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Old 04-01-2012, 12:38 AM   post #31 of 36
njjack
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Default Re: Making compost

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Originally Posted by knap-sack View Post
I am Norm's wife, Joy. He showed me this gardening forum and I thought I would say 'Hi". I have been gardening for a long time and have some good tricks to get plants out early. One of my favorite things to so is cut the bottom out of milk jugs and place them over young tomato and pepper plants. Since I've moved to Ohio I've found this a little tricky to do though since we tend to get spring wind storms. The cartons give me about a two week headstart. My neighbors used to laugh at me for doing it. They dont laugh anymore. I beat them on first tomatoes 100% of the time! I also use Remay or similar (whatever is cheapest actually). It's another good way to get several weeks headstart. Anyway, nice forum. Thank you.
Joy, I do the same thing with the tomatoes. To keep them in place, I use 1/4"- 3/8" thick bamboo stakes, i leave about 7" sticking out of the ground a few inches away from the plant. The milk jug handle slides over pretty snuggly and for the most part keeps them in place for those first couple weeks

Sweet setup you have there sloweather! What is the beast under the tarp?
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:06 AM   post #32 of 36
Ernie S.
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Default Re: Making compost

Question: What do you folk think of using 55 gallon barrels with the clamp on lids for compost? Mixing your compost would be as easy as laying it on its side and pushing it around the yard with your tractor.
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:14 PM   post #33 of 36
KRS
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Default Re: Making compost

Mine is cooling off too much.......
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:45 PM   post #34 of 36
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Default Re: Making compost

Turned the pile once to get oxygen back into it.

The chicken manure and straw looks dramatically different. The newspaper shreds are completely digested. the pile cooled off, so I'm wondering if it needs more carbon. Hard to tell what to do next to keep it going strong.

KRS
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:50 PM   post #35 of 36
patf
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Default Re: Making compost

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Originally Posted by KRS View Post
Turned the pile once to get oxygen back into it.

The chicken manure and straw looks dramatically different. The newspaper shreds are completely digested. the pile cooled off, so I'm wondering if it needs more carbon. Hard to tell what to do next to keep it going strong.

KRS
I started first one on Sunday. Three days in I am at 155F



From what I am reading I need to turn it soon if it gets any hotter or it will kill beneficial organisms, but also if it starts to cool down. By remixing, the outside material can mix in to the center. If it has the right moisture and nitrogen/carbon mix, it should heat back up. Supposedly that can occur for up to 4 weeks before the carbon is used up and it maintains a lower temperature. At the lower temps, different bacteria take over, and also things like bugs, worms, snails,etc. So it is ok to cool down.

This was a good read http://web.extension.illinois.edu/ho...t/science.html

this one shows a temperature graph with several turnings.
http://compost.css.cornell.edu/Factsheets/FS5.html

and this one goes into more details of what is going on.
http://www.bullfrogfilms.com/guides/compguide.pdf

Last edited by patf; 04-11-2012 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:45 PM   post #36 of 36
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Default Re: Making compost

Added 2 more bins on to the ones i had.



My compost is cooking well at 150 -160 between the 2 bins. I wond if that changes the characteristics of the pile. normally, only the center section of each pile gets hot and decays. I'll have to check if having them side-by-side increases that hot spot.

For now, 2 will be enough to turn. I need my grass clippings to use as mulch around my tomatoes to keep weeds down. but I'll start another new pile in a few weeks.
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