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Watching my compost pile

 
Posts: 29
Location: Boise, Idaho
1
hugelkultur fungi urban
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I love it when something goes as per plan

I have a simple 4 x 4' composter made of clean wood pallets.
In the fall I fill it many times with all the leaves my kind
neighbors bag for me and leave on the street for me
to pick up. Usually, they are damp so no moisture is needed.
Then I make the circuit to all the local coffee shops and collect
100 lbs or more of grounds. I mix with the leaves and then use
a 5/8 inch 4 ft long rebar and mix and punch holes in the pile.
I add more leaves and coffee every week. The rebar needs to be
stiff.

Then 2 weeks ago I read about a compost thermometer and its uses
so I got one with a 20-inch shaft. I just now checked the pile and it
is doing well at about 120° F.

When the temp drops I will turn and prod the pile keeping it warm
all winter, or until the compost is done.

As I said, I love it when things go right.
Peace!
 
gardener
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Location: Pacific Wet Coast
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Well done!
I made one similar to your description this spring - then added a second to share its east wall - then a third for some horse-shit I scored - then a forth because Hubby kept birds in the brooder too long - then a 5th for fall clean up. Good thing composts shrinks as it cures.

Good score on the coffee grounds. In my area, people have figured out how great they are, so all the local shops are already subscribed.
 
Ron Haberman
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Location: Boise, Idaho
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hugelkultur fungi urban
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Checked the temp this morning, it is now down some, so I tossed much of the pile giving it some oxygen, added 4 bags of leaves and 30-40 pounds of coffee grounds. I Will test it again next week and see if the temp has come back up to 100-110 or so. The pile had lost more than 1 foot in height since I last added leaves. Something is working in it. Outside temps are in the teens to 20's at night and 30+ in the daytime. I also have covered the pile with an old tarp to keep excess moisture off. But knowing what the internal temp is a big help to keeping it going.
 
Ron Haberman
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Location: Boise, Idaho
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hugelkultur fungi urban
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Quick update, checked the temp. just now and parts of the pile are over 130°F A few days ago I added 20 pounds of rabbit poop a friend gave me. Appears to be doing the job.

I think is good to be able to watch the interior temp of the pile.
 
Ron Haberman
Posts: 29
Location: Boise, Idaho
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hugelkultur fungi urban
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Was just turning some of the pile and noticed a large number of insects working. This is winter in Idaho. Internal is still at 120+ degrees
 
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