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white dust in the compost pile?

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by Braca on May 14, 2006 03:16 PM
The last few times I have turned my compost pile I have started noticing a fine white powder. Sometimes it looks like its smoldering for a few seconds. What is this? Is it good or bad? If it's bad what do I do about it? We have pretty hard water around here and I have started spraying a little water on the pile when I turn it. Maybe this is it? I have been turning the pile about every week when I mow the lawn. I have a collapsible bin so what I have been doing is moving the bin, throwing the fresh grass clippings in it, and then turning the pile onto the clippings. It seems to be working. When I turned the pile today I felt the center of the pile and it was so hot I could keep my hand on it very long. This is what everything I have read says is supposed to happen so I think it is working.
by tkhooper on May 15, 2006 01:18 AM
This is good. It is your greens breaking down and they do generate the heat and the white powder. Sounds like your doing great.

Most likely you don't need to add water to your compost if it is mostly grass clippings. Unless it looks like they are going to get dry. The compost pile should reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees F. That will make sure that any weed seeds in there will be killed off which is another thing you want.

Enjoy your composting.

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by porter57 on May 15, 2006 11:11 AM
got the same in mine
nice to get an answer without asking, thanks
by Braca on May 15, 2006 11:51 AM
Thanks for the info. I guess i'll keep on keeping on.

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