Ingham Thermal Compost info


Temperature for long enough time kills:
– weed seed
– human pathogens,
– plant pathogens,
– root-feeding nematodes,
– insect pests,
Above 55C (131 F) for 3 days
or above 66C (150 F) for 2 days
or above 74C (165 F) for 1 day
But the WHOLE pile is not above these temps hence turn


Balance starting materials correct
– Hi N: C:N 10:1, Manure, legume, seed,
– Green: C:N 30:1
– Woody: C:N > 60:1

How much of each?

High N (party) C:N around 10:1
– 25% for HOT piles, will have to turn a lot to cool
things down, add air back into pile
– 10% for slower piles, less work but takes longer
Green (bacteria) C:N around 30:1
– 10% to 40% depending on how much bacteria your
soil needs to have brought back
Woody (fungal) C:N above 100:1
– 35% to 65% depending on how lacking your soil is
for fungi
What do you want to grow, match balances

Time to finish  High N      Green      Woody
21 days           25%        35%        40%      Use ACT at start
6 to 8 weeks      25%        30%        45%      Turn 5 times
3 months          10%        45%        45%      Turn twice


No heating when you turn the pile
Has a healthy food web:
Balanced of organism depends on what you want to grow.
Nutrient retention balanced by nutrients being made available to plants
Diversity maximum – 6 months versus 2 years (Stable)

• Cover!!!!!
• Too wet (anaerobic), too dry (the
best preservative is desiccation):
Both are bad.
• 30% moisture is good
• Maintain balanced organism
• Windrows, boxes, BIG piles
• Compost left too long is top soil

from Compost slides 5