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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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starting a new compost pile - Page 3 Toplef10starting a new compost pile - Page 3 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.

starting a new compost pile - Page 3 I22gcj10starting a new compost pile - Page 3 14dhcg10

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starting a new compost pile

+12
ImmahGardener
audrey.jeanne.roberts
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southern gardener
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Post  AtlantaMarie 4/14/2014, 8:37 am

NICE!  Looks wonderful!  Can't wait till mine looks like that.
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Post  southern gardener 4/16/2014, 7:22 pm

The first pile is almost all screened. The second pile is that 140° Wahoo!!  Welp, there was supposed to be a picture with the thermometer at 140, but it won't post Smile
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Post  sanderson 4/17/2014, 12:15 am

I started a new pile 4-7 and it reached 160* 4-9.  I turned it Berkeley style 4-11 and it's been at 150* since 4-13 (today being 4-16).  If I have the energy, I will do a Berkeley tomorrow.  This is the first time I have used horse manure (any manure) so I really want it as hot as it can be for as long as it can.

The 8" of screenings from last fall's pile have made a nice worm hotel. I put some dying bait worms in it a few weeks ago (about 2 months) and I've seen 2 in 2 trowel full! It's under the orange tree so it stays shady.


Last edited by sanderson on 4/17/2014, 12:18 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added re: worms)
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Post  southern gardener 4/17/2014, 1:18 am

sanderson wrote:I started a new pile 4-7 and it reached 160* 4-9.  I turned it Berkeley style 4-11 and it's been at 150* since 4-13 (today being 4-16).  If I have the energy, I will do a Berkeley tomorrow.  This is the first time I have used horse manure (any manure) so I really want it as hot as it can be for as long as it can.

The 8" of screenings from last fall's pile have made a nice worm hotel.  I put some dying bait worms in it a few weeks ago (about 2 months) and I've seen 2 in 2 trowel full!  It's under the orange tree so it stays shady.
that's awesome! I can't turn my piles due to my problems, so they have to do it on their own.  I WISH I could. I love to shovel Sad  There are literally HUNDREDS of worms in the piles. I would say there were hundreds in a shovel full. My grandson said it looked like spaghetti!  crazy! Our piles are under our navel orange tree too. The oranges are HUGE and so sweet! I'm guessing it's from all that compost sitting on it's roots!!  Smile
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 4/17/2014, 2:56 pm

So, SG, how long would you say it took to get that compost without turning?  I'm thinking of starting some compost piles that I just let sit and water from time to time (we're such a dry climate nothing happens without it being watered)  

I can hot compost for quick needs, but it's a lot of work for as much compost as I need to generate for my large gardens.
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Post  southern gardener 4/17/2014, 3:01 pm

audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:So, SG, how long would you say it took to get that compost without turning?  I'm thinking of starting some compost piles that I just let sit and water from time to time (we're such a dry climate nothing happens without it being watered)  

I can hot compost for quick needs, but it's a lot of work for as much compost as I need to generate for my large gardens.

Audrey, I started this post in September, so that puts it at about 7 months. I have a feeling the bottom part of the pile was ready quite a while ago, since parts of it is almost PURE worms. We have 4 big barrels, and filled them all to the top. I think we could probably get another barrel or two, but we're out of barrels!  LOL. We did wet it down from time to time, because like you, we are in a drought area. I'd say we probably wet it down 3 times?? Not bad! There were some areas what were almost all wood chips (left over from our BTE stuff) and that seems to be where most of the worms hung out. Interesting??!! There were shovel fulls that were literally almost pure worms!!
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Post  Triciasgarden 4/17/2014, 8:57 pm

Wonderful results all of you!
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Post  sanderson 4/19/2014, 2:08 am

I Berkeley turned the pile today, inside stuff to the outside, outside stuff to the inside. The pitchfork I bought at HD is perfect for my back. The temp is back up to 110*F right now and if it gets to 135-140* I'll be happy. I don't know if I will use fresh horse manure again as they are bigger chunks that the chopped produce I used last summer.

On a side note, there were some small (pecan size) pieces of manure and I thought, "Wonder if the worms would like them." Each worm tube had at least one worm visible!! They are alive!  Very Happy 
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