Another dilemma

jbest123(Zone 5 PA)February 7, 2009

In a couple of weeks, it will be seed planting time here in zone 5. Today I checked my compost pile and it is frozen solid as a brick. Two full swings of an ax and I only left a dent. I may have to get the chain saw out or the gunpowder or something. God forbid if I have to use that commercial junk. If I could get a couple of chunks out, I could nuke it in the microwave to thaw. Does anybody have suggestions?

John

Here is a link that might be useful: Johns Journal

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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Does anybody have suggestions?

Can you run a pipe to Washington DC and then to the compost pile?

;o)

Dan

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 7:05PM
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jbest123(Zone 5 PA)

If I could I would probably have spontaneous combustion.

John

Here is a link that might be useful: Johns Journal

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 7:26PM
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greenbean08_gw(PNW)

Does it get any sun? What if you covered it with clear plastic for a hoophouse/greenhouse type effect?

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 7:42PM
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jbest123(Zone 5 PA)

It does not get much sun in that location. Maybe an auger like the ice fishermen use???

John

Here is a link that might be useful: Johns Journal

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 8:26PM
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anniesgranny(6b)

Wanna borrow my hair dryer?

Here is a link that might be useful: Annie's Kitchen Garden

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 8:45PM
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carolynp(z7)

Dumb question from me? How do you guys have seed planting time before the ground has thawed? That would fall under the impossible category for me. I would probably call the local extension and find out what their take is. If you're just looking to start seeds indoors, you could do it in straight vermiculite or peat in yogurt or milk cartons.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 1:01AM
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liisa_rwc(10b Bay Area CA)

Pour some hot water over it??? Sorry, I don't live in an area that gets that cold.

Liisa

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 11:03AM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

John, you're gonna have to get some heat to the center somehow. Ok....I know this is gonna sound crazy, but if you can drill some pretty large holes completely through the pile, it should thaw out easier. I'd take an auger drill bit probably....1" at least, and weld a piece of drill rod to the end to make it longer. Of course, an electric 1/2 drill motor will need to be used, because battery powered just won't do the job. Let me know if you need anymore ideas.

EG

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 9:47PM
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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

So working a pitch fork into it with your body weight and then working it back and forth to break it up wouldn't work? That'd be my suggestion. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 2:26AM
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jbest123(Zone 5 PA)

The frozen compost was no match for a mattock. With spring coming in a couple of weeks, I would like to see it try it again, HaHa. The chunks of compost is in the shop thawing out as I speak.

John

Here is a link that might be useful: Johns Journal

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 3:27PM
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eaglesgarden(6b - se PA)

try a garden pick, and then wrap up your broken off chunks in platic (clear if possible) and place it in the sunniest spot in the yard. It will defrost in no time.

The weather in PA this week should be plenty warm and sunny to get it done before the weekend!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 4:42PM
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jbest123(Zone 5 PA)

The peoblem has been solved. I am on my wat to making soil blocks.

John

Here is a link that might be useful: Johns Journal

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 5:05PM
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ribbit32004

blast it. I was looking forward to the gunpowder.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 7:52PM
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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

Ooh, my trusty pick axe! I LOVE that thing. I've removed countless stumps, sod, transplanted bushes bigger than me, all with a 20 pound pick axe. The sharp end would make quick work of that pile!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 10:00PM
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carolynp(z7)

You rock Justin. Though I too was excited about the gunpowder...

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 10:11PM
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jbest123(Zone 5 PA)

The gunpowder was just a thought. My compost bins are adjacent to the post office loading doc. I can just see it, postal carriers slipping on there butt going up the ramp. I would surely be behind bars.

John

Here is a link that might be useful: Johns Journal

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 4:15PM
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