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TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

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Post  trolleydriver 5/28/2017, 2:29 pm

Temperatures are holding steady.

Bin #1 - 144F  and Bin #2 - 115F


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Post  trolleydriver 5/29/2017, 5:31 pm

Compost temperatures on May 29th.

Bin #1 - 140F  and  Bin #2 - 115F

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Post  trolleydriver 5/30/2017, 2:15 pm

Bin #1 is down to 134F.  It needs turning but I don't have time and there is a threat of more rain and thunderstorms. Would not be good to get it half done and then soaking wet.

Bin #2 slipped slightly to 112F from 115F.



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Post  sanderson 5/31/2017, 12:02 am

Very Happy

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Post  trolleydriver 5/31/2017, 2:09 pm

Bin #1 131F and Bin #2 107F.

After taking the temperature measurements I used a length of reinforcing rod to poke holes in the compost material and stir the material a bit by moving the rod around in a widening circle in each hole.  I did this for both bins since I don't have time right now to turn the materials properly.

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Post  trolleydriver 6/1/2017, 2:45 pm

June 1st temps are Bin #1 - 128F and Bin #2 - 102F.

Yesterdays poking and stirring did not stop the temperature decline.


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Post  trolleydriver 6/2/2017, 12:15 pm

June 2:  Bin #1 - 120F and Bin #2 - 96F.

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Post  trolleydriver 6/3/2017, 12:32 pm

The cool ambient temperature and wind, plus available time, has made June 3rd a good day for turning the contents of Bin #1. By my count this is day 25 for this bin.

Bin #1 105F before turning and 69F after turning. Outside ambient temp 57F.

Bin #2 87F.  I need to decide what to do with the contents of this bin. I usually add kitchen scraps on a regular basis but have not done that for some time.


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Post  sanderson 6/4/2017, 2:01 am

Bin #1 is doing pretty good.  I know it is hard to turn properly every other day, but I think you would have had a banner Berkeley batch.  My restarted Berkeley never took off.  Maybe the contents were further along in composting to heat up, even with blood meal.  It s now topping off all the beds as mulch. Laughing

Bin #2.  When will you finish adding material? The temps have been good for a bin.

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Post  trolleydriver 6/4/2017, 6:46 am

@sanderson wrote:Bin #1 is doing pretty good.  I know it is hard to turn properly every other day, but I think you would have had a banner Berkeley batch.  My restarted Berkeley never took off.  Maybe the contents were further along in composting to heat up, even with blood meal.  It s now topping off all the beds as mulch. Laughing

Bin #2.  When will you finish adding material?  The temps have been good for a bin.
Bin #1 - There have been too many other things going on so I did not have time to turn it frequently. Plus the weather has been wet. If it does not heat up well after yesterday's turning I may let it cool and then screen the contents for compost. The leftover big stuff will be used for top dressing as you did. Then I'll try to start a new pile with the leaves I saved from last year, plus grass clippings, coffee grounds, a little horse manure, etc.

Bin #2 - I think I'll leave it for a few days then empty and screen the contents. Hopefully there will be some compost that I can use.
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Post  trolleydriver 6/4/2017, 3:37 pm

Looks like it will be a slow climb to higher temperatures for Bin #1.  After turning yesterday it was at 69F and now, over 24 hours later, it has only managed to get up to 73F.

Bin #2 continues its temperature decline and is now at 82F.


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Post  sanderson 6/5/2017, 3:38 am

In your other thread, it looked like compost #1 was a little dry. ??

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Post  trolleydriver 6/5/2017, 7:44 am

@sanderson wrote:In your other thread, it looked like compost #1 was a little dry.  ??
It was definitely dry on the top and sides but not so much in the middle. As I was putting the material back into the Bin I watered it with the garden hose. So it should not be dry now.
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Post  trolleydriver 6/5/2017, 12:49 pm

June 5,  Bin #1 - 78F and Bin #2 - 81F.

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Post  trolleydriver 6/6/2017, 12:15 pm

Very little change over the past 24 hours.  Bin #1 - 80F and Bin #2 - 78F.

The weather today is miserable, cool, rainy, windy and a temperature of only 52F.


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Post  trolleydriver 6/7/2017, 1:19 pm

For June 7 we have Bin #1 at 83F (up slightly) and Bin #2 at 74F (down again).

I have decided to halt temperature readings in Bin #2 and will screen the contents. It may be too soon but we will see.  The results of screening will be shown in photos in the "Third Year SFG in Canada" thread.

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t21190p275-third-year-sfg-in-canada

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Post  trolleydriver 6/8/2017, 8:09 pm

On day 30 of Bin #1 the temperature is 84F which is about the same as the outside high ambient temperature today. It's not heating up so I may have to let it sit for a while or screen what I can out of it.

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Post  trolleydriver 6/9/2017, 1:25 pm

Bin #1 seems to have reached a steady state.  Now at 85F.

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Post  sanderson 6/9/2017, 3:03 pm

Ready to use? For sure as top dressing. :-)

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Post  trolleydriver 6/9/2017, 3:15 pm

@sanderson wrote:Ready to use?  For sure as top dressing. :-)
Do you think I should sift it or just use it as is?
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Post  trolleydriver 6/10/2017, 1:51 pm

Bin #1 is up about 5 degrees F to 90F. I'll continue to monitor it for now.

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Post  sanderson 6/11/2017, 2:32 pm

TD, I recently used unsifted as a top dressing and mulch. Love it. I will still add chopped straw as top mulching but for now, the chunky compost is helping with surface evaporation and the Red Wiggler worms are loving it where it touches the MM.

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Post  trolleydriver 6/11/2017, 4:50 pm

@sanderson wrote:TD,  I recently used unsifted as a top dressing and mulch.  Love it.  I will still add chopped straw as top mulching but for now, the chunky compost is helping with surface evaporation and the Red Wiggler worms are loving it where it touches the MM.
Thanks sanderson.

The temp in Bin #1 95F.  The current outside ambient temp is 87F.


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Post  trolleydriver 6/12/2017, 1:12 pm

The temp in Bin #1 is climbing steadily but slowly. Now at 100F which according to the compost thermometer is the start of the active zone.

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Post  trolleydriver 6/13/2017, 2:08 pm

A few days ago I was about to give up on Bin #1 but the temperature has continued to rise.  Today it's at 106F which is back to where it was before I turned it.

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