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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 9:46 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 8:20 am
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I've been adding around 2.5 lbs of white sugar, a 1/4 cup of molasis, and a tablespoon of orange oil to a gallon of water and adding that to my pile to heat it up. Anyone think this might be too much sugar? What's the risk here?


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 Post subject: Compost Sugar
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:33 pm
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Location: Dallas,TX
No, it's not too much sugar but probably way more than you need, unless you have Malcolm Beck sized compost piles.

I'd cut out the orange oil. Not sure why you are using that in a compost pile in the first place. You're probably killing off the beneficial insects that you need in your pile. Stick to just molasses and you'll have the best luck of all. It's a simple sugar and quickly increases the number of beneficial microbes in your pile.

Kathe


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 10:44 am 
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Joined: Mon May 31, 2004 5:12 pm
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None of those should be added although I see no harm with 1/4 C molasses if you have a large pile. Good compost ought to heat up on its own without any need for quick fixes or starters or stimulants. If your compost is not heating up,there must be something else wrong and adding sugar only complicates the problem. For example,if you don't have enough nitrogen, the sugar(which is a PURE brown) will further deplete any remaining nitrogen. After the initial spike in temperature,it will cool down and stop composting. Add only the molasses with the other ingredients (or especially with green,nitrogen containing ingredients) when you make the pile and if everything else is correct the pile will heat up.

And from an ecological perspective I believe compost is most important as a a useful waste disposal system with a side-effect of generating a good nutritious soil amendment. You should have no need of adding something meant for human consumption (sugar).

Additionally,you have the risk of a gazillion ants attacking your compost if you add all that sugar.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 1:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 12:12 pm
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Location: Garland
uh...if your pile is cooking right, you won't have any ants bc of sugar...they hate compost

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"A righteous person who is wise resembles God: he never disciplines anyone in order to take vengeance upon a wrongdoing, but only so that the person may be set aright, or that others may be deterred."
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2004 6:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 4:36 pm
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Location: Robinson,TEXAS
White sugar is will heat up a compost pile. 2.5 pounds would probably be enought for about a cubic yard of brown material, which would be a 3ftx3ftx3ft pile. Leaves make an excellent brown material and the best way is to layer the material. Put a thick layer of brown material making sure it is wet and then sprinkle on some sugar, molasses or cotton seed meal works real well. Then another layer of brown material and sprinkle on more sugar, ect. until you get your pile the desired depth.
An excellent website on composting is the Master Composter site at www.mastercomposter.com
Richard Spitzer


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