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Just made my hottest pile ever

 
pollinator
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Location: Missoula, MT
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168 degrees! The greens were grass clippings and garden weeds, the browns were last years spruce needles and maple leaves. Approximately 1 cubic meter.
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pollinator
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It IS possible to go too hot. You might consider turning the pile before it gets that hot again.
 
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Outstanding Abe, that is a good heat for a hot compost pile.
As Chad mentioned it is possible for a compost heap to get above 170 f and when a heap does that, some of the bacteria and other members of the microbiome will suffer death, but some of these critters we work so hard to grow for our soil will simply go dormant as their survival mode kicks in.
One of the issues with regenerative compost is that some of the toxins we want to get rid of take that 175-185 f temp to start their breakdown cycle.
So if you are trying to remediate tainted hay or straw or horse stall clean out materials that you know were sprayed or that the horses were getting wormer in their feed, you are going to want to have a colder composted heap around to serve as your microbe seeding material.
Once the hot, hot, compost starts to cool below 150, you can take some of that cooler compost heap and add it to the center of the now cooling hot heap, that is called microbe seeding, you are putting back what the heat killed off.

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