Saturday, December 1, 2012

Compost Update

I originally filled the compost bin to the top.  You can see in the picture that it settled and compacted quite a bit.  And this is after I added more to fill it back to the top.

I was very happy to see that my compost reached 140* near the bottom of the pile.  This tells me that this system is working.

 After a few weeks I moved the compost from one side to the other.  This in theory puts oxygen into the pile and helps it break down better.  The stuff on the top was light and easy to move.   The stuff on the bottom was heavy and compacted.  I probably could have taken it straight out and put it in the garden.  It looked like great compost.

I've already had a ton of leaves come down in my back yard.  So I've filled the original bin again.  This picture is from the back of the compost bin.  The one on the left is full of fresh leaves, chicken manure, and grass clippings.  The bin on the right is full of finished compost.

How do I know that the stuff on the right is finished?  I checked the temperature.  It got down to 24* the other night.  During the day it got into the 50's. The bin on the left was just over 100* while the bin on the right was only 60*.

I'm rather pleased with the new compost bins.  I still have the little black plastic bin that I bought a few years ago.  I haven't been impressed with it.  It takes far too long for stuff to compost in it.  I think it's due to the fact that it just doesn't hold enough.  That and it's really difficult to turn over the material in it.  You can see it in the picture below.  Note the giant pile of leaves on the right.   Those are what didn't fit in the compost bins, and I'm not done getting all of the leaves out of my yard. 

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