[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [nafex] composting

At 11:24 PM 12/19/2000 -0600, Donna wrote:
>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.

I don't do any composting, but I do 'troll' the neighborhoods around town 
and haul home all the bagged leaves I can get my mitts on every fall, for 
use in mulching the blueberries and other small fruits.
Seems like the maple leaves still have quite a bit of 'sugar' in them, and 
they often seem to ferment, exuding an alcohol-like smell when you open one 
of those bags, particularly if they were raked & bagged before becoming dry 
& crumbly.  I don't encounter that in the bags containing predominantly oak 

>     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

Lucky Pittman
USDA Zone 6
Hopkinsville, KY

-------------------------- eGroups Sponsor -------------------------~-~>
eGroups eLerts
It's Easy. It's Fun. Best of All, it's Free!