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by pagarden on May 24, 2006 03:38 PM
so when i started my pile i had grass clippings from the yard, a black garbage bag full of chopped leaves, some kitchen stuff. for the first week or so it was warm- even steaming! i was amazed. since then i've added more kitchen scraps and about 2 whole newspapers shredded (i need a bigger shredder!)i turned yesterday and saw worms so i touched it and it was cold. not enough browns????? i added a little sawdust today (neighbor was working on porch so i kindly asked the worker if i could have the dust! LOL). the weather has been unusually cold (actually had a frost warning last night! YIKES!) but if my compost is breaking down correctly the weather won't really impact it right? any other thoughts?
by Longy on May 24, 2006 06:54 PM
Probably the greens have lost their kick. Is the mix too dry? It should be as moist as a wrung out sponge. Some chicken manure , a thorough mixing and add water if needed will kick start it again. Comfrey is also a great kick starter.

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The secret is the soil.
by johnCT on May 25, 2006 01:11 AM
The keys to a hot pile are enough greens and enough moisture. Throughout the summer I add greens(kitchen scraps and grass clippings) to my pile every week and turn it at the same time. Cold weather shouldn't affect the pile unless it's winter.

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John - Zone 6
by tkhooper on May 25, 2006 07:30 AM
I got mine really hot by adding a watering can full of hot kitchen tap water and two tablespoons of ordinary yeast. I was suprised by what a difference it made to the about of heat the pile would generate.

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by pagarden on May 25, 2006 08:38 AM
ahh--- an idea. i was reading a bit too and i think some of my problem may be that it's not big enough either. 3 ft wide by 3 ft wide by only about 1 ft tall. so i'm going to add more volume this weekend and do the hot tap and yeast and get things moving along....
by tkhooper on May 26, 2006 01:59 AM
Ok remember its the green that gets hot, but it's also the part that smells bad. So I like Weezies ratio of 75% brown and 25% green. You'll know it's heating up when you see the white powdery stuff on the grass.

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by weezie13 on May 26, 2006 02:37 AM
You can use beer too!!!

*and sugary soda's and wine coolers too*

Threr's also a product called Ringer Plus that gets your pile going too, if it's stalled...
*or it's too filled with brown and there is not enough green to activate the brown..*

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by pagarden on May 26, 2006 07:32 AM
well, the beer i'd rather drink! [muggs] and i usually have yeast in the cupboard to make breads so that's not an expense really. i can use the yeast in the compost WHILE i drink the beer! [thumb]
by weezie13 on May 26, 2006 07:59 AM
You can er, uh, pee on the pile after too,
after all is acceptable... [Embarrassed] [Wink]

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by pagarden on May 26, 2006 03:55 PM
LOL! i'm sure my neighbors would love that!
by weezie13 on May 26, 2006 03:59 PM
[shocked] [Wink] [Wink] [Big Grin] [Embarrassed] [thumb]

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by SpringFever on July 08, 2006 11:05 AM
Ok tried the soda and the greens mine is STILL not heating up?? could there be some reason?? Perhaps not enough Browns?? Should I keep it covered?

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Tonight I am having friends for dinner... Hanibal Lector My Album
by Longy on July 08, 2006 11:54 AM
It needs to be a cubic yard in volume to get the heap going. If it is less than this it won't get hot. It also needs to be moist.

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The secret is the soil.
by weezie13 on July 08, 2006 12:11 PM
quote:
Originally posted by SpringFever:
Ok tried the soda and the greens mine is STILL not heating up?? could there be some reason?? Perhaps not enough Browns?? Should I keep it covered?
Can I ask what all you've put in so far?????

And how you did it??

Example: All greens in first, browns last, pop,
kitchen scraps, dirt, etc..??

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by SpringFever on July 08, 2006 01:42 PM
What I did was to start out with browns and a can of rotting leaves! Nice and gooey ewww .. Then I put in the grass and scraps and I added water any soft yard scraps.. I turn it and all that I was told to do.. Though I have not added any new browns.. It is a 3' Cube... Should I move it into a sunny location??

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Tonight I am having friends for dinner... Hanibal Lector My Album
by weezie13 on July 08, 2006 02:40 PM
I'd definately get some browns on it...

*youuuuuuu wouldn't happen to have a picture would you???*

I know it's hard to get a pile first started..
*I've had problems myself.*
Especially when it's wetttt...

