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#110909 June 22nd, 2005 at 10:07 AM
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I dont know exactly - I want to say ammonia. It surprised me when I turned it enough to get to the middle - this wave of heat hit me! I was like 'COOL!' Yes I said it out loud, and no there was nobody there. Think I care? LOL! Kind of along the lines of one hand clapping...but anyway...

It was kinda earthy, but mixed with kinda strong sorta...not sweet...but not stinky like rotting food. It wasn't soaking wet at all...kind of on the dry side actually, except for a few clumps of paper and grass...could it have been the grass?

And, what do I do with it now? Think I oughta add some brown, or what? I have plenty of dried grass LOL (The lasagna bed I made is a 6'x2'x3' high bed of dried grass!)

Help my heap!
Thanks wink

#110910 June 22nd, 2005 at 07:16 PM
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If your heap is stinking, you probably should add some more browns to it, Mary! When compost stinks, there is not enough carbon in it.

Dianna

#110911 June 22nd, 2005 at 09:02 PM
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Yeap add brown. I've been adding brown just as quick as I can shred it in the evening while I'm watching tv. Trying to get ahead of the grass clipping the landlord brought to me last week. I can't beleive how fast it shrinks. That's amazing.

#110912 June 23rd, 2005 at 10:56 AM
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That topic sure makes me sound like I have real issues, doesn't it? LOL!

I've got plenty of brown, believe it or not. I'll add it to the pile tomorrow - hopefully I can get out before it gets too hot. Thanks for the advice wink

#110913 June 23rd, 2005 at 11:48 AM
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Mary,

You are using grass which has a very high nitrogen content. Even though you spread it out to dry, the excess nitrogen breaks down into ammonia (NH4). So the advice above it correct. More carbon material to absorb the excess nitrogen.

I always use grass in my compost piles, and the first few days my piles give off an ammonia smell when they are turned. Since I'm hot composting, I want it to burn hot and fast, so I err on the side of too much nitrogen.

Did you place your hand near the core of your pile as you turned it? You should be able to feel heat coming from your pile.

#110914 June 23rd, 2005 at 11:53 AM
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ah-HA! That makes a lotta sense, thanks PAR. I guess I can't add the dried grass then for carbon, eh wink I have some other stuff I can use (my shredded paper box is full). Mind you, the smell isn't bothering anyone at this point...I just want a good balance in the heap.

I did touch the core, after that wave hit me...it was hot! I was giddy over it wink It was so cool. I'm easily entertained.

Now to figure out what I'll lasagna in my lasagna is another question. Oy, the challenges of composting wink


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