Troubleshooting why my compost isn’t getting hot


Hey there. So, I’m still pretty new at it, but this is just to give you an idea of how I do my compost in my backyard. So I’ve got… …two big bins That, well, I really just made these out of pallets. You can see, I just put a screw there There’s two screws there. I mean, I really just have one or two screws on each corner holding it together, and that’s about it So last weekend about six days ago I flipped all of my compost from this one to that one. Because it needed to be flipped. But they’re so huge, I can’t really just stir it. So I literally just took a shovel and these are not very good tools I was really sweaty. And angry, by the end of it. But those were my compost flipping tools. I un-did these screws. Like, I took off the front piece of both the pallets. I scraped it all onto the ground. Then shoveled it into the new one. So… I’m starting to get into composting, and When you get your compost pile when you get it layered really well, it actually heats up. It can get up to, like, well, according to the thermometer it can get up to 200 degrees. Gosh, it’s windy out. But anyway, so this is a 20-inch composting thermometer. That I just stick in the middle cause I’m really curious how much heat I’m producing. Really, I can’t get it up past 70 right now. So what I’m going to try doing is just water it. Composting, you you need density which I have. Cause this is, like, I don’t know… Four square feet? Four cubed feet? I don’t know. Four feet by four feet by four feet, whatever that is. And when I built it, I tried to layer it really well like with my browns and my greens. Like, my sticks and my fresh grass clippings. So I’m just going to try watering it and I’ll check back in a few days and I’ll let you know if the temperature went up. Cause all I can figure out is that there’s not enough moisture in it, but I’ll let you know, fingers crossed.

7 thoughts on “Troubleshooting why my compost isn’t getting hot

  1. Hey Urban Hippie!
    I'm up here in anchorage alaska too.
    You are correct, moisture appears to be an issue.
    Also, if you are using awwu water you should dechlorinate the water before spraying your compost. Composting requires bacteria and fungus to breakdown the leafy green material. Chlorine and microbes don't match. Use 100mg of vitamin C per 100 gallons of water. Try to measure that out, LOL. The acid in vitamin C interacts with the chlorine instantly and clears out chlorine. Also, letting the water sit out for 48 hours also removes chlorine.

  2. The ingredients have a lot to do with it too. The pile should have at least 5% actual soil which increases the bacterial population. A shovel full or two every other layer helps quite a bit. Another question…what are your carbon sources. Hay (not straw), some finely chopped wood chips, wood shavings from a lumber mill and leaves are all great sources. If you can get some spent brewery grains, that would be great! The grass clippings are excellent but add some brewery grains and coffee grounds…your temp should hit at least 150 degrees. The final component is air. The next time you turn the pile, put some twigs on the bottom…and also some small branches (sticks) in the middle of the pile. That will increase the air flow. By the way…you're doing something right because your garden looks fabulous! Such lush green foliage……….some advice here…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1b7F92YzXk and here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0PKOJyfXVs

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