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My compost was HOT! Toplef10My compost was HOT! 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.

My compost was HOT! I22gcj10My compost was HOT! 14dhcg10

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My compost was HOT!

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BackyardBirdGardner
buttaflie143
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My compost was HOT! Empty My compost was HOT!

Post  Aub 4/24/2011, 10:22 pm

For the first time ever my compost was HOT! I started a 2nd pile in a sunny area. It has grass clippings, chicken poop and pine shavings, and a little bit of kitchen scraps.
Madame Heap never got hot. I think it's because she's under a tree and doesn't get any sun. I think I will slowly start mixing the old pile into the new one.
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Post  AZDYJ2K 4/25/2011, 2:17 am

I had a compost pile last year and it never really got "hot". Granted, I did have it under a tree also,however, I live in scorching Chandler, AZ. This year, I have it in the sun and hope it get's hot. I want to make sure all the nasty bad things get killed off.
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Post  camprn 4/25/2011, 7:56 am

@Aub wrote:For the first time ever my compost was HOT!
My compost was HOT! 418730
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Post  Bec 4/25/2011, 8:26 am

Congrats on hot compost! The reason your compost is hot though is because of the ingredients. It can be in the shade and if it has the right ingredients it will still get hot. Mine is in the sun too but is currently not hot - because of the ingredients. It also has worms though, which I am thrilled about. If it was hot the worms would be killed off (which has happened before). Heat is good for killing off weed seeds but worms are good for lots of other things, including worm castings. Grass clippings will make your compost hot in a flash. (That is what killed of my worms last year.) I think chicken poo will create the heat too. Regardless - you're on the way to some good compost! cheers
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Post  walshevak 4/25/2011, 12:21 pm

After reading this, decided to check mine this morning. It was warm in the center for the first time. I poured a gallon of compost tea in it last Thu. Smile

Kay

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Post  buttaflie143 4/27/2011, 11:33 pm

@Bec wrote:Congrats on hot compost! The reason your compost is hot though is because of the ingredients. It can be in the shade and if it has the right ingredients it will still get hot. Mine is in the sun too but is currently not hot - because of the ingredients. It also has worms though, which I am thrilled about. If it was hot the worms would be killed off (which has happened before). Heat is good for killing off weed seeds but worms are good for lots of other things, including worm castings. Grass clippings will make your compost hot in a flash. (That is what killed of my worms last year.) I think chicken poo will create the heat too. Regardless - you're on the way to some good compost! cheers

How long does it take for compost to get hot? What can I do to get my compost to get hot? Should I not turn it as much? I have been turning it 5-6 times a day.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 4/27/2011, 11:40 pm

Congrats on Madame Heap's twin! You need to take note of what you did right.

When it comes to mulch, there is a such thing as spontaneous combustion. Rare, but it can happen. Spread it out for awhile or really wet it before putting it near your house. Just sayin'.
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Post  Aub 4/27/2011, 11:45 pm

Once when I was a kid I went to throw something in to my dad's compost pile, which was just all of the lawn clippings and sticks we picked up, and it BLEW UP! It was scary! I don't remember what I put in but I know it wasn't a match. Just as I turned my back the whole thing went up.
My garden and compost piles (and various other piles) are at the end of our yard next to the chain link fence. It's a good stretch to the house. Plus we have had a lot of rain.
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Post  NaturesApprentice 4/28/2011, 2:04 pm

I think I saw a post in here about a guy in France or Begium back in the 70's that was in charge of a forest and had to keep the brush trimmed to avoid flash fires.

He turned the brush into a "fine" mulch, and then created big piles of it to compost into soil, but he did two really cool things...

1. He ran a coil of hose throughout the piles that he used to heat the water for his house.
2. He fermented a compost tea and trapped the methane it produced in old inner tubes. He then was able to transfer that to a pressurized cylinder that powered his jeep for the trips into town.

Seriously fun stuff. I love this place.
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Post  Yaffley 4/28/2011, 3:48 pm

@buttaflie143 wrote:

How long does it take for compost to get hot? What can I do to get my compost to get hot? Should I not turn it as much? I have been turning it 5-6 times a day.
5-6 times a day is a little too much turning! Lots of oxygen in there, which is a Good Thing(tm) but too much for you to sustain. I'd leave it be and give it a turn once a week at the most. Oh, things like manure and grass get hot, and keeping it covered traps the heat in.
The rest of the time you have just saved, spend admiring your sfg.
All the best from Blighty
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Post  camprn 4/28/2011, 4:05 pm

Yaffley, My compost was HOT! 396615 to the SFG Forum!! I agree with you about the amount of turning. I tend my compost pile about once a week. LOL, No worries Buttaflie, Compost is a process, not an event. Hang in there Woman!!
OH Yaf, I love your avatar!!! My compost was HOT! 311672
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 4/28/2011, 5:56 pm

Welcome to Yaffley. Don't be a stranger, ya here? Jump over into the Welcome Mat so we can welcome you properly.
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Post  fiddleman 4/28/2011, 6:03 pm

@buttaflie143 wrote:
How long does it take for compost to get hot? What can I do to get my compost to get hot? Should I not turn it as much? I have been turning it 5-6 times a day.

I can read this question two ways: One- you rotate the drum once a day five or six revolutions, or,
Two- you rotate the drum one revolution 5 or 6 times a day.

First statement is okay, it will be fine. Second probably is too many times to get really nice colonies of bacteria working together.

Mark
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Post  camprn 4/28/2011, 6:08 pm

I built my first compost pile of the year this past weekend. It is an open bin type. I just went out to check to see if it is heating up... sure enough, about 6" down the temp is about 135*F, or so my ancient meat thermometer says. Very Happy I am going to pick up a digital thermometer this weekend because I want to get an accurate reading of the pile's internal temperature.
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Post  Ha-v-v 4/28/2011, 6:12 pm

@camprn wrote:I built my first compost pile of the year this past weekend. It is an open bin type. I just went out to check to see if it is heating up... sure enough, about 6" down the temp is about 135*F, or so my ancient meat thermometer says. Very Happy I am going to pick up a digital thermometer this weekend because I want to get an accurate reading of the pile's internal temperature.

I sit here laughing, all the years Ive had thermometers, for the children, for the adults, for the meat, for the candy and now I need one for the compost. I love it!!! Thats being well rounded thermometer wise dont you think?
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Post  buttaflie143 4/28/2011, 6:41 pm

@fiddleman wrote:
@buttaflie143 wrote:
How long does it take for compost to get hot? What can I do to get my compost to get hot? Should I not turn it as much? I have been turning it 5-6 times a day.

you rotate the drum once a day five or six revolutions

Mark

You got it right the first time, sorry my post was so ambiguous. I rotate the drum once a day five or six revolutions and I was thinking that maybe I should let it sit awhile before giving it a whirl.
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