I have been gardening for nearly 40 years, and two years ago I started a
compost bin for my lawn clippings.
I have two bins - one is a cylinder made of garden wire, 4 feet across and
stands about 5 feet high.
The other is made of open-spaced planks and is 3 feet by 6 feet by 4 feet
Both were filled again last year, the rectangular one with primarily grass
clippings across the year; the cylindrical one with about a 50-50 mix of
finely shredded dropped maple leaves and grass clippings with a hand-held
spread's worth of 10-10-10 every three inches of depth, watered to be sure
it was moist around mid-September. They were turned once and twice last
This early spring, I go out in the cold and check, expecting them to be
frozen solid, and they were loose and warm inside - they were busy cooking.
But now, a few weeks later, they are definitely cold and moist inside, and
the mix still looks like partly moldy grass and leaf shred. It definitely
isn 't dark compost.
Since the microbes had fertilizer, moisture, no packing down, and time, I
would have expected more breakdown, or at least the mix to not be warm at
the end of winter and then cold now.
Any ideas as to why they stopped working, and/or what am I missing and what
should I change, if anything ?