Maintain Proper Conditions for Composting Bins or Piles

Problem

A successful compost bin or pile will have appropriately high temperatures to allow aerobic bacteria and other beneficial organisms to break down organic matter, while killing off pathogenic organisms, parasites, flies and cysts. If temperatures get too high, however, the beneficial aerobic organisms can die, paving the way for anaerobic bacteria and yeast to start converting the compost into alcohol. Worse yet, if the pile reaches very high temperatures (around 180°F; 82°C) the pile can catch fire.

Solution

Use a quality soil thermometer to monitor and maintain the proper temperature range in your composting bin or pile. Manyrecommend between 140° and 160°F (60° to 71°C). Do your research before starting a compost pile, but methods to regulate temperature include adding materials that are high in nitrogen (such as fresh manure or grass clippings), and aerating the pile (commonly known as turning) to allow fresh oxygen to circulate.

AcuRite Solutions & Tips

  • Monitor Compost Temperature: Use an AcuRite Outdoor Monitor with Soil Temperature Sensor to track compost conditions. Insert the wired soil temperature sensor several inches into the pile. Then set the Monitor nearby to measure the ambient outdoor air conditions.
  • Use a Home Environment Display for convenient viewing of conditions measured by Monitors and Sensors in multiple areas inside and outside of the home.
    • Set alarms to alert you of dangerous or unsatisfactory conditions. These can include:
      • Dangerously high temperatures
      • Undesirably low temperatures

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