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 Post subject: Composting advice please
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 11:14 am 
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Joined: Sun May 23, 2004 1:24 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Cisco Texas
I am new (very new) to composting. Just now starting my first compost pile. I have grass cuttings, old partly decomposed hay, misquite twigs, oak leaves and twigs, cedar twigs, rotting brier vines and access to cow manuer in most stages. Can all of this go into the same pile? The misquite has some thorns. The brier seams that the thorns are already soften or non-existent. Also how hot is too hot for compost to stay healthy. I have excess to a few 55 gallon plastic drums that I can convert to composters. Any advice?

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suzyq


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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2003 9:21 am
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Location: Waxahachie,TX
Yes, you can mix everything together. Mesquite thorns are no problem unless you are putting your hands in the pile. The cedar will take a little longer since it is more resistant to rotting. I would recommend breaking some of the twings into smaller pieces if at all feasible, helps to break them down faster. I wouldn't really say there is a too hot, but a very hot pile does not attract earthworms because of its heat. A very hot pile will be ready much faster than a cooler pile. The 55 Gallon drums are good just be sure to drill some holes in the lid and some people even recommend drilling holes in the sides for better air flow. When you want to mix the compost roll it around the yard.

My 2 Cents,
Chad


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 6:35 am 
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Joined: Sun May 23, 2004 1:24 pm
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Location: Cisco Texas
Thank

The twigs are small emough that I am going to run the mulching lawn mower over them and the dried brier vines. I want to rent a chipper/shreder. We have a cedar tree that blew down last year and several oaks that were dozed. I could have mulch and composting metal for a live time. :D

I do intend to drill holes in the durms. My plan is to use the drums for some and keep a pile going. When the drum is finished I will refill the drums from the pile. I am thinking that the stuff in the drum will compost faster than the pile.

Suzyq


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 1:58 pm 
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I think stuff in a pile composts better than in a drum. The drum gets too hot at low temperatures and bakes the microbes. In a pile you have all the natural heaters, insulators, and conductors working for you.

My pile is in full shade behind the garage. When it gets dry, it is obvious and I can water it. It cannot get too wet because the water drains right out of it. A drum is never quite balanced with heat, moisture, and air flow.

Too hot for a natural pile on the ground is 190 degrees F. Too hot for a drum might be 90 degrees F because you don't have the moisture balanced in there. Drums are just too hard to manage and way too small to do any good, in my opinion.

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