Failed compost-making attempt 150912

Failed attempt 150912 – Compost heap centre temperature against date/time. Despite saying “outside temp” the blue line was a probe in the heap.

This heap was made using the hardware cloth mesh netting technique. In retrospect September is far too late to have tried out that approach, the autumn winds dried this heap out after a promising start. We need to shelter this sort of construction more than the more enclosed black plastic bin.

dismantled heap on the 26th October showing the construction using hardware cloth

On our site this construction is going to be more a late Spring and Summer sort of thing. The failure mode is drying out, as the chart shows the core got hot enough the first and even the second time, but couldn’t sustain the burn. The large discrepancy between the temperature probes also points to unevenness.

Joanne’s note Oct 2016: Probably too discouraging! Just wanted to keep it in here for completeness, and to make it clear that it has been hard work refining our compost making art to meet the Ingham spec! In retrospect it will have been getting cooler in September, and we hadn’t started wrapping our heaps in mypex woven black plastic for insulation on our exposed site. Also, we probably hadn’t added enough nitrogen or chopped the material up enough which was the key to our subsequent successes.