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More Weeds in the Compost

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More Weeds in the Compost Empty More Weeds in the Compost

Post  hitchhiker90 on 3/27/2020, 10:11 pm

Starting a new thread since this question is slightly different from my other thread about weeds in the compost. I reviewed thread and looked at the tips. I was doing yard work today and noticed a whole bunch of weeds in the compost bin. Tall weeds. Many weeds I had a nice compost going at the end of last year with leaves and food scraps so it would have nutrients. 

Sometime this year the weeds popped up out of nowhere inside the compost. I pulled most of them out by hand.  My question now is with that many weeds is the compost still good or did those weeds suck the nutrients out of it and its now pretty much just filler dirt? Also, I'm having trouble getting my compost up to 130 degrees. Could this be because its in partial shade where the big giant tree is at? If I moved my compost bin to a sunnier place would I get better results and get over the elusive 130 degree mark? My compost is a simple chicken wire compost about 2 or 3 feet in diameter.
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Post  OhioGardener on 3/28/2020, 8:32 am

The weeds in the compost didn't hurt it significantly, and after you pulled them out they can be tossed back into the pile to provide more compost.  The reason the weed seeds germinated is because the compost did not get hot enough to kill them, as you suggested in the problem of getting the temperature high enough. The compost can still be saved though, and need not be discarded.

The partial shade of the compost pile could be part of the problem, but is is probably more related to an incorrect balance of greens and browns in addition to not being big enough to cause the compression of material.  To have a really good compost pile, it needs to be at least 3'x3'x3'.  How often did you turn the pile? Do you have some nitrogen sources you can mix into the pile, such as coffee grounds, blood meal, etc.? That will get the compost cooking.

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Post  sanderson on 3/30/2020, 2:51 am

Hitchhiker, To get a hot compost, mass volume and sufficient greens are needed. My 3'x3'x3' compost bin and 80-gallon tumbler were in the shade, yet both reached 160*F. The heat comes from the microbes in the compost ingredients.

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Post  Kelejan on 3/30/2020, 1:27 pm

A couple of years ago I discarded my wooden 4 x4 ft beds as they were getting composted themselves so I built a couple of 4 x 4 compost bins from them, actually they were 4 x 3s as I could not fill them to the top.  But filling a 64 cubic foot  is a far cry from 27 cubic foot when transferring the contents to the next one is a big job. 

So when I start composting again I will stick to 3 x 3s.  Also my new beds will be 3ft x whatever, as I can reach the middle of a 3ft wide bed that size without falling into it when I weed or plant.
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Post  hitchhiker90 on 3/30/2020, 8:32 pm

Thanks for all the great suggestions. It's probably the wrong mix of greens and browns as I remember using a lot of grass clippings  last year and some food scraps. I went out there today and took out some more weeds, turned it because I haven't done it all winter, and added some carrot scrappings and more grass clippings to it.  Probably should re-read my composting book for more ideas. I'd like to add coffee grounds but I don't drink coffee and the person who does uses k-cups. Same with cow or horse manure, I'd like to add it but its not exactly something I can get easily and I don't want to go trespassing through someone's field to collect it. As for the size, its about 3 feet in diameter but the amount of compost in the bottom is probably less than a foot. I guess not having enough in there is hindering it a bit.
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Post  Kelejan on 3/30/2020, 11:25 pm

Coffee grounds count as a Green, (I think), what you need are browns like fall leaves, paper,. etc.  Look up compost in SEARCH at the top left hand corner of this page.
I think you will find lots of threads on compost making.
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