Compost generates heat. Believe it.

Disclaimer: this is NOT my garage.

Charred spot formerly known as Compost

Charred spot formerly known as Compost

My dear, darling brother sent this picture along with a warning and a story. It’s not his garage, either, thank goodness. ¬†One of his friends sent it around.

“Small fire on the back side of my garage. Learned that the compost pile shouldn’t be that close to the garage and that old ashes from a fire pit should never be put in the compost. Fire captain said even 3 weeks later. He also said he has seen where a cigarette butt weeks later in mulch can catch fire.”

Wow! Bummer, indeed. I have dumped fireplace ashes on our brush pile and occasionally in the big compost bin. I always think, “these are cold ashes, no heat at all.”

The big bin isn’t up against our garage. It is, however, rather near my neighbor’s woodpiles. I guess we’d better give this some thought. Ashes to compost, safe or not? Readers, what kind of experiences have you had with fireplace and fire pit ashes and compost?


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2 thoughts on “Compost generates heat. Believe it.

  1. Daisy, in High School I used to spend time on the farm harvesting hay. If the hay was wet or improperly dried we did not put them in the barn. I asked my cousin why. He told me to stick my hand in the hay. It was so hot I could not keep my hand in there. Spontaneous combustion can happen from your compost without grill ashes.

    Your straw bales will not get as hot as hay or grass clippings because of the low/nonexistent protein/nitrogen content. Straw does not have nutritional value and is primarily used for bedding for animals. With much straw being hollow it makes a great insulator and a great soil builder.

    A bale of straw weighs 1/2 a bale of hay. Do not try to learn to chew tobacco while baling hay on a rocking wagon. You will get very dizzy.

    When you drive by a corn field or hat field you will often see a couple large trees in the middle of the field. The trees are kept there so the horses can be in the shade and rest during planting and harvest time. A water tank would be there for the horses, and a baby pen if the were small children to tend to. When your grandpa plowed the fields as a young man he used a three blade plow and two horses. His mother, your Danish great grandmother would bring him lunch to the trees in the middle of the field. You Great Grandmother passed away 50 years ago this month. Your grandpa would be 100 years old next month.

    Another time I can tell you of your great grandmother and her knowing Teddy Roosevelt prior to him becoming President.

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