I like this stuff alot to jump start a pile..
Ringer Compost Plus
(But this stuff is for alot of browns, but it still may work to jumpstart yours..)

~~~~~>Do you have an area where it's like forrest or woods by you..
That you could swipe some of the ground soil from there?????<~~~~~

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by SpringFever on July 09, 2006 06:39 AM
I'll take a picture
Ok here it is ... Things seem to be breaking down a bit but it seems to take a long time.. I could go to my next door neighbors house for the forest scraps no problem!!  -
Thanks weezie!

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Tonight I am having friends for dinner... Hanibal Lector My Album
by porter57 on July 09, 2006 07:43 AM
seems to me like my pile will get hot for a while and then cool down. adding more greens helps but you can reach a point where it doesnt help much anymore. time to sift out the good compost and throw back everything that doesnt sift,and use the sifted stuff. come fall.sift again and leave whats left as a jumpstart on next years pile. add your shredded leaves as you get them,and any greens available. pile will shutdown in the cold months(still working just not hot)come spring begin again with the greens,
lawn clippings and such and it will again begin to heat up. repeat process.
by SpringFever on July 10, 2006 02:56 AM
I will give it a try...Thanks for the help AGAIN [Embarrassed] Does it matter if you only have a bit?? I mean there is really not that much in the bin?? Or can I just continue to add to it?
Ohhh the questions..

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Tonight I am having friends for dinner... Hanibal Lector My Album
by weezie13 on July 10, 2006 03:53 AM
Your pile doesn't look bad at alll..
Either let it rest, and start a new one..
*that's what I would do....
I don't sift thru that one until it's done
and set for a bit*

Then when I do sift, the bigger stuff that's not done composting, gets mixed in between layers of the new layers I add to help kick start it...

I don't know how to answer the "little bit in the bin part" as mine are always stuffed to the top, because I have sooooooo much from two lawns.
Soooooo, as long as it worked, and the stuff is breaking down then it worked and would be fine...

And also depends on how fast you want to use it...
If you want to use it reasonably soon, then I'd let what you have sit..
and start on a new one..
The more you ad to the existing one,
the longer it takes to finish up and then use...
*does that make sense?*

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by SpringFever on July 10, 2006 04:18 AM
Yes it does make total sense Weezie... I will get out there and sift it today ...and perhaps I
will get another batch by the winter Thanks a bunch!! [clappy] [kissies]

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Tonight I am having friends for dinner... Hanibal Lector My Album
by SpringFever on July 10, 2006 12:25 PM
Ohhh Sorry one more Question!! What is rest and how long do you do this? If I sifted it is that not useable at this time and should I be adding water and turning the sifted stuff?Uhhh ohhh just re read I should of let it rest and then sift it! [Embarrassed] [nutz] [critic]

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Tonight I am having friends for dinner... Hanibal Lector My Album
by PAR_Gardener on July 12, 2006 03:33 PM
Ok, I keep reading a few things repeated in this thread that should be clarified. All the posts are about hot composting, and here are a few things that will help out your hot composting efforts:

* If you want things hot, you want more green. Think of green as the flame and oxygen and the brown as the logs in a camp fire. Too much brown is like trying to light a log with a match. Too much fire, and you'll fire will burn too quickly and it won't smell very good.

* A compost pile will not stay hot indefinitely, and you don't want it to stay hot forever. The greens (nitrogen or flame) will eventually burn up all the browns (carbon or fuel). One of the benefits to hot composting is you make compost quicker than cold composting. If your ratio is around the to the 30:1 (C:N), you turn the pile daily, and monitor moisture to keep it optimal, the pile will only stay really hot (> 140 deg C) for a week. After that the temp of the pile drops gradually until it is slightly higher than air temp.

* You don't want to keep adding material to a hot compost pile. Gather that cubic yard/meter of stuff, and then turn it until it cools. If you add to it, you are mixing cold and hot composting techniques. Now no one is going to take you to composting jail, but you won't realize the benefits (temps high enough to kill weeds and destroy most harmful chemicals, compost in as little as two weeks) of hot composting by continuously adding material.

* Resting or letting your compost age (like fine wine), is just that. Let it sit. Stop turning it. Ignore it so if you're C:N ratio was off, (and there's no good way to tell for sure unless you want to break out a chemistry set) or you have big chunks of stuff left, nature has time to decompose that stuff. It's a way to ensure that you don't burn your plants with compost that may still be hot. The amount of time you let your compost "rest" depends on your ingredients. If you only used vegetative matter, then there isn't much need to let it rest. If you used manure, a few weeks to a month of rest is probably enough.

* If you don't keep adding material to the pile, it should reduce to about 1/3 the original volume. That's decomposition. That's your goal.

SpringFever,
your compost looks done. Put it in your garden, let your plant reap the benefits of your hard work.

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Composting is more than good for your garden. It's a way of life.
by SpringFever on July 13, 2006 01:38 AM
Thank you PAR ... That was the exact information I was looking for!! Some of the terms are very foreign to us New to Composting! And you really cleared it up [clappy] [thumb]

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Tonight I am having friends for dinner... Hanibal Lector My Album

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