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Can anyone tell me how long it takes for the composting process to take place at 1.) 60 degrees F and 2.) 75 degrees F?  (all contents previously sifted)


How long is a piece of string. ?

It depends on what the stuff is, how much air is in the mix, how wet it is, as well as temperature.

Drier stuff takes a lot longer.

Softer stuff ike grass cuttings decomposes faster than oak chippings.

 I try and mix it all up as well as I can, make sure it is damp and then stand back. Two weeks of heating up and cooling down, and I mix it again.  Then the brandlings move in. Second stage can take six months. 


I'm intrigued how you keep an absolute constant temperature with no variation whatsoever.

Very clever.

I thought heat generation was a natural result of the composting process.  Very low temperatures such as those mentioned would presumably mean that the composting process wasn't working well and therefore the time to produce decent compost would be pretty long.  Monty Don spoke about composting recently on GW and suggested a few months to produce good compost it is was turned regularly and up to two years if just dumped in a heap.


I agree with you on that.  I put the vegetables and seaweed through a food proccessor, also the duff (broken down leafmould) under the fallen leaves was finely sivved first so the particles were already tiny.  This speeds up the composting proccess.  Apparently under 55 degrees farenheight nothing much happens but above that temperature I wonder how long?

Thanks  KT53 for your information. 


We have a quick turn over of compost, forked over every week, for a month them turned completely over into another compartment,  leave for s month, then bag up. 

I couldn't say how much we've made so far this year, but never any faffing about with it, chop it  up with shears or secateurs, no need to fuss, getting the balance of ingredients right is the key, top up with grass every so often, cover with carpet,  next day it will be steaming.

Last edited: 01 September 2017 14:01:02

Sounds like you do it traditionally Lyn, and successfully.  What is your percentage mix and what things go in?

A busy few days collecting a shopping bag of bladderwrack seaweed and 2 bags of duff (leafmould crumble) from the coast and the woods.  The duff was fine sifted and the seaweed shreaded and then put the food processor, about 50/50 mix.  I'll let it start off indoors before blending it into the existing pile which is already crumbly.

Oldcompost says:

Sounds like you do it traditionally Lyn, and successfully.  What is your percentage mix and what things go in?

See original post

 Haven’t got a clue, everything goes in, if we have a particularly lot of green I screw up some extra junk mail and boxes, no fussing, got enough to do, 😀

we have enough now to spread on the borders and beds of our three quarter acre garden, then ready to start again for next year. 

I started this thread with a question that has remained unanswered:  'How long does it take for the composting process to take place at 60 degrees F.'  A month ago I also said 75 degrees F. - but that's no longer relevant as it's colder now.  My outside storage bins are now 50 degrees F at night which is a problem as I read once that composting goes dormant at 55 degrees F. 


Maybe because nobody knows the answer? 

Just a thought.


There are too many variables for us to give you an accurate answer on this that you seem to insist upon.

Unless I could quantify the exact ratios and contents of the bin, the amount of oxygen and moisture while maintaining strict control, external factors like aerating and to what degree the contents are mixed on a regular basis, whether it is indeed likely you can actually maintain the external temperatures you have stated as an absolute without any day / night variation, record accurately the internal temps and be prepared to act accordingly to keep them with in acceptably parameters, what microorganisms and indeed not so micro are present that aid the digestion of the organic material...

... Then I could give you a control time frame of an expected composting rate.

Temperature only plays one part of the composting process. You can not rely on this alone.


I can only assume that you are keeping it in a container with a heater on a thermostat, is that the case.

if so, I don’t think any gardeners on here would do that, its a ...put everything in, stir it up and wait for it to cook, so the short answer to your question would be.....we haven’t a clue because I don’t suppose anyone ever does it.

As for all contents sifted, I don’t understand what you mean, sieving is usually done when the compost is ready to use, I can’t imagine trying to  sieve fresh vegetation.

Last edited: 04 October 2017 08:05:06


Can I ask a supplementary question? 

How long is a bit of string?



Ooo!!! You are naughty, but I like you. 😀😀😀😀😀😀

Papi Jo

Another supplementary question: what is 75 degrees F. in normal, international standard system?

Papi Jo says:

Another supplementary question: what is 75 degrees F. in normal, international standard system?

See original post

 It’s 23.889c don’t often get that here!😀


Oldcompost says (in his personal profile) that he keeps his compost bin in the greenhouse ... I don't wish to appear rude, but if I had a greenhouse I'd do something more useful with the space ... we seem to make perfectly good garden compost in the garden bins made out of old pallets.