Low humidity, high heat climate compost heap

Asked July 12, 2016, 6:18 PM EDT

Our climate is California Central Valley, low humidity, mid 90s to 100+° almost any day for 4-5 months a year. Will compost heap still put off steam?

San Joaquin County California

2 Responses

If you have a compatible mixture of carbon, nitrogen, air and moisture; composting will happen. The pile will heat and the aerobic decomposition will proceed. The heating process will drive out, evaporate the moisture. Produce the "steam", as you put it. You will not be able to see the water vapor leaving the pile as "steam" at this high temperature and low humidity. Maintaining an adequate moisture level may be the trick. As you add moisture you will need to fluff the pile to insure adequate air mix (oxygen).

Thanks a bunch. One of the articles referred to it as steam so I used the same term. I'm getting beautiful compost but wondered if I might be missing the boat somehow since most, if not all, of the articles I've read talked about it and had pictures showing steam rising from the pile. Watering the pile is definitely key here. Thanks again.