How long does a compost pile stay hot?

QUESTION: How long does a compost pile stay hot?

ANSWER: A properly maintained compost pile will heat up after turning, reaching temperatures of at least 130 degrees F, and maintaining similarly high temperatures for two to four days before declining.

Once the temperature of the pile reaches about 100 degrees F, turn the pile again, and temperatures will again rise to 130 degrees F or higher as the organic materials in the pile break down. A properly maintained compost pile generally reaches temperatures between 120 and 170 degrees F when breaking down organic matter.

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