When does compost starts to heat up?


Rey

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I cant seem to find an answer.. Suppose you have a pile you just mixed.. How long does the bacteria starts and how long does the heat start to rise assuming the ratio is correct?
 
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zigs

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Takes a few days usually, but I have known piles of grass clippings get hot in a few hours, probably down to surface area that the bacteria can feed on.
 
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I agree with @zigs, it'll take at least a few days to heat up. Grass clippings heat up the quickest. If I don't get the piles raked up within a few hours of being mowed, the edges are grey and black - because they are singed and charred!! :eek: (I always find that amazing, for some reason. I know it will happen, but still... it's impressive!)

Did you throw a shovelful (or two...) of dirt or old compost in the pile? This is recommended, as it puts the bacteria in there from the start. Then all they have to do is multiply. (y)

You can also encourage the bacteria by pouring on any stale beer you might have. Or you can also kick-start it a bit by adding molasses. I believe the ratio is 2 ounces to a gallon of water, applied once a month. (I thought I had it bookmarked, but I can't find it.) Hopefully @Chuck will come along to clarify that, but I'm pretty sure my memory is correct. :) If I'm wrong about the ratio, it still can't hurt it! :D
 

zigs

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Helps to wee on it, but not when you've just added stinging nettles :eek::D
 
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I agree with @zigs, it'll take at least a few days to heat up. Grass clippings heat up the quickest. If I don't get the piles raked up within a few hours of being mowed, the edges are grey and black - because they are singed and charred!! :eek: (I always find that amazing, for some reason. I know it will happen, but still... it's impressive!)

Did you throw a shovelful (or two...) of dirt or old compost in the pile? This is recommended, as it puts the bacteria in there from the start. Then all they have to do is multiply. (y)

You can also encourage the bacteria by pouring on any stale beer you might have. Or you can also kick-start it a bit by adding molasses. I believe the ratio is 2 ounces to a gallon of water, applied once a month. (I thought I had it bookmarked, but I can't find it.) Hopefully @Chuck will come along to clarify that, but I'm pretty sure my memory is correct. :) If I'm wrong about the ratio, it still can't hurt it! :D
The ratio is correct but anything with a lot of sugar will work in helping it get started quickly. And, keep adding molasses monthly to feed the growing microbes so as to get more and more of them.
 

Rey

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Update, It is now @ 114F and outside ambient tremperate is 67F. I gain 10 degrees after I put more volume and layer it, I shred some thin layer of brown leaves and added lots of green grass clippings. Also added some "pee".. I think my mixture is getting there. I am really hoping to reach 130 to 140F to kill weed seeds and some pathogens.. Thanks for the advise on more grass clippings.

Edit: I went downstairs and now it is 120F !!! yey!!!!

IMG_2541.JPG
 
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I cant seem to find an answer.. Suppose you have a pile you just mixed.. How long does the bacteria starts and how long does the heat start to rise assuming the ratio is correct?
Hi there, I'm very keen that people make compost for their gardens, it's so easy and best of all it's free. The best method for making compost is to create layers of a variety of different materials, deciduous hedge cuttings, grass cuttings, herbaceous prunings, waste paper the list goes on, the important thing is not to build the layers too thick, better to have more layers, every two to three weeks turn the heap add some water if a little dry , the answer to the question is that the decomposition process is happening all the time fine cuttings like grass is about the quickest to react but not to much all at once sorry to repeat myself, obviously woody prunings take the longest but if put through a shredder react much quicker.
 
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I cant seem to find an answer.. Suppose you have a pile you just mixed.. How long does the bacteria starts and how long does the heat start to rise assuming the ratio is correct?
Yes, assuming the ratio is correct, but there are two other factors. One being sufficient moisture. I've seen some compost piles where it's packed in such a way that when water is added to the top the water doesn't make it evenly throughout the pile, thereby leaving a lot of dry spots -- if you got dry spots, there will be not much activity.

The second factor is pile size; you need at least a pile that is 3'x3'x3', emphasis on At Least.

And a thing to remember is that even if you have a pile this size, if the water is not getting to portions of the pile, then in effect your pile is smaller. Don't expect the entire pile to get that hot, only those areas well insulated from the outside get that hot -- hence the reason you need a relatively large pile.
 
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Rey

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Yeah I realize that you have to fill it up to make it work.. I got it to 140F and above and now it is settling..I wont add anymore because I have enough.. This should be ready by spring..

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