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Re: [nafex] composting

    How in the world did you get leaves hot?  Did you add extra nitrogen?
Our city does a leaf pile every year, and loads them for people in the
spring.  They are always warm and smell like alcohol.  I've never figured
out what they are doing to get them to work.
    It won't hurt to turn the pile, it probably won't hurt to leave it alone
either.  If you think it's too hot, you can always add water.  I suppose
your garden hose is not working at zero, but if you needed somewhere to dump
some snow, it's wet too.  If a pile gets too dry, which it can do if it
stays hot for awhile, it will start to "firefang".  that's a white mold that
will eat the pile and turn it to air.  A little firefang is common, but if
the pile gets too dry, you can get a lot of it.  You may want to do a little
experimental poking around to check the moisture content or look for white
mold.  It's a lot of work to move a pile.  We usually make 4-6 a year, a
pickup load or more per pile.  I move each pile once, using a pitchfork, and
that's all the turning they get.  I like to start my seeds a little early
using a compost pile for heat.  I turn it maybe early March, and make a
hollow in the top, and put my flats of tomatoes and peppers in the hollow.
I cover it with glass. If you try this be warned, it will cook your plants
on a sunny day if you don't go prop the glass up a little.
Donna  TN z6

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