Ok gardening wizards, I need some help as I'm new at this.
I have one huge compost pile (30' L, 5' W, 3' H) and some of it is semi warm, other spots are cold as ice. I need help on getting this puppy to cook evenly like a butterball turkey.
The compost pile is on the ground (to allow worms in and nutrients to leech out and condition the ground) and I built it in the following manner:
1. put small tree branches on the bottom (I think that was bad advice).
2. layered grass on top of the branches.
3. created a cavity and poured in shredded cedar mulch, peat moss, cow manure, humus, leaves and the occasional veggie scraps.
4. Covered it up with more grass so the nitrogen wouldn't escape.
5. Watered and turned once a week (again, suspect that's bad advice, too).
6. Poured 2 gallons of straight black strap molasses into the pile.
7. poured "beneficial micro organisms" into the soil (enough to treat two tons worth of compost).
The pile was toasty warm until I turned it, and then it never regained its heat. So I went back to the other site and it said it may be too much/not enough water/air/nitrogen. So I turned the pile, added more manure, peat moss and grass, and watered it. NOTHING.
What am I doing wrong and how can I get this pile rolling hot so it'll somewhat decomposed by the spring? I even got desperate - I went out, bought a black plastic tarp (a little shorter than the pile to allow some air flow) in hopes the sun beating down on something black would help it to cook. No dice.....
The pile will be used for a veggie garden I want to start around March with typical cold weather crops, but that might not happen as soon as I'd like if I can't get this pile to cooperate.
Thanks the to wonderful function called "EDIT", I can report some new 'additions' to the pile thanks to what's been posted in here. I hope I did it right...
Someone mentioned old jelly and lots of comments were made about cheap, jock strap filtered beer. Well, that set off a few bells - one being I have both in the fridge and cabinets AND.....I realized I wasn't the only sicko in the forum, so now I feel MUCH better.
There's something to be said about cajuns and their sweet teeth tendencies. I had tons of old, solidified honey, spagnum (sp?) and ribbon cane molasses, and old home made jellies that were just sitting around taking up valuable real estate in the fridge....along with beer from a party we threw a few years ago. So they all joined together via the magic of Mr. Blender and Mr. Microwave and started life anew in the coldest part of the compost pile.
I hope that helps, but if you have any further suggestions, please let me know.