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Are you a hottie? - Page 13 Toplef10Are you a hottie? - Page 13 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.

Are you a hottie? - Page 13 I22gcj10Are you a hottie? - Page 13 14dhcg10

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Post  memart1 7/8/2012, 3:47 pm

You are officially a HOT Hottie!
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Post  GWN 7/8/2012, 5:48 pm

UH OH...... be sure and have a hose next to it.... lol!
Guess all your work outside at 90 degrees paid off
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Post  Lindacol 7/8/2012, 6:05 pm

GWN wrote:UH OH...... be sure and have a hose next to it.... lol!
Guess all your work outside at 90 degrees paid off



I do have a hose close and am checking it several times a day til the temp starts dropping. The moisture meter I ordered is suppose to be here tomorrow I think. I'd like to check the moisture level while it is so hot just for fun.

I also do a sniff test every time I walk by. It smells like a normal working compost pile. If there is ever a smoky smell I will douse it with water ASAP.

I still haven't finished topping it off - it is about 12 inches below the top of the 4 ft wire.
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Post  GWN 7/8/2012, 6:38 pm

My previous pile, that went up to 142, very quickly went back down and has stayed down, and when I went to rebuild it, it was SOAKING wet.
So yes I am sure that the moisture meter will be good
I guess with compost there IS such a thing as too much water.
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Post  camprn 7/8/2012, 7:04 pm

I would just like to point out that the compost pile will not cook until totally done. The cooking is just part of the process. Letting it age is what happens after the pile goes cold. It is worth the wait.

Certainly the compost is usable after the cooking process but that really rich, crumbly black gold is what I get after it sits a spell after cooking.

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Post  floyd1440 7/8/2012, 7:10 pm

GWN wrote:My previous pile, that went up to 142, very quickly went back down and has stayed down, and when I went to rebuild it, it was SOAKING wet.
So yes I am sure that the moisture meter will be good
I guess with compost there IS such a thing as too much water.

That is excellent!!! I put the rabbit food in Thursday and checked the teperature is now 151 degrees!!!

Also like the link you posted....... Are you a hottie? - Page 13 3170584802
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Post  Triciasgarden 7/8/2012, 10:24 pm

In my tumbler the temp is 118. Just a few days ago (I think) it was about 86 and I was thinking I sure am not doing this right. Now I am more hopeful. At what temp are we hotties? I have been watching grandkids five days a week and it is exhausting to the point where everything else tends to go by the wayside! I will check the temp tomorrow and report back! Good so far! I am resisting the urge to turn the tumbler.
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Post  plantoid 7/9/2012, 3:07 am

Lindacol wrote:This morning:

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Try to cool the heap by putting in the pipe in several places and running water into it. If the pile gets too hot it will kill the benefical bacteria & fungi that do the composting .
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Post  yolos 7/10/2012, 9:28 am

I couldn't find anywhere in this thread where it said what the temperature has to be to be considered a hottie. But this is the highest temperature I have achieved without adding any type of accelerant. The pile is just shredded straw and grass clippings. I started the pile Sunday evening, on Monday morning the temp was 120 degrees, on Monday night the temp was 140 degrees. I consider this hot.
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After I turn it the first time I will add all my vegetable wastes I have stored in the refrigerator.
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Post  camprn 7/10/2012, 10:19 am

YOU are a Hottie! I would wait until the temp came down to about 100 or less to turn the pile. But that's just me.

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Post  Kelejan 7/11/2012, 10:45 am

I think I am finally getting to be a Hottie. My pile was mostly leaves from last fall that had stagnated with too much rain and had not been turned for months. A little while ago I turned it and found it was cold and wet. Turned it a couple more times and broke up the layers of leaves, covered it with plastic to keep out the incesant rain and a few days ago I rebuilt the pile, 4x4x3, and added three barrowloads of dried grass clippings given to me by my friend.
A day later it finally started to feel warm from the aluminum tent pole I had stuffed in the pile in lieu of a thermomentor. This morning the tent pole is hot and I could not hold it comfortably. So it looks as though I will have a nice pile of black gold for adding in the fall. Woo Hoo!
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Post  GWN 7/11/2012, 10:50 am

This morning the tent pole is hot and I could not hold it comfortably. So it looks as though I will have a nice pile of black gold for adding in the fall. Woo Hoo!

WOW congrats, hb
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Post  crs 7/12/2012, 1:54 pm

Maybe...In this one spot Are you a hottie? - Page 13 Garden16

The rest of the pile runs about 120 to 125 in places and in others in below that. Normal?Are you a hottie? - Page 13 Garden20
And when do you stop adding to the pile or should I continue?

