Tips from Olle Garden Bed: How To Make A Compost Pile Get Hot! The Secrets To Heat Your Pile Fast
When it comes to home composting, one of the most difficult things for gardeners is to heat and keep their compost warm. Although all compost piles will eventually decompose over time, heating the compost will greatly accelerate this process.The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.
Hot composting can not only produce finished compost faster, but also create healthier compost. Good things happen when the compost reaches a higher temperature during decomposition.
The weed seeds in the pile become sterile. The same is true of all volunteer vegetable seeds from kitchen waste dumps. But the benefits of hot pile are not limited to this. Pathogens that can carry diseases are also eliminated, and even better, unnecessary bacteria are also eliminated.
But in order to create compost with all these benefits, you need to make your compost hot. How hot is it? Effective compost temperature needs to be in the range of 110 to 140 degrees.
How to make compost hot!
There are four main factors that help make a pile hot. In order to really make a heap of heat, all four need to happen. hot wire? Each of these four is easy to accomplish.
Before we got to the first of the four, there was a cheap tool that was very useful in effectively managing compost piles - the compost thermometer.
The compost thermometer has a long probe to let you know the temperature of the core of the deposit immediately. This information is critical to understanding whether your pile is heating, cooling, or completely heating up!
- Put the correct material in the pile
Most importantly, make sure you have the right material in your compost pile to heat it correctly. A pile must have a good balance of carbon material (brown) and green material (nitrogen) to be heated.
Think of brown as a more "lifeless" material. Straw, leaves, branches, sawdust and withered grass belong to this category. On the other hand, green is a hot or living material. These include grass pruning, vegetable residues, dung and even coffee grounds.
To get a pile of cooking, you need a good ratio between brown and green. A good rule of thumb is to add 1 green to every 4 portions of brown material.
For example, if you put 4 buckets of chopped leaves and straw, you need to add a bucket of fresh vegetable skin, feces, or other similar green materials.
Of course, it is almost impossible to get an exact ratio. But it is important to always try to keep the balance close to four to one. Too much brown will not make a pile of things hot - too many greens will make a pile of nitrogen content too high, will also make it stagnant.
- Keep raw materials small
One of the biggest reasons why family piles never get hot is the size of the material in the pile. Large pieces of wood chips, sticks, even large pieces of vegetables or residues take a long time to decompose. Piles with large materials will never achieve the quality or tightness between the materials needed to generate and retain heat.
By simply chopping up ingredients before adding them to the pile, you can greatly speed up the decomposition and heat of the pile. The smaller the fragments, the faster they decompose.
If you have a shredder/chipper, pass the material through it before adding. You can also use a push or ride lawn mower to cut up waste in the yard. For kitchen residue, cut one or two more pieces with a knife. But whatever you do - keep your material as small as possible to help quickly heat your pile.
- Frequent stacking
Think of the compost heap as a living organism. Like humans and animals, compost requires oxygen to live and work. Oxygen is the fuel of the heating process. Without it, a pile of oxygen will slow down its decomposition, just a trickle.
First, make sure you are creating a heap large enough to generate heat. Small compost piles simply do not have enough mass to generate heat. A pile should be at least 3 feet wide x 3 feet deep x 3 feet high to really heat up. This size also makes it easy to maintain because it is not too large to turn while you are working.
The best way to provide oxygen to the reactor is to turn it. By using a pitchfork and periodically flipping the material, you can reintroduce air into the core of the pile. And this core is where all the heat is generated!
How often should you turn the pile? It is better to generate heat once a day, but even turning once every few days can help increase heat and greatly speed up the process.
This is another tip when you add fresh materials - add them to the center of the heap. This is a win-win situation for piles and new materials. The hot core will quickly heat them, and fresh materials will provide new energy for piles.
- Keep the compost moist
Finally, just as it needs oxygen, the compost heap needs water to survive. Without water, the composting process will be greatly slowed down.
The compost heap should feel like a wringing sponge. No dripping, but there must be some water. When you turn your pile, if it looks dry, don't be afraid to add a few gallons of water. Lightly atomizing the outside of the pile and then turning it is also a good option.
On the other hand, prevent your hair from being oversaturated with water. If you have too much rain, please cover your pile. Too much water will have the same effect as too little, and slow the decomposition.
Finally, when your compost pile is finished, start a new pile with a little pile. The organisms and bacteria in the compost will help to quickly start new compost.
You have it! Four simple keys to getting your compost heap hot this summer - and keep it that way. This is to make your compost heap hot and make great compost!