Soil and Compost forum→Compost not getting hot

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Anon1m0us
May 5, 2020 7:24 AM CST
I have been trying to get a compost started for months! Still nothing is happening. I added greens, browns, water, compost starter.... But nothing is happening! Any ideas?
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Name: Christie
Central Ohio 43016 (Zone 6a)
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cwhitt
May 5, 2020 10:02 AM CST
Looks to me like it is starting to compost - just wait a bit longer.
It does look too dry though. Try keeping it moist. Also, if the sun is pounding on it, cover it up or shade it - compost does not really like the sun. If the outside of the pile is too dry, turn it a bit so the dry part goes to the center of the pile, and the middle parts comes out to the edges - that will also help get some oxygen into the pile.
But keep in mind - if you do nothing at all, it will still compost - but will just take a bit longer.
Also - if you find any earthworms in the pile, leave them there - they are a great sign, and do great work to the pile. Group hug
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Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
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kousa
May 5, 2020 10:21 AM CST
To me, it looks more wet than dry though. There is too much greens in the pile. You need to add dry leaves, chipped wood (if you have any) and a couple shovels of soil. Mix this in. I used compost starter before and it did not do anything to quicken the decomposting process. Untreated soil works better than any compost starter in my humble opinion.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
May 6, 2020 9:22 PM CST
Soil has plenty of decomposer organisms, yes, and I also read that earthworms need the grit in soil.
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Name: Thomas Mitchell
Central Ohio (Zone 6a)
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thommesM
May 7, 2020 5:12 AM CST
Sort of difficult to tell what the materials are. Could you list out what greens and browns you used and approximate amounts? Just to give us some more info. Also volume is could be playing a factor. Suggested min size to generate heat is 3'x3'x3' to generate heat. Not saying you can't generate heat without that size.

My materials for the most part are grass clippings and leaves, with kitchen scraps added every other day. I posted a pic of a pile that is cooking below. The bins I built are 4' cubes. Sometimes I'll shred the leaves but not usually. I also add non woody stems, branches to the pile when available to help the pile from compacting.

As the others have said, if you have some soil you can add to the pile, I'd use that instead of the compost starter. Save yourself the $$$. Also can't tell what type of container your pile is in? Is that a manufactured compost bin? Just curiosity on my part. Compost nerd I am.

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