Not QUITE as warm as I would like to see!
Some of you may recall that my dad and I attempted to monitor temperatures in our big worm bed (sitting in his backyard) last year using a remote weather station (first written about here: Winter Worm Composting – 12-08-08). Well, it didn’t end up working quite as effectively as we had hoped, so we ended up sticking with our trusty long-stemmed thermometer for temp readings in the bed.
Perhaps my dad is stubborn (like me), or simply an optimist, because this year for Christmas he ended up giving me yet another one of these systems to try out (in my own winter windrow)!
I guess I am an optimist too, since I found myself working quickly (by my standards) to get the system up and running in the bed (i.e. it didn’t end up sitting in a closet until next winter – haha). Now that it is up and running, I am even more excited about it – actually seeing a live reading from the bed (as low as it seems to be) is just really cool!
I obviously didn’t just want to toss the monitor in the bed without any sort of protection. Even though it is designed to be weather-proof, somehow I doubt there would EVER be weather conditions that would come close to what you’d find in the middle of an active compost pile! So, I decided to toss it into a sealed ziplock bag full of drink-tray cardboard shreds, which will hopefully help to keep it nice and dry (not to mention clean).
When I took some readings yesterday using my regular compost thermometer, temps seemed to be all over the map. Initially, it looked really dismal, with most of the temps basically down around the 4-6 C (~ 39-43 F) range, but then I suddenly found a zone that had temps up between 25 and 30 C (77-86 F)!! Very odd!
Hopefully things will start to balance themselves out a bit. After turning the rope lights off the other day, I ended up deciding to turn them on once again, at least until things seem to really be back on track!
As you can see in the first picture – the location where my remote temperature sensor is sitting is still pretty cool! I just looked again and temps seem to have risen up to 7.2 C (44.96 F), and it is cloudy today, so it’s at least warmer than when I was taking readings earlier in the week!
Anyway – it should be fun to keep an eye on temps using this remote monitor! Makes me feel like I have my own high-tech composting operation! haha