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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 2:28 pm 
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Location: Carrollton
I'm trying my very first batch of compost - in a barrel tumbler. It just won't heat up. I've added molasses, some CGM (from when I treated the lawn), some soil microbes (that "Earthworm" product) - but I fear my green/brown ratio is just too high. Any suggestions?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 3:30 pm 
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Location: Arlington
What are your major ingredients?


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 Post subject: Major ingredients
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 3:48 pm 
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Garden refuse, kitchen scraps, weeds, shredded paper, 100% vegetative - no animal waste.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 11:02 pm 
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Compost in bins quite often won't heat up. You need a critical mass of compost - about a cubic yard, to insulate the microbes to keep the heat in as it does heat. But there are other factors which will keep your pile from heating up. Usually too much brown stuff is the problem.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 9:55 am 
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Is the problem that your compost will not heat up? Or, is the problem that you have a slimy mess in your tumbler?

If it is a slimy mess, then you may want to add an equal volume of shredded/crushed leaves and mix them in good. The larger shreded paper can mat up a bit and get slimy so you need to break it apart. Sometimes it takes a bit to get paper saturated with water. You might also want to add a half a bag or so of the Starbucks used coffee grounds (spread the rest out on your lawn). This should fluff up your pile and get oxygen into it. After you get the slimyness problem fixed, you can determine if you need to add more lower carbon "green" stuff.

I dont use a tumbler, I have a chicken wire compost bin. And as Dchall mentioned, my pile will not maintain heat until I have about a yard of material in it. It will heat up and cool down while small depending on what I have added that week. I dont worry about heating it up and keeping it hot until I am ready to start a new pile.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 1:02 am 
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I don't worry about mine heating up at all. Since mine is piled up on the ground, there is a constant supply of insects crawling through it decomposing stuff. Roly-polys are especially good decomposers. Can't get enough of them.

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