58 degrees, the ground temp in my SFGs is about 44. So it is a little warmer than the soil.
Reading more today about this, I have put a large black tarp over it, to insulate it a bit, and have found a couple of pallets left over from building stuff, and DH MIGHT know where I can find another one, but will use the tarp for extra insulation for a few days.
My question is this....
Since I have just freshly mixed it all up and it is moist, do I just watch the temp until it gets WAY up there, and then turn it?
I have seen places where they say if you really do it well you can get good compost in 2-3 weeks, is this possible?

Thanks

Temperatures vary but if you can get it up to the 130F area, that would be great. Let it sit there and when it drops to around 100F to 115F, give it a turn
Too Tall Tomatoes
Too Tall Tomatoes

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Join date : 2011-10-24
Age : 54
Location : Pennsylvania, Zone 6A

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Post  Too Tall Tomatoes 4/4/2012, 3:05 pm

bwaynef wrote:Check my post count for exactly how much weight you should give my suggestions, but I've heard dried blood/blood meal/nitrogen can be added to quickly boost the heat of a pile.

Someone, please correct me where I'm wrong.

You are correct bwayne, but you should also have browns in there too. If you have alot of nitrogen in the pile and not enough browns, it won't cook properly.
Too Tall Tomatoes
Too Tall Tomatoes

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Post  bwaynef 4/4/2012, 3:33 pm

Too Tall Tomatoes wrote:
You are correct bwayne, but you should also have browns in there too. If you have alot of nitrogen in the pile and not enough browns, it won't cook properly.

GWN wrote:It is mixed well with what I feel to be a pretty good mixture of greens to browns,...

I assumed he had browns.
bwaynef
bwaynef

Posts : 128
Join date : 2012-03-18
Location : Clemson SC, zone 7b-8a

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Post  AvaDGardner 4/4/2012, 4:10 pm

Since my compost pile is 1lb coffee cans (no heat!), I've not paid attention to this topic. Someday though I'll have a yard and a get to be a hottie, too!

Do you hotties use the compost starters/mixes they sell? Are they necessary or do they just replace the brown/green mix you strive for?
AvaDGardner
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Female Posts : 634
Join date : 2012-02-17
Location : Garden Grove, CA (still Zone 10b)

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Post  Too Tall Tomatoes 4/4/2012, 5:21 pm

AvaDGardner wrote:Since my compost pile is 1lb coffee cans (no heat!), I've not paid attention to this topic. Someday though I'll have a yard and a get to be a hottie, too!

Do you hotties use the compost starters/mixes they sell? Are they necessary or do they just replace the brown/green mix you strive for?

Compost starters aren't necessary. I've recently used dried blood as a way to kind of give it a kick start. That was only after a winter of the pile just sitting there doing nothing.
Too Tall Tomatoes
Too Tall Tomatoes

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Location : Pennsylvania, Zone 6A

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