Thanks
Connie


Last edited by crs on 7/12/2012, 2:06 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Wrong picture 3rd times a charm?)
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Post  Kelejan 7/12/2012, 2:31 pm

I think that is quite normal, Connie, that is why you keep turning the pile until it is finished being hot.
I would say, do not add any more greens, otherwise the pile will never be finished.
After turning several times and the pile has cooled, sift the pile and use the finished stuff, the remainder can be used to add to the new pile that you should now have started when ceasing to add to the current working pile.
If I have got things wroing, someone will correct me, but that is the way I am doing it now.
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Post  camprn 7/12/2012, 2:37 pm

Nice pile! That temp range is normal considering how spread out the pile is. The closer you can put all the ingredients in the pile, the more the whole pile will heat up. In the past in a temporary location I have used cinder blocks to make a small retaining wall. I usually do not turn my pile until the temp drops again to 100F or less. Congrats on your compost adventure! Very Happy

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Post  plantoid 7/12/2012, 4:38 pm

Yolos ideally you ought to have a fairly large range of stuff in your heap to get a decent supply of nutrients when it is all composted .

I feel that using just grass and straw wiill leave the finished composted product deficient of almost all needed nutrients except for some nitrogen.
That would only be good for helping to " open up " a heavy clay based soil & retaining moisture .

It will be almost on par with , but not so coarse or granular as using plain peat .
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Post  floyd1440 7/12/2012, 8:57 pm

Hey camprn....

Started my pile in April and after adding rabbit food it heated up but now is cooling down..around 110 degrees. The only thing that has not broken down are pine needles and I think they take a long time.

So my question has two parts. After it cools down do I sift it? And this fall do I make a new pile and will it have time for pine needles to break down for the following spring?

New at this.....

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Post  yolos 7/12/2012, 9:29 pm

by plantoid on 7/12/2012, 4:38 pm

Yolos ideally you ought to have a fairly large range of stuff in your heap to get a decent supply of nutrients when it is all composted .

I feel that using just grass and straw wiill leave the finished composted product deficient of almost all needed nutrients except for some nitrogen.
That would only be good for helping to " open up " a heavy clay based soil & retaining moisture .

It will be almost on par with , but not so coarse or granular as using plain peat
Plantoid - I agree with you 100%. There are a number of reasons that I am using only grass and straw for this batch.

(1) At the moment, that is all I have. I plan to add kitchen scraps and used coffee grounds which will break down real fast and not slow the pile down. I currently do not have a ready supply of manure of any kind. I am too worn out from building beds, making MM, planting, watering and fighting diseases to spend any effort to obtain any manure. Also, my new neighbors are building a 6 stall horse barn and they said I can get all the horse manure I want after they move in.

(2) This batch of compost will be incorporated into what is left of my old row garden which is now down to a 4 foot wide by 32 foot long area (my corn patch). The base soil in this area of the garden is hard red Georgia clay. I originally planned on dumping the straw into the bed and tilling it in to help break up the clay. But I then decided that it would take too long to break down and would rob the soil of nitrogen. So I am partially composting it first and then adding it to the bed and tilling it in to the bed (hopefully the last time I will ever have to till). I will not be using this area for planting until next spring. I actually have the compost bin on top of the area and will move it down the bed as I turn the compost pile.

(3) I will also use this compost as 1 of the ingredients in the 5 way compost. I understand that it does not have the necessay nutrients so I will be improving it with store bought compost. Late this fall I hope to have a new compost bin started with all the necessary ingredients for a well rounded compost.

(4) When I feel that the area is sufficiently conditioned, I will then add native earthworms to help with the aireation and nutrients. Maybe a winter cover crop and bagged compost until I can produce my own nutrient rich compost.
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Post  southern gardener 7/26/2012, 11:00 pm

I love my new compost thermometer! Works great and is super sturdy too! Our compost pile has steer manure, chicken manure, alpaca manure, grass clippings, coffee grounds, "last years" garden, yard clippings, worm castings, house veggie/fruit scraps. The pile is 120 degrees at the coolest spot, and about 148 at the hottest! Hoping for some goooood compost!
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Post  GWN 7/26/2012, 11:10 pm

hb
YES you ARE a hottie.....
What I am trying to learn is the cooling off period
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Post  southern gardener 7/26/2012, 11:59 pm

GWN wrote: hb
YES you ARE a hottie.....
What I am trying to learn is the cooling off period
Hi GWN, you mean when to turn it?
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Post  littlesapphire 7/27/2012, 9:30 am

For the first time EVER, I found my pile steaming when I went out to turn it. Yay! I was too excited by the steam to think to read its temperature, but I'm still pretty psyched.
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Post  GWN 7/27/2012, 10:35 am


Hi GWN, you mean when to turn it?
Yes I guess, how long to leave it cook after it has been hot.
I feel I have it finally worked out and have a large bag of alfalfa pellets, and each time I rebuild the pile I add more of the pellets, that is what seems to get it hot.
I guess I mean to turn the pile, however it seems that each time I end up adding something or other.... some delectable item that has growths all over it from the bottom of my fridge....
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Post  camprn 7/27/2012, 11:38 am

I usually let the pile rest and do composting all by itself until the temp gets below 100F.

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Post  GWN 7/27/2012, 11:50 am

so Camprn
Does that work out to be about a week??
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