Lots of straw left in my compost pile, what should I do?

Milton, NH(Zone 5a)

I began this pile in Oct., where it heated up nicely maintaining over 120 degrees F for nine days. The temp peaked at 138! This March I turned and added kitchen veggie scraps, coffee grounds, banana skins, etc.. It warmed up to a peak of 80 degrees, and is now at 60. I used straw primarily for my carbon and I still have mostly straw, although it has broken down significantly. Should I add more nitrogen on my next turn?

Thumbnail by sarahn
Milton, NH(Zone 5a)

Here is a close up of the sample of mostly straw.

Thumbnail by sarahn
Provo, UT(Zone 5a)

great compost pile sarahn... compost needs a good balance of N (nitrogen) to C (carbon) ratio to keep going..
among other things.moisture..doesnt look like thats your problem..but more nitrogen may be..
i use alot of banana peels,coffee,grass clippings in my compost with straw.. but i also add
a fair amout of rabbit manure..
i think if you were to add a nitrogen source..manure,blood meal..your straw,which is the carbon source
you will see that compost heat up again..
keep us posted, keep up the good work !!! :)

Helena, MT

Well seasoned compost crumbles easily and I grate mine through a 1/4th wire mesh screen before using it. Any clumbs, stems, straw, etc, which don't make it through the screen can be discarded or recycled again in you compost pile if you desire.

Provo, UT(Zone 5a)

hey ya morgan!! the man !!! :)
how is spring shaping up in helena? hope youre getting alittle warmer..
weve had coolish temps,and snow yesterday..AHHHHHHHH
enough of winter..
even though i dont put tomatoes into the garden till early june..
im wondering if i will be able to by then if temps dont warm up..
we have tons of snow in mts,, northern ut is going to have flooding for sure..
we should be ok in utah valley ..where i live..provo area
i want to get a compost started..but where i get rabbit manure..its in backyard of friend..and its
so muddy i dont think id get back there with my truck.. sigh
that and i need to get more straw too..and im sure fields are pretty muddy there too..
guess it'll happen when i can.. just like to get an early start..
hope you and your family are well...

Milton, NH(Zone 5a)

Thanks mraider. Screening is worth a try and then I could reheat the leftovers.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

I always shred my large compost material so it breaks down quicker. Lawn mover, shredder etc. But you could use that in a buried application of compost it gives soil the structure to have a happy place for worms and bugs.

Provo, UT(Zone 5a)

soferdig..i think thats a great idea.. i do mow leaves down for the compost..
leaves tend to stick to each other..reducing the surface area..and slowing down break down
u getting snow up in kalispell? its snowing here right now..
enough of this winter !!!!

North Ridgeville, OH(Zone 5b)

Quote from tropicalnut777 :
leaves tend to stick to each other..reducing the surface area..and slowing down break down time.

Y'mean before you chop 'em up, right?

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Chop Chop Chop = quick compost.

Provo, UT(Zone 5a)

puddlepirate.. ya..lol..sorry..i need to read stuff i type before i send.. :)
i collected nearly 200 bags of leaves last fall.. YEA>. had one of the neighbourhood kids mow
them down for me.. 1/2 went into the vegy garden and got turned in.. rest are for this yrs
compost.. but they were uncovered all winter so im sure theyve started to break down some
what makes us gardeners happy.. :)

Milton, NH(Zone 5a)

Thanks soferdig, I've been considering areas that need compost the most. The area that it is in I'm afraid has become compacted as I obsessively pulled out non-native bamboo, bittersweet vine and assorted aggressive weeds. The soil could use it and I wouldn't have to move it!

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