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 Post subject: Too Hot?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2004 9:14 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 12:09 pm
Posts: 29
Location: Keller, Texas
Saturday I found some fire ants in my compost pile so I remembered that you can drive them out with molasses, but not knowing how, much I added 35 lbs to 1 cubic yard of compost. Yesterday (monday) I got home from work and checked it and the pile was steaming and had a pungent odor that it has never had before. I thought the odor was from the microbes going anaerobic so I turned the pile and watered it down to try to cool it back down some. Well, this morning I got up and the pile was steaming again and extremely hot, I turned it and went to work.

Now obviously I used to much molasses, but is it possible that the smell is from the molasses its self? I have been composting for over a year and have had warm piles, but never so hot and never have they smelled bad.

Can a compost pile catch on fire like moist hay in a barn? I would think the moisture would supress it but I am not sure.

This is just beyond anything I have seen, if it wasn't for the smell I wouldn't be worrying. Is it possible that what I smell is the nitrates escaping the pile.

The only thing I see to do is let it run its course and turn often to keep it oxygenated.

Any thoughts would be helpful.

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C. J. Daniel

I always hated mowing until it became MY yard.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2004 8:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm
Posts: 2884
Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
I'm actually really glad you did this experiment and reported it here. I always wondered how much was too much. Now I have at least an upper bound. So you added three and a half gallons of molasses (10 pounds per gallon). I wonder what a gallon per yard would do?

Did the ants go away :D :D :D

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David Hall
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2004 12:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 12:09 pm
Posts: 29
Location: Keller, Texas
Actually that was 35 pounds of dry molasses!!!

Yes, the fire ants made a mass exodus to my neighbors yard.

This mornig I checked it and I think it is finally starting to cool down some to normal compost pile temps.

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C. J. Daniel

I always hated mowing until it became MY yard.


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 Post subject: to much dried molasses
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2004 12:58 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2003 1:58 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Little Elm, TX
What ill effect would this cause anyway...I like to layer my new compost pile with dried molasses & water in to get pile really cook'n quick...

How much molasses is to much? & is there any side effects to the end
compost.

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Lee Harris
Little Elm, TX


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