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Old 11-16-2008, 11:06 AM   #11
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Wet straw can get hot enough to cause spontaneuous combustion. The inside of many mulch piles are warm enough in winter to cause some critters to take refuge in them.
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Old 11-22-2008, 10:15 PM   #12
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You could try vermiculture - Google Search
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Old 12-23-2008, 02:19 AM   #13
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I would definately keep adding to the pile - even if it is in the open and uncovered. Keep turning it when it is not frozen solid. The pile will generate it's own heat and while it might still freeze, the more you add to it, the better the chances that it will continue to break down!

Good luck! I get a lot of frosts here in New Zealand, but the compost keeps working.

Using an indoor (barn or garage) worm farm is also a good idea. If you need more info on worm farming let me know.
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Old 12-23-2008, 03:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim View Post
I would definately keep adding to the pile - even if it is in the open and uncovered. Keep turning it when it is not frozen solid. The pile will generate it's own heat and while it might still freeze, the more you add to it, the better the chances that it will continue to break down!

Good luck! I get a lot of frosts here in New Zealand, but the compost keeps working.

Using an indoor (barn or garage) worm farm is also a good idea. If you need more info on worm farming let me know.
Hi from up-over Tim; welcome to DC. New Zealand seems to be my idea of a somewhat idyllic place. Temps in my area range from 100F(38C) to 0F(-18C). Humidity in the hot weather is usually over 80%. I’m partial to low humidity and cooler weather 0C to 24C. Any place with a climate like that down your way?
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Old 12-23-2008, 03:59 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by justplainbill View Post
Hi from up-over Tim; welcome to DC. New Zealand seems to be my idea of a somewhat idyllic place. Temps in my area range from 100F(38C) to 0F(-18C). Humidity in the hot weather is usually over 80%. Iím partial to low humidity and cooler weather 0C to 24C. Any place with a climate like that down your way?
Well we are in the high teens to mid 20's at the moment, and it is pouring with rain!

Where I live we can get down to a chilly -5 in winter, although that only usually lasts a few hours! Humidity is another story. We get a lot of rain across most of the country so we can be quite humid in summer.

Across the country the weather varies greatly. The north is warmer with tropical rainforests, while the south has snow capped mountains!

I am familiar with NYC weather - having spent a bit of time there over the past few years.
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Old 01-31-2009, 02:00 AM   #16
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Here is the scoop on compost.
You make your pile....you really need 3 cu ft to have enough MASS to make it work right. Let it get wet and cover it over. let it "cook" for two months. In that two months the temps will raise to between 160 to 180 degrees. It is the thermafiles that has all the nitrogen tied up. At those temp it kills all the weed seeds. You are best to have two piles working at a time. One cooking and one you are putting your wast in. After two months you can use the starter pile. I never put any portiens in my piles. If you do your asking for skunks, raccoons, stray dogs.ect. A skunk will visit you every night if he finds food until there is none left
I get all my compost from a local horse boarding barn by the dumptruck load. I do all my gardening in raised beds and use NO dirt. It is a little work to get started but after I get them built and filled I don't weed,
till,turn,hoe or get my feet muddy. If you like new potatos it is very easy to grovel your potatos in the soft compost
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:02 PM   #17
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I 'm just a few weeks into composing in a tumbler I fabbed from a 55 gallon vinegar drum purchased off Craig's List for $25. So far it is a learning experience. My main concern is keeping moisture levels right. It does not knock you back when I open the hatch leaving me to think I have happy microbes in there.
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Old 02-01-2009, 06:25 PM   #18
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Hi Porthand,
There is no need to "tumble" your compost. Listen to what I will tell you. If you throw a , lets say banna peal, in the yard,will it rot. Of corse it will, the only way to keep it from doing so it put it in an air tight container.That is all your doing with compost. You are "rotting" your compost. The biggest thing it the mass. It needs to be 3X3X3 or one cubic yard. It needs that "mass" to produce the heat to kill the weed seed and diseases in the compost. I have a few tumblers that I use to test for the city I live in. You do not have to tumble, stir, turn or touch for that matter your compost once you let it get wet and cover it. Nature will take care of that. In my opinion, just mine now, those tumblers are the product of someone creating a market to sell tumblers.
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Old 02-01-2009, 08:05 PM   #19
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Oh, I agree the tumblers on the market are pricey to be sure (some over $300). I have less than $35 + a few hours into mine. At this point what i do not have is volume. It is just me contributing so just a few pounds/ week and shredded paper generated from my desk.
Our county is offering vermiculture classes with a starter bin and worms next month. I am looking forward to getting started with my own "herd".
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