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TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

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Post  trolleydriver 6/19/2017, 5:38 pm

Been away for a few days so there have been no temp readings for the past 5 days. Today Bin #1 is at 118F which means it is still in the "active" composting range.

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Post  trolleydriver 6/20/2017, 6:28 pm

Temp in Bin #1 is 118F which is unchanged from the previous day. After taking the temperature reading, I poked holes from the top down in the composting material and stirred the material in the holes.


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Post  trolleydriver 6/21/2017, 12:49 pm

Bin #1 is down to 113F from 118F yesterday.

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Post  sanderson 6/22/2017, 1:19 pm

How does it look? Good enough as top dressing when it cools?

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Post  trolleydriver 6/22/2017, 1:24 pm

@sanderson wrote:How does it look?  Good enough as top dressing when it cools?
It still seems to be quite chunky but I have not dug down into the middle. I'll let it cool a bit and then screen it.  I would like to get a new batch started soon. As well my SoilSaver bin is just about empty and my Envirocycle bin is empty. All need to be started.
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Post  trolleydriver 6/22/2017, 2:32 pm

I dug out some of the material in the middle of Bin #1.  I am somewhat disappointed that it has not broken down more. sanderson, please let me know what you think about this.

compost thermometer - TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer - Page 11 IMG_4066_zpseklhw6fn


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compost thermometer - TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer - Page 11 IMG_4064_zpsbmfrbgki



Temp in Bin #1 is down to 110F.

compost thermometer - TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer - Page 11 Bin1-210
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Post  trolleydriver 6/22/2017, 6:57 pm

I got the EnviroCycle Compost Tumbler set up this afternoon. They recommend filling it up but I fell short since I don't have enough greens. I put in semi-dried grass clippings from the lawn mowing earlier today, coffee grounds and filters, stored kitchen scraps, today's kitchen scraps, and leaves from last Fall. I'll have to add more greens and browns and adjust the ratios over the next few days as I fill it up. I should note that I do not find it all that easy to turn. The starting temperature is at 76F which is the ambient outdoor temperature today.  I'll call this Bin #3.

compost thermometer - TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer - Page 11 IMG_4068_zpsklmtcicr


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Post  sanderson 6/23/2017, 2:58 am

Bin #1 compost looks like mine.  I used about half of it so far as top dressing/mulch.  The Red Wigglers are loving it.  They are flocking the the interface zone between the MM and the compost.  Also, the compost gets really wet when I water.

I know Jimmy Cee has a composter like #3 but I think he called it just a toy (??) as he has that great 3-section compost bin.  I can see your point about this model being hard to turn.  It's low to the ground and the finger grips are shallow.  It looks like it would be easier to just roll it around on the ground. Wink

The used model I bought is higher with deep finger grips so I turn it using the triceps (bat wings) and my weight.  Easy on the back.  Also, it is set up in the flower bed about 5" higher still. compost thermometer - TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer - Page 11 Compos10

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Post  trolleydriver 6/23/2017, 1:12 pm

Bin #1 (3x3x3)  - down very slightly to 108F.

Bin #3 (EnviroCycle) - up from 76F at start to 97F today. The current outside temperature is 74F.


compost thermometer - TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer - Page 11 Bin1-211

compost thermometer - TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer - Page 11 Bin3-210
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Post  CapeCoddess 6/23/2017, 3:17 pm

@sanderson wrote:
#3 ... It looks like it would be easier to just roll it around on the ground. Wink


That's what I was thinking. And a great way to mix MM when you need some.
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Post  trolleydriver 6/24/2017, 12:26 pm

Bin #1 - 105F

Bin #3 - 110F

compost thermometer - TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer - Page 11 Bin1-212

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Post  trolleydriver 6/25/2017, 6:25 pm

Bin #1 - 105F (unchanged)

Bin #3 - 108F (down 2F). After taking the temp I added some kitchen scraps and turned the tumbler three times per the instructions.

compost thermometer - TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer - Page 11 Bin1-213

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Post  trolleydriver 6/26/2017, 3:59 pm

Bin #1 - Holding quite steady. Now at 103F which is 2F lower from yesterday.

