[NAFEX] P.S. to adding organic matter
Mark & Helen Angermayer
hangermayer at isp.com
Mon Feb 12 22:22:13 EST 2007
Hi Doc, Jim, Ginda
Thanks for your thoughts. I'm a little confused though. The book on
composting I'm reading indicates the temperature of the compost should reach
160 degrees for "hot" aerobic composting. It also must be stirred and have
the correct ratio of carbon/nitrogen ingredients. The book mentions "cold"
composting, perhaps Doc that's what you are referring to? Quite frankly, I
never understood how the organisms that make the compost can survive such
temperatures. I always thought 160 would kill just about anything. But I
think compost piles can get awful hot. I've heard of barns catching fire
and burning down because the hay was stacked too green, or wet. I've seen
round bales burned up for the same reason. Is this composting action?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Doc Lisenby" <>
To: <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, February 12, 2007 12:56 PM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] P.S. to adding organic matter
Yeah Jim, that should work where the ambient temperature doesn't allow
oxidation/fermentation by as many microbes as are present in warmer
climates. Temperatures in an un-turned compost heap here will rise to the
lethal point for nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Swamps demonstrate what happens
in cooler climates versus warmer climates. Decomposition of organic material
in southern swamps proceeds at a much more rapid rate than that in northern
swamps. The noxious smells emanating from compost piles and swamps is due
gases produced by microbes. More microbes and warmer temperatures cause the
production of more gases. We are trying to control temperatures as well as
trying to ensure complete and rapid decomposition. Unturned compost invites
slime molds and other undesirable micro-organisms when the compost reaches
temperatures over 90ºF. Temperatures of compost piles should be in the 70
to 90ºF for the most efficient production of the desired organic soil
additive. Composting methods should be adjusted to allow for differences in
expected temperatures. Here, we worry about baking the desired organisms.
So, your method obviously works for you there. I would have to use
refrigeration to emulate your conditions. Un-turned compost here turns into
a slimy malodorous maggot- ridden mass reminding one of an opossum road kill
in Florida after a day or two.
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