Hi All, this is the Oldtimer back.
Sometimes, after you get past (way past) that old 70 mark, you think
you have seen or done most everything.
Well when it comes to Compost, I though I had (but I hadn't). Several
weeks back, while going through my mountain of old and new seed
catalogues a card fill out for a compost tumbler (Hey, I'm not going
to try and sell you something, in fact I'm not going to buy one, I'll
build me one).
Anyway, for years I have had a compost pile. Every time I have the
tiller on my tractor I stir it and by Fall I have a fairly decent
compost pile, but after planting the next spring I am out.
This card made some outlandish statements and guarantees that you
could make compost in 14 days. You know, and I know that just ain't
the case- -or is it. Hold that thought for a moment and I'll tell
you what I did.
I had a 60 gal plastic pickle barrel, that I obtained from the Adkins
Pickle co. surplus. I mowed (scalped)my lawn to get the winter thatch
out, when I went to dump it the compost pile I saw the barrel and
remember the card, and the testimonials I read on their site on the
internet.. I filled the barrel with the clippings(about half green
and half dry clippings). Here is how it went.
Day 1 nothing.
Day2 nothing(I inserted a candy thermometer in the barrel)
Day3 I realized, you can't leave the barrel laying on it's side- -the
ground "saps" the heat.
Day4 The temp rose to 120F
Day 5-thru 9 the temp was between 120-130F.
Day 10 the temp was above 150F (you could not hold the glass
thermometer).It seemed to be running about 70degrees above the outside
temp. I am sure your thoughts are the same as mine was "It is because
the barrel is sitting out in the sun with the lid on."
Day 13 temp was about 130F.
Day 14 temp was about the same as the outside temperature .
Day 15(today) I removed the compost from the barrel. It has reduced
in size by about 2/3rds. It is dark and has a pleasant sweet smell.
It is the best looking compost I have ever seen- -bar none.
One of keys to it is I would lay the barrel over and roll it, and
tumble end over end several times, each day.
I simply can't believe the results. Tomorrow, I am going to build me
a tumbler as well as the barrel. I mow once a week, and with two
barrels going I will get about 25gal of compost every week.
Anyone have any questions about this process, just post and I'll try
to explain what I did.
All have a good day-Oldtimer!