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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:15 am
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Location: Grapevine, TX
Well, since the internal temperature in both piles has dropped off, I turned my compost piles last week. Previously, they were peaking out at about 140 degrees, then cooled down to mid ninetys. While turning, I added some water ecause the middle was getting dry.

After 4 days, the internal temp hadn't begun to go up, so I invested in a 3.75 bag of blood meal ($7.99 at Marshall Grain Co. in Fort Worth), and today I mixed in a cup of it into each pile. I'll start monitoring temp again daily and see which way the thermometer goes.

There were still quite a bit of browns down in the pile when I turned them, so I'm guessing they need some nitrogen to get things going again.

Here's my question: Both of my piles are about 1 cuic yard. is a cup of blood meal enough to make a difference in a mass of that size? I'm already out the cost of the blood meal, so I don't mind using the entire bag if I need to, but I don't want to get into the habit of spending lots of money on additives that I'm just gonna toss in the pile.

I appreciate any words of wisdom on blood meal application rates in compost piles for the purposes of reheating the pile.

Also, as that cold wind starts to blow, will I gain anything by wrapping the piles with a perforated tarp to cut down on moisture lost to the sides?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:17 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 9:12 am
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Location: Dallas, Texas
you are really trying to micromanage your pile.
a cup of blood meal will help, of course. But I doubt it will help enough to heat up the entire pile. It will all depend on how well the blood meal is distributed. And due to the cold dry weather in winter, it won't help the outer perimeter of the pile. Those appear to be oak leaves. Generally, in a year it will become a dark earthy brown matted mass, that will be 10 - 20 % of original volume. In another year, those leaves will become humus, or very close to it, and hopefully it will be full of worms. The cheapest ways to speed the process are to chop or shred the dry leaves before adding them to the pile. Frequently add (free) urine to the pile. Toss and aerate the pile a few times each year. Add water as necessary to keep it moist. Doing all of that will get you there faster. I used to want to do all that, but not anymore.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:53 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:40 pm
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For a small bin(s) like you have I think you could raise the temp. by rapping those bins with a plastic trash bag.I use blood meal for my pile but it's 10'L x5'W x5'H ,I tend to buy a big 20lb. bag and ad as needed.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:24 pm 
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I would never buy brand new materials to throw into a compost pile. Compost is for waste materials. Blood meal is a valid fertilizer when diluted properly.

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