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So far so good (compost turning +2 days)

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Post  arla on 12/6/2011, 1:55 am

Air temps made it upto 60 today (lows in the 30's), the compost thermometer has the bin at 75ish, which 2 days after turning the whole lot over and watering a lot doesn't seem too bad.

Will have to wait and see how the temps go, but right now I'm okay with that, and it's progress (my thermometer has 80+ as "something is happening" zone) not sure how long it takes a stone cold pile to get upto temperature, should I worry that the top of the pile seems pretty much dry as a rock again? Might add more water, but maybe leave until this weekend (so I can do it during the day).
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Post  Chopper on 12/6/2011, 2:11 am

Luckily compost happens whether the pile heats up or not so you can't lose!

And I may be wrong, as I so often am, but I do not think daily turning is beneficial. Just when the bacteria really start going to work and heating the pile you redistribute them and they have to start over.
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Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 12/6/2011, 8:32 am

I haven't touched my compost pile since I added the last batch of rabbit manure last week and the temp is still at 100F.
To me that's pretty good for being lazy.
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Post  Chopper on 12/7/2011, 2:26 am

Things that require procrastination are my specialty.
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Post  arla on 12/17/2011, 10:40 pm

Well after a week it had cooled back down from 80, today it was down to 50, which was ironic because that actually puts it colder than the outside air temperature.

I dug the entire pile out (it was weter than last time) added some coffee ground that I had from the morning, and a bit more finished compost, gave it all a through mix and shovelled it all back into the compost site wetting it a bit at random intervals.

We'll see how it goes now.
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Post  llama momma on 12/18/2011, 7:01 am

I think I found some great free info on compost temperatures, what is happening when, and what to do about it. Below is the link for loads more details. Compost info is around page 17 or 20.

Personal Note: Mel does Not want us to get all detailed on this stuff, since compost will happen. I was thinking about the people who like to play around with their compost thermometers and get all geeky over this stuff. Smile

http://www.nerc.org/documents/manure_management/manure_management_handbook.pdf

It said within 2 days a properly maintained compost pile should reach between 120 and 160 degrees.

To kill pathogens, parasites, and weeds, temps should be 131 degrees for 15 days.

When temps go below 120 compost should be turned.
When temps go above 140 compost should be turned.

Compost works best w/moisture content of 40 - 60% , that wrung out sponge feeling, even a drop of liquid could come out of it.

I thought this was a lot of good free info - Enjoy!






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Post  RoOsTeR on 12/18/2011, 10:00 am

momma, what happened to your manure comparison thread? I got rid of the one you did by mistake so you could start another Smile

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Post  llama momma on 12/18/2011, 10:59 am

...here it is Rooster, I had to go back and find the source again
because silly me couldn't find it right away silly me

Animal Manure Comparisons

% N % P % K (Nitrogen Phosphorus Potassium)

Alpaca/Llama 1.7 0.69 0.66

Chicken 1.0 0.8 0.4

Horse 0.7 0.25 0.55

Sheep 0.95 0.35 1.0

Cow 0.6 0.15 0.45

llamas take the prize for nitrogen rock on
chickens win the phosphorous dept happy banana ( go rooster go)
and well looks like llamas win again for potassium happy banana
Yay for our all our animal friends as we should seek important nutrients from ALL the animals above who are very worthy to our gardening efforts!!
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Post  llama momma on 12/18/2011, 11:00 am

I did it again Rooster it went into the same thread instead of standing by itself, I give up on myself. Maybe it should stay in this thread afterall.
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