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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What happens when you stack a compost pile correctly...




I stacked it Saturday, and today is Tuesday, so this is right on time.  I don't think I've ever had one get this hot before, though.  I layered green tomato cuttings one cutting thick, a thin layer of dirty straw and chicken poop, and a thin layer of what I didn't harvest from the compost pile, over and over and over again.

There are some folks that argue that 'cooked' compost isn't as full of bioavailable nutrients as uncooked compost, and still more evidence to suggest that the best soil is created from wood, but at this stage of the garden I'm more interested in quickly improving the soil I imported, even if it's a nominal improvement.

Maybe some day I can relax about it but right now while I'm digging in the Land of Clay, sooner is better in the tillable soil department.

Especially in the summer; dry clay soil has all the friable tilth of reinforced concrete.

* As a note, while digging through the remainder of the first pile I ran across a section of rotting grass clippings that smelled exactly like fresh horse apples, which means it was rotting anaerobically, which means it didn't get stacked right the first time.  It's really important that you have enough carbon materials scattered through your nitrogen materials to ensure this doesn't happen.  Which means next time Steve is dumping out the grass catcher I need to be there to mix it up right from the git go.
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