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Am I doing it right?

Posted by greenthumbs69 none (My Page) on
Sat, May 3, 14 at 16:35

This year i wanted to try and make my own compost. I think i have more than enough of the needed materials to do so. We have 4 horses in our barn and 37 chickens in our coop so manure isn't an issue i have a 15 foot high pile every 3 months! Most of the manure is a mixture of wood shavings, straw, and a little uneaten hay. About a week ago i took a couple wheel barrow loads of horse and chicken manure mix and layered it with pine needles and and chopped up corn stalks and some coffee grounds the wife had saved. I watered the pile and covered with a black tarp to see what would happen. Checked it today and it was steamy hot when i flipped the 4x4' pile.
My question for you soil experts is, Will this continue to compost well and how long should i let it sit before i turn it?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Am I doing it right?

if you want the compost fast you flip it every four days until the pile is cool....when you flip put all the material on the outside of the pile in the middle. It should take about 18 days-1 month. Cover the pile with a tarp so that the rain does wash any nutrients away.

This post was edited by greenthumbzdude on Sat, May 3, 14 at 21:15

RE: Am I doing it right?

I was concerned about not having enough greens but apparently it must be doing good if it's cooking like it is.

RE: Am I doing it right?

Fresh manure is a green, and you have plenty of that!

RE: Am I doing it right?

This is where thinking in terms of "greens" and "browns" can get you onto a slippery slope since animal manures are a "green" (Nitrogen source) even thought they are brown in color. In a compost pile with a close C:N ratio (less then 30:1) the bacteria will get busy and digest what is there fairly quickly and generate lots of heat, but if the food source, Carbon, is not there they soon slow down and stop.
Although advocated by many covering an actively digesting compost pile with a tarpaulin is not a good idea since that can limit air exchange and could create anaerobic conditions. Covering as compost pile with a tarpaulin does nothing to create the conditions the bacteria need to digest that material.
This link may be of some help for those wishing to make compost very quickly.

Here is a link that might be useful: Compost in 14 days

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