Showing posts with the label temperature

Compost Pile Up To Temperature 48 Hours Post Turning - July 2023

It was just a couple of days ago that I posted the details (and photos) of my mid-Summer emptying, turning, re-layering, amending and re-building of our compost bins .  I stuck my compost thermometer in the pile about 2/3rds of the way down and after just about 24 hours, we're already up to temperature.  See below for a look at the current temp showing the pile in the 'active' zone at about 110°.  And climbing.   That gray-shaded "hot" zone is where you want your pile, so I'll be watching to see if I was able to mix the material to the proper ratio and if I supplied enough moisture to get it really cooking.  From what I've read, if you can get your compost pile up to that 160° area, you can have compost as quickly as just five-or-six weeks.  

Mickey Mouse Topiary - 18 Months of Growth - October 2022

The time has come to bring the houseplants in from outside.  We haven't gotten a frost yet, but I know that the first frost isn't too far away.  I don't move too many plants outside, but there are a few including staghorn ferns, my firesticks cactus , Nat's big fern and my standing Mickey Mouse topiary.  This year, I kept the Creeping Fig Vine topiary on the front porch all Summer.  That meant that it received a tiny bit of morning sun, but was in the shade for the bulk of the day.  It was just six weeks ago that I last posted an update on my Mickey Mouse that showed off a good seasonal growth spurt.  If you go back and look at the photo in this post from early August , you'll note that his hands were (at that time) not covered and that there were a few 'shoots' poking out.   Today?  See the photo below for what Mickey looks like after a full season of outdoor growth: This is 18 months of growth and it is pretty well close to being totally full with the fra

Active Compost Cooking - Over 100 Degrees - September 2021

A week ago, I posted some photos and talked about the new (to me) process of laying in some 'alfalfa cube soup' in my active compost bin as I turned it over and mixed the browns and greens.  That layering of the material that I've collected since last Fall in the one, active bin, came after I had turned over the top of the active bin and removed all the (mostly) black gold from the bottom a week prior .  We're still in the heat of Summer - with air temperatures in the 80's and 90's around here, so it is prime compost decomposition time and 'active' time in our bin.   I have measured the temperature of my bins before - earlier this Summer, I was seeing temperatures of the pile above the air temperature, but only in the 'steady' category .  Somewhere between 80 degrees and 90 degrees.  I posted a photo of my long-stem compost thermometer here back in July showing right around 90 degrees .    Where are we after the alfalfa soup and turning the pile

Cold Couple of Days in Downers Grove (and the rest of Northern Illinois)

As of this morning, it has gotten down to -22 degrees fahrenheit with wind chills down to -49 degrees fahrenheit.  You can see in the image above that it appears that tomorrow early am is going to be a couple of degrees colder. But, not sure it will break the record of -27 degrees - which happened during my lifetime in January of 1985 .  I don't have any memory of the cold of 1985, but I *do* have vivid memories of the Polar Vortex of 2014  that sat over Elmhurst (and all of Northern Illinois) for two days.  It was cold those days, but not so cold that they shut down the mail.  In fact, Nat spotted our mail carrier out delivering mail and invited him in to warm up.  We had another smaller Polar Vortex in 2015 (I think it was classified as such??) and I posted about how we ended up with just a little bit of cabin fever and went outside to make a quick snow angel for like 4 minutes here on the blog . cold is it today?  The United States Postal Service has suspended m