I wrote a post on March 30th about how to make fast compost. Supposedly the method would yield finished compost in just 14 days or so.
The main difference from traditional composting was that this method installs aeration pipes into the pile to keep oxygen available everywhere during the process.
My pile heated up very quickly, but cooled down a week later. I thought I watered it enough. Today I decided to take as much finished compost from the pile as I could, to top-dress a strawberry bed.
I was able to get some fairly nice compost with only slightly identifiable ingredients, but not an entire finished pile…basically just the middle. I took 3 kid’s wagon’s full…probably 250 pounds total.
The bottom of the pile was VERY, VERY dry, so I ran a garden hose to water that area for 5 minutes and mixed in some fresh grass clippings. All the edges of the pile were also very dry and hadn’t decomposed at all. I don’t know what to do about that except mix the pile up more often, which is what I was trying to avoid with this “fast” method.
Bottom line, it worked for me, but just barely. I think I’ll continue to use some vent pipes in my compost piles when they are deep, but I won’t count on 14 or 30 day compost.