Compost not hot enough

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: General Composting Issues: Compost not hot enough
Author: Anonymous
Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 3:53 pm
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my compost bin is 4'x4'x3', outdoors uncovered. I've been monitorng the temp and it just will not go above 80F. I think that the bin is too large and that throws the ratio of carbon-nitrogen off. I am going to start a new pile much smaller, say, half the size. Any one-two person households with the same problem? Meanwhile I need to speed up the breakdown in the current pile. will fertilizer work to kill pathogens???????Help.
Thanks.

Author: S. Infante
Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 7:30 pm
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Is it wet enough? Too wet? My bin is 5 x 5 x 4 and is 2/3 full and hitting temps of up to 140 for several days a week (1-2 days after my weekly dump) and then cools back to a nice 120 for the rest of the week. What are you putting into it beside humanure? We put all kitchen scraps in ours and weeds.

In the winter mine was wonderful, heating up to 130-140 weekly but we got a drenching spring and the thing stayed at 80 degrees for 2 months and I kept all additional moisture out of the bin and it started to warm up again. Now that we are in full summer, I have to drench it down to keep it moist enough to stay hot.

Author: Mary OBrien
Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - 6:39 pm
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I'm using kitchen scraps, no meat, humanure,and weeds in my pile. The cover material is straw. As for sawdust, I have used woodchips from a lumber yard. Sawdust from the same lumberyard. And woodchips from the local transfer station. The pile is three years old now. At one point last summer, i dropped 10 lbs of pinto beans in it and they sprouted nicely. As for water, I was using grey dish water with soap. Now I finally have running water and have been wetting the pile regularly. Yesterday, I went to the nursery and bought a bag of "compost maker" for $3. The ingredients are not listed. I think its time to start a new pile and use sawdust-raw. I was uncertain if my source had used any fire retardant or insecticide or kiln dried lumber, that's why I started switching materials. Thanks.

Author: Stephen
Friday, July 01, 2005 - 11:40 pm
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Don't be afraid to add meat to the pile as long as it is covered with at least six inches of material. I would stay away from wood chips and stick with the fresh sawdust as cover material.The pile must stay very damp and it my sound like you may be using too much carbon material in your pile.
I use no cover material for the pile as you are using straw because I am far enough from the outside world and the smell (if any) doesn't bother us. Good luck

Author: admin
Sunday, July 03, 2005 - 4:23 pm
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Wood chips should not be used in backyard compost. It sound slike the size of the pile is OK - it's probably the ingredients that are incorrect. Why segregate meat? You should probably read the Humanure Handbook.

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