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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 7:30 pm
Posts: 3
Location: shrewsbury,MASSACHUSETTS
I am new to composting. I spent several hours reviewing this website the other day and got a lot of valuable information. I also have a copy of the book, "The Rodale Book of Composting", which I have been using as a reference.

I have a 3x3x3 compost bin, with slated sides and top, that is about ¾ full. Three weeks ago I took an open pile of compost that I started in early July and put it in the newly created compost bin. The contents of my compost are made up of: vegetable scraps mainly from salads, some corn cobs and shucks, some beet tops, coffee grounds (I learned from this website the benefits of putting the grounds directly in the garden, which I have done now, but still have some in my compost), chopped up news paper, old brown leaves, some grass clippings (I mulch most of my grass clippings back on the lawn, but I do have some in the compost), six 5-gallon buckets of fairly fresh horse manure with sawdust, and ½ cup of molasses mixed in a gallon of water, which I also learned from this website. I am continually adding to the compost and turning the new material in during my regular turning schedule.

I have kept the compost moist, made sure that there are no clumps, and was turning it every three days. The problem is that my compost pile was putting off some good heat, then it started to cool to 106, and now it is barley warm. I am in Massachusetts and the weather has also cooled to high 60’s to low 70’s. After reading this website I waited five days and turned it on Friday, September 1, adding in 3 of my 5-gallon buckets of horse manure and the molasses water. I had hoped that waiting longer would allow the pile to get warmer, but when I turned the pile it was not even warm, and today I checked the pile and it did not seem to be giving off much heat. I don’t know what I am doing wrong.

Do I need more of something – Carbon? Nitrogen? What items would you suggest I add to my compost pile?

How do I get the heat up in the pile so that it won’t freeze this winter?

I was planning on using the compost in March/April to prepare some beds for planting. What do I need to do so that my pile will continue to cook?

Any help would be most appreciated. At this point I am just confused.
:?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 4:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 10, 2003 5:48 pm
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Location: Weatherford,TX
All I can figure is that you are keeping it too wet. Try turning it every 2-3 weeks instead of every few days.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 6:50 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 7:30 pm
Posts: 3
Location: shrewsbury,MASSACHUSETTS
Thanks for the response. My compost is not very wet - it is like a wrung out sponge - are there any other thoughts on what I should do? All advice would be helpful.

How is my nitrogen to carbon balance? (Browns to green?)

Judy Vedder


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 8:49 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Carrollton,TEXAS
I have read about differnt ways of composting, but I don't have the space for it. So, what I did was just used an old garbage can, and start putting my kitchen scraps, leaves, old plants, ect in it. I keep adding to it and the pile keeps shrinking, and there seems to be heat coming from the garbage can. When I open the lid, there are little nats flying all in the garbage can. So my question is, do you think I can get compost this way?
Thanks


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 Post subject: compost
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 7:38 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 7:33 am
Posts: 764
Location: Plano & land at Dodd City,TEXAS
I think you can do compost like that, but maybe it is too anerobic. Is it outdoors? Can you leave the lid off at times? Add some good dirt to it? When a friend of mine moved to the country & wanted to start a compost pile, one of the things I gave her for a 'housewarming gift' ( :lol: :lol: )was a bag of compost from MY pile! It really helped start hers. Can you get some from a neighbor?

Patty

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