Bin #3 - Took a big jump up from 108F before tumbling yesterday to 130F today.

compost thermometer - TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer - Page 11 Bin1-214


compost thermometer - TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer - Page 11 Bin3-213
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Post  trolleydriver 6/27/2017, 12:32 pm

Bin #1 - 96F

Bin #3 - 132F


compost thermometer - TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer - Page 11 Bin1-215

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Post  trolleydriver 6/28/2017, 12:52 pm

Bin #1 - 94F (down just 2F).

Bin #3 - 115F (down 17F  ... wow!). After measuring the temperature I added more leaves and kitchen scraps and I turned the tumbler 3 times. The instructions state to turn it 3 times every 3 days.


compost thermometer - TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer - Page 11 Bin1-216


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Post  trolleydriver 6/29/2017, 1:02 pm

Bin #1 - Down another 2 degrees to 92F.

Bin #3 - Rebounded 17 degrees and is back up to 132F since turning yesterday.

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Post  sanderson 6/30/2017, 12:10 am

Mine is 80-95*F.  Did you fill yours pretty full and it just naturally shrunk?  I would like to build one Sat morning (after the Friday night farmer markets).  Chopped straw, chopped produce, leaves and horse manure.

The material currently in the tumbler is "moldy" looking.  I will place it in the plastic rolling garbage can (photo posted in https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t20782p25-tips-for-compost-tumbler#268948) and let the worms help.  Ken made a new door for it. compost thermometer - TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer - Page 11 Compos11

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Post  trolleydriver 6/30/2017, 8:16 am

@sanderson wrote:Mine is 80-95*F.  Did you fill yours pretty full and it just naturally shrunk?  I would like to build one Sat morning (after the Friday night farmer markets).  Chopped straw, chopped produce, leaves and horse manure.
...
At the start I did not have enough greens available to fill my tumbler completely. I started with leaves, grass clippings, and coffee grounds. Since then I have added additional leaves and kitchen scraps a couple of times but it is still not full.
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Post  trolleydriver 6/30/2017, 2:29 pm

The temps in both bins are down.

Bin #1 - 88F

Bin 33 - 115F. This bin has yo-yo temps. I think it is too small to generate and hold good heat.

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Post  trolleydriver 7/1/2017, 3:01 pm

Bin #1 - down to 85F (outside temp today is 75F)

Bin #3 - down to 100F. After taking the temp reading I added kitchen scraps, leaves, shredded paper, coffee filters and coffee grounds.

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Post  trolleydriver 7/4/2017, 5:05 pm

Three days since the last turning of Bin #3.  Today I added more kitchen scraps and turned the bin 3 or 4 times.

Bin #1 - 81F (current outdoor temp is 79F). This will be the last report for Bin #1 until I reload it and start a new batch.

Bin #3 - Before today's turning 117F.

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Post  sanderson 7/5/2017, 10:21 pm

Yep, Bin #1 looks ready.

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Post  trolleydriver 7/7/2017, 12:55 pm

Bin #3 - Three day temperatures for July 5 to 7 -  118F, 118F, 110F

I tuned the this tumbler 3 times today per the instructions.

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Post  trolleydriver 7/10/2017, 4:18 pm

Bin #3 - Three day temperatures for July 8 to 10 -  116F, 112F, 106F

I turned this tumbler bin 5 times today. That is 2 times more than stated in the instructions but I was trying to loosen up the material more than I got with 3 turns.

I'm thinking this bin is not going to produce good compost. Maybe I didn't get the right amounts/ratio of greens and browns.

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Post  trolleydriver 7/13/2017, 12:11 pm

Bin #3 - Three day temperatures for July 11 to 13 -  108F, 108F, 98F

Contents are very wet probably due to the excessive rainfall and the fact that the tumbler is not watertight. Today was turning day after taking the temperature reading.

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