I ran out to the compost bin today certain that when I plunge the thermometer in, it should at least be a little bit warmer. So...thermometer in, and, no difference at all. So I threw the tarp back and grabbed my pitchfork and started tossing it. It has now been thoroughly tossed. And like a crazy compost woman I was tossing and trying to figure out how much brown I had to my green. I've already added old compost and some manure. So in my best whiny voice "so why, why isn't the compost steaming like garden guru Jim's?" So now I wait.
The best thing to do is not worry! I don't do much to my compost, but it always turns out fine. For me, the key thing seems to be having plenty of worms in it (which I have). The worms just appear from "nowhere" and multiply exceedingly quickly.
Hi Mark. Last night I was doing some nice light reading...Rodale book of Composting. I think you are probably exactly right. If it won't heat up, just use the other method. My reasoning for trying to hot compost is: I have four new raised beds with purchased soil in them. I was thinking that to get some rich, organic matter in there with lots of nutrients, I needed to crank out compost fast. I plan on adding 4-5 new raised beds this year. It is unlikely that I could get enough for that many beds in my new garden setup. So, I will not panic, buy a load of composted manure and compost and just compost for next year. Thank you my wise gardening friend.
PS: I am a bit OCD so I'm pretty sure that I'll keep taking its temperature and trying...just cuz it's a challenge now. But all for fun. It will compost with the worms. I didn't seen any yesterday. I guess they haven't found it yet. We are in clay and didn't have many to begin with, so patience, patience.
I wish I could get mine to heat up, too. I just throw it all in a pile, try to get the ratios right, and wait for about a year. I haven't noticed worms much in mine - I'm thinking about buying some! If you figure out the key to fast composting, let us know. I'd love to make more - faster!
Hi Holley. I will keep you posted!! I tend to be pretty stubborn. I am a Taurus and that's how we roll. When I figure it out..there will be a post. Probably all in caps cuz I'll be yelling!
lol, hello crazy compost girl, I am sure your compost will be just fine! :-)
Is the compost wet enough? That, I have found, is more important than I realized.
heh, re the Christmas tree...all I could think of when I saw yours was, I need more icicles. You are right...we have the same tastes heh ;-)))
Thank you GT.
Hi Brenda. I think it may be too dry. I gave it a bit of water, but now that you say that I'm wondering if it just isn't wet enough. Hmmm. My Allan is really paranoid about getting the compost wet. He has it all tarped and gives me 'stink eye' whenever I say I've watered it. I'm going to sneak it some more water. Shhhhhhhh.
PS. I have about 300 icicles on the tree. Is that nutty or what. It sure does look pretty though.
Hi Erin - Have you thought about some sort of activator, catalyst or "starter" that would get things going micro biologically and expedite the natural decomposition process?
You may already be aware that some natural compost activators are alfalfa meal, blood meal, bone meal, cottonseed meal, fish meal, hoof meal, horn meal or manure.
Good luck with your pile and happy new year to you!
Hi Debra. I'm going to do as Brenda suggested...add more water to the pile. If that doesn't work I'm going to give your activator a try. Thank you for the tip.
Breathe Woman! Breathe! ...and relax...it'll happen x
Hi Erin, I love checking the temp on my compost too. When my pile is at its hottest it is usually because I've done a few things: given it some new material to break down, aerated it, and watered. It was always my understanding that the water was what helped the bacteria get moving. If it's too dry, the bacteria slows down to the point of near dormancy.
Good advice Jane. Ohmmmmmmm. Breath in, breath out....ohm. Okay now that I'm calm and centered, WHERE IS MY THERMOMETER!!??
Hi Chad. Now I'm certain that it is the water. I'll check on the weekend and if it's not warm-ish, I'll add more water. Thank you.
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