Update: New Compost Method
I blogged about my failures with compost here. My new method is proving to be a success. I can add a five gallon bucket stuffed full of material twice a week. There is space for at least another bucket full every few days, with the previous material well on its way to be completely converted to compost. The moisture level in the barrel seems just right for breaking material down quickly, even when the balance is highly skewed to "browns" as mine usually is.
I thought the retired trash barrels might be too small, because size does matter in composting--you need a certain amount of material to keep the process cooking--but the size appears quite sufficient. The material is finally staying moist. The barrels are also holding in a good bit of heat, which also helps. The only remaining problem is that I have just two barrels--not enough for the amount of clippings and cleanup a half-acre garden produces. I'll investigate buying some recycled 55 gallon barrels--some for use as composters, and some for rain barrels. If we get rain this winter...oh please oh please...
Monday it was 107 F (41 C). This is tough on roses, which look as though they've been blow-dried. I felt like I'd been blow-dried, too. In the oven. On "Broil".
Yet for some reason, 'Jubilee Celebration' did just fine. I cannot figure out why.
Dahlias too seemed to withstand the heat. It was beginning to cool down last night, thankfully.