am i composting correctly?
About a month ago I bought a 7 cubic foot compost tumbler, my first stab at composting. Since then I've been adding bits and pieces of stuff daily to the point where its about almost 2/3 full and I rotate it each time I add to it. Each time I empty the contents of my tall rubbermaid container into the tumbler, I make sure I add about a gallon of water to introduce new moisture.
I've added wood ash from my fireplace, lots of coffee grinds, skins of fruit, broccoli stems, old lettuce, and some tree leaves and grass that I bagged from my first mowing of the season this past week.
I also added a generous sprinkling of Espoma Organic Traditions Compost Bio-Excelerator because it seems like its really not breaking down even though the tumbler is in the sun for most of the day.
We had a warm spell in NJ in early March but things have cooled off in the past 10 days so I guess I shouldn't expect the breakdown process to be happening very quickly.
I'm trying to be patient but I need to make sure I'm not doing anything wrong and wasting time in the process.
1) When should I stop adding stuff to the bin?
2) How often should I add the accelerator? The instructions provided were really intended for a layered compost pile.
3) When should the compost likely be ready for use? In time for planting (May 15)?
4) When ready for use, do I just spread it just around the roots of the vegetables like a top coat? Or do I spread it out evenly across my raised beds (they are framed wooden boxes?
5) Do I reapply every few weeks? How do I know when?
6) What else can I add to my compost that will speed things up