A great way to give your outdoor pile a kick is to use some compost activator. Making compost is not rocket science but there is some science to it.
In order to decompose the pile must heat and that is where activators come in.
You can buy composting activators (CA) ready made or you can make one at home. I have never purchased one. I usually use un-sulfured molassas to give my heap a heat boost.
This is what I do:Mix 2 Tablespoons of molassas to one gallon of water and pour it on the pile. Usually within 12 hours the pile is smokin' hot. The molassas gives energy to the micro-organisms and thus turns on the heat starting the decaying process. I've seen my pile raise over 100 degrees overnight.
It is suggested for a pile to heat over 220 degrees to kill of pathogens/bacteria to make your compost safe. (although I would like to see the science behind this because my primary method of composting is using worms which is a cold composting method)
You should only need to add an accelerant once per season.
Here are some other ways to accelerate heat a pile:
- Use alfalfa meal : just mulch a couple cups into the center of the pile, water and watch it heat.
- Mix in manure: horse,cow,chicken, goat, rabbit or other
- human urine: I have NEVER done this but many die hard composters swear by adding human urine to a pile to get it heating. My husband would be all over this if I gave him the go ahead!
Or if you prefer a store bought version:
Also, remember the basics of pile composting: layering and watering. You MUST layer your pile greens (produce scraps) and browns (leaves/straw/grass clippings) and keep your pile moist. So often, people are neglecting adding enough browns.
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