As the pile decomposes it will become smaller so that's expected. I use a cheap meat thermometer to test the temp. Have been able to get mine up to about 140° but it only sustains that temp for a couple of days because I'm not too good at keeping the ratio precise.
It sounds like your pile is chugging right along. It also sounds like you're interested in the temperature. Did you know they make compost thermometers? I received one as a gift. It's somewhat useful - maybe not useful enough to justify the cost - but it's a lot of fun for curious minds.
oh yeah, I had not thought about the length of the probe. My compost is in a barrel so the meat thermometer works fine. I move the pile into plastic garbage cans, bottom sawed off and big holes drilled all around but I'm a lazy composter. I just don't 'work it' as I should. [sigh - so many projects, not yet retired...]
Congrats on the 140°...I have some dry leaves now and will get some coffee grounds from Starbucks, that usually gets me up to the 140 mark but I don't do the work to keep it there. The barrel is full and needs to get dumped to start a new batch.
HOLY SMOKES!!! I added a great big pile of dried Grape Leaves and Grass Cuttings turned it and left the pile alone for a week. When I turned that pile on Saturday and stuck my finger in... WHAMMO!!! HEAT GALORE!!!
So, I am now canvassing my neighbors (some of them look at me weird) for their Grass Trimming and I offered to rake their yards (for the leaves).
I am starting another 2 bins at the end of November and leaving this one to cook through March..
Smells so good!!!! I can tell I am gonna have some nice compost when it's done!!!
ADDICTED TO MY GARDEN WORK>>>>> IT'S A GOOD THING!!!
I get bags of leaves and clippings from my neighbors too! I am also a non pile turner. I do fluff as much as I can and I used to open it up, pull some of the stuff out so I can mix it better.
Now that I have chickens I just kind of fluff it and it cooks pretty throughly. It will get to a point where I just quit adding leaves and only add the chicken poo and kitchen scraps. When it gets close to harvesting, I withhold all for a couple weeks. When I break it up I pick any big sticks out then take away the compost. I put the stuff back that's not quite done yet and start over.
When I want to stir a pile without much effort, i drag a pick through it. That like plowing it a little. Or you could drop one time of a pick into the center, and drag it up and out. Or if your circular fence is big enough, sink the tine in at one angle, and pry it up to the opposite angle.
Or not - as long as you can wait 6 months, you have a perfect low-effort system
>> Hairy eyeballs?!? That's an actual saying?
From "Alice's Restaurant".
An innocent and naive hippy threw some trash on top of another pile of trash becuase the dump was 'closed for thanksgiving". That gave him a criminal record for littering and creating a nuisance, so when he was drafted he had to sit on the "Group W bench" along with other criminals to prove he had rehabilitated himself enough to be drafted for Vietnam.
The other criminals sensed that he wasn't really one them and looked at him suspiciously ("with hairy eyeballs").
They asked him "Wha'd'ja GIT?", menaing "what were you convicted of?"
"I didn't get nothing, and I had to pick up the garbage!"
It started to get ugly when they learned his offense was "littering", but when they heard "and creating a nuisance", they accepted him and all had a good time on the bench there.
Don't get me started on "circles and arrows on the back", or dog-smelling prints"!
rickcorey..i get same looks from some of my neighbours too..LOL
planting lettuce in feb..collecting leaves in fall ( 300+ bags this fall) YEA !!
but when summer comes along..many stop and chat and ask..mmm how do
i get soil like that??? mmmm .. called work.. LOL :)
chopped leaves i havent added to my gardens are mixed with some chopped
grass clippings..and wow.. i pull away leaves from sides..and heat just pours out from
Yeah, both are musical activities. Sometimes I make alarmning noises. Got to get one of thsoe kneeling-sitting benchs with armrests you can do push-ups on ... but it better be STURDY to take my weight!
Mostly I try to work with long-handled tools so I don;t bend over.
My leaf compost started off warm , not hot. and is now thoroghly moist, and cooled. I added lawn fert yesterday, we'll see if it heats it up again.. as you know, nitrogen gets exhausted because it is so transient.