Composting - Knowledgebase Question

Olivia, MN
Question by schollj
December 13, 1997
I would like to start composting but know nothing as to how to get started. I've heard temperature is an ingredient as well and we live in central Minnesota. Our soils here are heavy black (compacts easily) and I believe adding compost would aid gardening. Please tell me how to get started for a beginner.


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Answer from NGA
December 13, 1997

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a temperature of 90-140F inside the pile. This doesn't mean you can't have a pile in a colder region like Minnesota, the heat is generated as decomposition occurs and microbes go to work. This hot temperature range is favorable to the most efficient microbes...the ones that do most of the work. (You don't want a temperature much higher than approx. 158F because higher than that for prolonged periods can destroy beneficial bacteria and fungi.)

This really isn't as complicated as it sounds--we composters are an enthusiastic lot and love to spread the word! a temperature of 90-140F inside the pile. This doesn't mean you can't have a pile in a colder region like Minnesota, the heat is generated as decomposition occurs and microbes go to work. This hot temperature range is favorable to the most efficient microbes...the ones that do most of the work. (You don't want a temperature much higher than approx. 158F because higher than that for prolonged periods can destroy beneficial bacteria and fungi.)

This really isn't as complicated as it sounds--we composters are an enthusiastic lot and love to spread the word!

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