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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Compost starter, or something else Toplef10Compost starter, or something else 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.

Compost starter, or something else I22gcj10Compost starter, or something else 14dhcg10

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Compost starter, or something else

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boffer
arla
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Compost starter, or something else Empty Compost starter, or something else

Post  arla 11/28/2011, 1:14 pm

I think my bin is lacking in nitrogen, doesn't seem to be heating up much despite my constant "mixing" (is turning really mixing, or am I just doing it flat out wrong?) the temp in my pile seems to be a fairly constant 65, occasionally 70 but not much higher. The main composition, lets see, I've put in a lot of leaves recently (somewhat shredded through my blower/shredder), 4 tomato plants, 2 cucumber plants, and kitchen scraps (all the remains of my wifes juicing, other assorted scraps as we get them).

Just wondering what else I need to do to make this pile work, it's approx 3ftx 3ftx 3ft now, so should be big enough from what I read, but just doesn't seem to warm up.
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Post  boffer 11/28/2011, 1:21 pm

Are the contents moist? If so, you could help things along by adding some nitrogen with fresh cut grass if available, blood meal, alfalfa pellets, manure, or even compost.
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Post  arla 11/28/2011, 1:28 pm

It is somewhat moist, it's open to the air and it's the rainy season here in CA so it is getting "watered" every few days or so, not sure grass clippings have been helping much, my grass just isn't long enough, so I guess buying something is the way to go. How do I figure how much to add? I'm seeing boxes of bloodmeal and thinking do I just buy and add the entire lot, or figure some measurement, problem with most of these things is it says "add X per y LB's of compostables" and I've got no clue how many lb's of compostables I have.
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Post  southern gardener 11/28/2011, 1:56 pm

arla...trying sprinkling your pile down until it's pretty moist. We have been doing that and WOW has it gotten HOT! Easily 140 degrees. We just added more dead leaves, so we'll spray it down again, and I'll bet it's cookin' in a couple of days again. I always thought dryer was better, and moisture would cool it off, but it actually makes it hotter!! Give it a try...
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Post  staf74 11/28/2011, 4:15 pm

All the advice given will help no end. For me, straight up Rabbit manure (complete with pee / limited hay for extra nitrogen) heats that pile up quicker than anything I've ever used!!!!
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Post  littlejo 11/28/2011, 5:20 pm

Well, it's hard to decide what you need. If you have plenty of brown stuff, leaves, etc, then you probably need nitrogen, any manure, blood meal, or just plain ole dog food. The dog food is high in nitrogen and probably cheaper than blood meal. Just sprinkle on as you put the pile back together. Be sure to wet it down good. I would cover the pile with a tarp to keep in the heat and keep the pile from getting too wet.

http://www.compost-info-guide.com/building_pile.htm
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Post  TN_GARDENER 11/29/2011, 7:36 am

I tend to agree with the others. Sounds like you might need more green stuff.

Got any grass clippings?

What about used coffee grounds?

I also am one of those pee freaks. Very Happy
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