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Berkeley compost help?

 
peter gos
Posts: 7
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Hi,

I've been experimenting with compost for almost a year now, but still can't get it done in less than 5-6 weeks (using the 18 day Berkeley method)

My last one had a real odd behaviour.

I made it and watered really well, then it got hot to an average of 60 degrees celsius, flipped it properly and now in my 28th day it's even hotter and it got smaller.
Normally, I know that if it gets too hot and it shrinks down it's too much N. BUUUT, it didn't got that hot in the first few days (which it should), it only got a bit hotter now to the end so actually it never cooled down. And it never smelled, which should be the case if you put too much N
It's in the shade under a roof and covered so the sun only touches it from 5pm to 7pm

I noticed that the straw that I used is much smaller now, so I'm thinking that could be the cause.

Any thoughts? I'd really like it to be done in less than a month on my next try

Thanks
 
John Saltveit
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Posts: 2001
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I suspect what you do:
If it's getting too hot, it's usually too much N and not enough C. Put in more brown leaves-dead stuff.

It sounds like you're making good compost. I would wait until it cools down to remix it.

When you turn your pile frequently, you make it more bacterial and less fungal, which usually is not what we want if we want bushes or trees.

John S
PDX OR
 
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