Cool Composting

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  • OldcompostOldcompost Posts: 71

    Can anyone tell me how long it takes for the composting process to take place at 1.) 60 degrees F and 2.) 75 degrees F?  (all contents previously sifted)

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,635

    How long is a piece of string. ?

    It depends on what the stuff is, how much air is in the mix, how wet it is, as well as temperature.

    Drier stuff takes a lot longer.

    Softer stuff ike grass cuttings decomposes faster than oak chippings.

     I try and mix it all up as well as I can, make sure it is damp and then stand back. Two weeks of heating up and cooling down, and I mix it again.  Then the brandlings move in. Second stage can take six months. 

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 15,639

    I'm intrigued how you keep an absolute constant temperature with no variation whatsoever.

    Very clever.

    Devon.
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 2,316

    I thought heat generation was a natural result of the composting process.  Very low temperatures such as those mentioned would presumably mean that the composting process wasn't working well and therefore the time to produce decent compost would be pretty long.  Monty Don spoke about composting recently on GW and suggested a few months to produce good compost it is was turned regularly and up to two years if just dumped in a heap.

  • OldcompostOldcompost Posts: 71

    I agree with you on that.  I put the vegetables and seaweed through a food proccessor, also the duff (broken down leafmould) under the fallen leaves was finely sivved first so the particles were already tiny.  This speeds up the composting proccess.  Apparently under 55 degrees farenheight nothing much happens but above that temperature I wonder how long?

    Thanks  KT53 for your information. 

  • LynLyn Posts: 9,068

    We have a quick turn over of compost, forked over every week, for a month them turned completely over into another compartment,  leave for s month, then bag up. 

    I couldn't say how much we've made so far this year, but never any faffing about with it, chop it  up with shears or secateurs, no need to fuss, getting the balance of ingredients right is the key, top up with grass every so often, cover with carpet,  next day it will be steaming.

    Last edited: 01 September 2017 14:01:02

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 
  • OldcompostOldcompost Posts: 71

    Sounds like you do it traditionally Lyn, and successfully.  What is your percentage mix and what things go in?

  • OldcompostOldcompost Posts: 71

    A busy few days collecting a shopping bag of bladderwrack seaweed and 2 bags of duff (leafmould crumble) from the coast and the woods.  The duff was fine sifted and the seaweed shreaded and then put the food processor, about 50/50 mix.  I'll let it start off indoors before blending it into the existing pile which is already crumbly.

  • LynLyn Posts: 9,068
    Oldcompost says:

    Sounds like you do it traditionally Lyn, and successfully.  What is your percentage mix and what things go in?

    See original post

     Haven’t got a clue, everything goes in, if we have a particularly lot of green I screw up some extra junk mail and boxes, no fussing, got enough to do, ?

    we have enough now to spread on the borders and beds of our three quarter acre garden, then ready to start again for next year. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 
  • OldcompostOldcompost Posts: 71

    I started this thread with a question that has remained unanswered:  'How long does it take for the composting process to take place at 60 degrees F.'  A month ago I also said 75 degrees F. - but that's no longer relevant as it's colder now.  My outside storage bins are now 50 degrees F at night which is a problem as I read once that composting goes dormant at 55 degrees F. 

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