I wanted to share some interesting results (so far) from my “Mega Pumpkin Fun” experiment.
As you can see, the larger pieces haven’t changed all that much. I am not overly surprised by this. For one thing, I didn’t freeze/thaw the pumpkin ahead of time – and it just so happens that the particular pumpkin used for the larger fragments had a very tough skin and flesh. Aside from that, I’ve left everything totally exposed – I’m sure the decomposition process would be moving along more quickly if the pieces were at least partially buried.
5 DAYS LATER
The “interesting results” apply to the diced pumpkin pieces (which actually came from a much softer pumpkin by the way). While I fully expected to see a lot more activity (a lot more quickly) on the pieces treated with the compost activator – the exact opposite occurred! Within an hour or two I could already see quite a few springtails on the untreated pumpkin, yet they seemed to be avoiding the treated pieces altogether.
That trend has essentially continued ever since! As you can see below, the treated pieces have shrunken somewhat (largely from dehydration I suspect), and they’ve got some mold growth on them – but they are being virtually ignored by all other critters!
NO TREATMENT – AFTER 5 DAYS
COMPOST ACTIVATOR TREATMENT – AFTER 5 DAYS
This is really interesting – and I have no clue what might be the cause. Obviously, something about the activator microbes, or whatever else happens to be in the powder, is unappealing. Maybe the particular strain(s) of microbes used just happen to be unpalatable to springtails etc.
I dunno – but this does make me want to experiment with the activator some more!
As for the rest of the pumpkin pieces – rather than just leaving everything as-is, I will more than likely add a layer of aged manure over top to see if I can accelerate the decomposition process. While it’s kind of fun to watch everything slowly sink down into the worm zone – it’s not remotely close to being an “optimized” scenario, so it will just end up slowing down my overall progress a lot more than it needs to be.
It will actually be interesting to see how things change once there is a cover layer!
I’ll be sure to post another update sometime next week.