I checked the compost pile yesturday to do the last turning before the end of the 4 week period. The pile was cold to the touch. This is evidence that the compost stopped being processed sometime within the last few days. I went through the pile and discovered that although there is significant amounts of compost, many of the harder materials have not broken down. I divided it into two piles… one of brown materials and one of compost. I have decided that I will begin again and try to make a good amount of compost. I believe that the error was in the size of the pile, it was not large enough to do the work required.
I spent several hours yesterday and some today gathering material for the new compost pile and I will create a new one. I collected:
- two large piles of rabbit manure
- one bag of sheep manure
- a small pile of goose manure
- 3 wheelbarrow loads of weeds to be the green component of the pile
- 1 pile of old compost form an old compost bin.
I went through the last pile and separated the finer compost from the sticks that had not broken down. I added the sticks as the brown component of the pile and also added the finer compost..l. just to be sure. I also added the left overs from my rabbits that were skinned the previous day. I had kept them for the creation of a new pile, not realising that the first pile had failed.
I put the pile together in the normal way (mentioned in an earlier post) and finished it off by watering the pile down with duck manure infused water (courtesy of my ducks). The pile is twice as large as my last pile so I expect it to reach the critical temperature and hold it for longer.