Hot Compost Update – Warm Compost

freshly-turned-hot-compost

So I’ve been really busy the last week and didn’t get the Hot Compost Pile turned on time. Jaeger and I found time to turn it today, just before the sunset. I did use a fork as much as I could. However, the fork wouldn’t pick up everything. When I was researching Hot Compost, it claims that it should be 55-65 degrees Celsius. My pile was barely warm compost 🙁

However, I didn’t follow the instructions to the letter.

  1. I don’t own a mulcher, so I couldn’t mulch before building the pile.
  2. I turned the pile late. It should have been turned Tuesday.
  3. I did not check the ratios of carbon to nitrogen material. I just used what I had.

If it wasn’t Hot Compost was it Warm Compost?

What I did observe about my compost pile is that there was a noticeable break down of materials on the bottom of the pile. These would have been the smallest lightest items that would have fallen through many of the gaps in the larger items and would have included gum leaves, mango leaves and remnants of the mango fruits that dropped from the tree last season. I don’t believe these items broke down in a hot compost reaction, but rather a standard compost reaction.

There were also sections of the compost pile that was noticeably warm. It wasn’t consistent throughout the whole pile but they were generally the sections with denser collections of materials. Such as clumps of leaves. I guess by having more material in a smaller area the bacteria responsible for composting had a better more sustainable food supply and were more plentiful there then the sections of the pile that had lots of palm fronds.

What’s Next?

I’ll try to turn the pile every two days. However, this will depend on weather and workload. I’m also looking out for a cheap second-hand mulcher. If I find one or save enough for a new one I will be able to use that on the next pile or speed up the process in this pile. Finally, once this pile has finished composting I’m going to create a second pile, even if I have to import the mulch. I would like to go through the process of creating hot compost correctly at least once.

 

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