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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 1:00 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:06 am
Posts: 23
Location: Garland, TX
I compost a lot of our commercial cleanups on our property and use it in our garden and on some of our jobs.

You're on the right track with your ingredients, for sure. You can dilute the molasses or not. I usually throw a few handfuls of dry molasses into my separate piles just to speed the process up a bit. Watering it helps it to heat up as far as the microbiotic activity, as well as break down more thoroughly. You'll see Living Earth Tech watering their piles in summer quite often.

It's a judgment call. I've heard Howard say you want that moisture level to resemble "a wrung out sponge," and I think that's a great baseline to aim for.

I've talked to Danny, the manager at the Plano Living Earth on their compost piles, and he says they are turning their piles constantly, and have sellable, viable, hot compost within 90 days from their raw ingredients.

I'm too lazy to do all that, My piles are lucky to get turned once a season, and they're fully composted in 6 months. I set up an irrigation system for it that I just hit the button about once a week and give it about 20 minutes of spray, or about half an inch of rainfall per week just to keep it moist in the summer. Once it's lost about 70% of its volume it's usually ready to use.

I'm by no means the last word on this, nor an expert, just sharing what I do with leaf piles and molasses and water.

Mitchell J McGowan
Landscape Contractor
Dotdirt Organic Landscapes,
Garland, TX

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