Hot Compost Version 1

The soil here is horrid! Sandy, dry, rocks everywhere, no discernible nutrients. Growing in that takes creativity, research and sweat. Luckily, the Internet and a good library thirty minutes away make the first two possible.
I decided to try composting and checked out several books on the subject. I’ll be adding a bibliography section to this site in the next few months, found a fun app for tracking references and just need to make its output work with WordPress’ input. Until then, The Complete Compost Gardening Guide 🙂 And no, I don’t get Amazon pay for sending people there!
It’s got a section on making really fast compost, using specific recipes with some pretty creative ingredients. Like dog kibble. We have no dog kibble, but I did have the makings for another one. Rabbit manure, sawdust, leaves that had wintered over and green garden trimmings.

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My bins are made from pallets and sit in the shade of a mulberry tree. It gets above 110 here, daily, for about four months. I don’t want my compost to self combust or worse, explode!
Next I added my rabbit manure and sawdust, premixed with love from my bunny barn.

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I got it nicely damp. It’s amazing how much water sawdust soaks up. Make sure you use your composting fork to keep mixing. I used several soaks to get the moisture level I needed.

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The pile of dry leaves went in next. Normally you’d crush them first. But since I’ll be mixing every few days, I don’t have to worry about air pockets. Since the leaves are dry, I soaked from the hose again. You want somewhere between damp sponge and wet washcloth. We have zero humidity so I go for wet washcloth.

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Last, I trimmed my junipers a bit. The last tenants let them grow “natural” whereas I’d like a more groomed look. Fresh branch trimmings went into the mix and I gave it all a last swirl.
I’ll stir and dampen every few days and post an update when I see some changes. This should turn to useable compost in weeks – my garden is very excited!

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