Aerobic Composting Chart

(Received this from a library client. It's such a well-done report on his composting process
that I felt it belongs in the library's clipping files. Steve Solomon, May 1, 2002)

Dear Steve,

. . . a prettied up, anotated version of the Indore Time-Temp curves, slightly modded from your original treatise. . . .

Glad to hear if I've got anything wrong.

I'm collating a set of curves for standard 2.5 > 3 cu. yd loads of horse manure that I do 2 or 3 a year of now, having got myself some 6' x 5' ventilated timber bins sorted, building a second pair this year, with heat extraction for allotment greenhouse (hopefully).

Even in 0 C temps here in early spring, still goes up to 70 - 74 C in the core at least twice, even if I try and keep the heap profile flat and down to 2' deep. I've really adopted your idea of sieving a layer of soil over the top after every 'turn' which gets nicely mixed in as turn follows turn. With proper breaking up of matted clumps, mixing and hydrating, its a 2 hour job minimum to turn from bin to bin. I find an early 1st turn helps, adding some soil into the core area if possible, to retard and extend the temp rise. Using a nice 5 ft temp probe - a great investment - now I know what I'm doing with this stuff - guessing from resultant curves that its about 25:1 when delivered. Always seem to get white, stalky, evil looking mushrooms early on though, must try harder! 100- 120 days seems more like the final 'finished' state, than 90 - 100.


Clive Smith