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Do those turning drum compost container work up here?

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  • Do those turning drum compost container work up here?

    I have done pile compost which worked after a couple years.
    And fence cylinder compost container which did not work here in the hills above Homer.
    I was wondering if those drum gizmos actually work.?? I have never seen one up here , only in magazines.
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  • #2
    I believe if you get a very large one, it will work. The important thing in composting is getting the temperature up, and that is done by enough bacteria getting to work inside the pile. I really think pile composting is the best. It does work. We have 6 piles in our back yard right now. Get a composting thermometer. Turn the pile after the temperature drops but let it sit while the temp is high. It can get as high as 160F
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    • #3
      We have had a couple piles around here for YEARS and nothing much is happening. I tried a couple wire mesh cylinders about 4 feet in diameter and 5 feet high. I used old hay from our chicken coop and grass cuttings. They have been sitting for 18 years now and do not look much different than day one. I tried black painted metal trash cans. That almost worked.. Maybe I am compost cursed...
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      • #4
        Ha, well maybe read up a little on them. Sounds like you have a mixture of browns and greens like you should. Do you keep them moist? You need to add water sometimes. Also, you should turn them every so often. Thats why you use a compost thermometer. If it is not warmer than ambient air nothing is happening. Turn them
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        www.valleymarket.com

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        • #5
          I wonder if it is because my wife keeps throwing LOTs of Rhubarb leaves into the pile? They do not seem to ever rot...
          I gotta find a long thermometer.
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          • #6
            Couldnt agree more with martyv, i learned more about compost in the first 5 minutes after my thermometer showed up than in all the previous years combined. We use bins/piles and can finish the batch the same year but elect to use it the following year.
            green, brown, water in layers like lasagna. Grass clippings fresh from the bagger are important. Sheep or rabbit poop is beter, if you have it.
            after you mow, turn the pile, green, brown water till its all turned. Come back 3 days later and see what the thermometer tells you! I usually end up turning next day after mowing. If thermometer says steady it can be turned and if it says hot it can be turned. Leave’er be when it says active.
            easy peasy. Click image for larger version

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            • #7
              Click image for larger version

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ID:	2757570 This is what the bins look like but in years past i just tied 7 pallets together to give two bins and it worked fine.

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              • #8
                I need to order a compost thermometer, I could not find anything when I drove into Homer yesterday.
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                • #9
                  Johnnys seeds has two different lengths, we use the 20 inch

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                  • #10
                    Well I bought a 20 inch thermometer. Then I added some wet fishy peat to my mix and the temps jumped up to 120 degrees for three days.
                    When the temps dropped I stirred and turned, plus added some new grass clippings but it only went to 110 degrees for a day and then dropped.
                    Now it has assumed 70 degees and nothing seems to help boost it back up...
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