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Hotbin v. Hotbin Mk 2

What is the difference between the original Hotbin and the Mk 2? I'm wondering whether to invest in one and have seen a second hand one near by that has only been used for a few months but I don't know which version it is.
We're used to composting in home made pallet type (on allotment) and Dalik type in garden but would like to be able to compost more of our perennial weeds etc.
All comments and advice gratefully received. 


  • FireFire Posts: 18,982
    I have a Hotbin (not sure which model) and I would caution against seeing it as any kind of 'passive' composting solution. You have to work quite hard to make it stay above 40oC in my experience and the high heats you can get are quite short lived, unless you stay on the case. People who commit time to the process can achieve high continued heat, but I think the ads that mention composting pet faeces and meat etc perhaps over-sell the heat and work you need to do this kind of composting safely. My Hotbin stays around 20-40oC and I love it - a good use of space. It has a fast cycle, it's easy to use, but I don't put any pernicious weeds in it. Or cooked food, meat etc
  • LG_LG_ Posts: 4,346
    I have a feeling that only the MkII has the tap to release plant food... but it's a while since I looked
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • Thank you Fire and LG both helpful.
    Does tapping off the plant food speed things up or is it just a useful thing to be able to make plant food do you know?

  • FireFire Posts: 18,982
    In the first version, that I have, the leachate just seeps through the floor. In the second you can save it to dilute as fertiliser. To my knowledge the two systems don't change the actual composting system.

    The bin came with a bag of speeding-up bark, with extra fungal spores or something similar in it. I haven't bought any more of that. I only put small garden waste and kitchen scraps in (no woody bits) and find the Hotbin has a three month summer cycle from scraps to fully composted soil. At around 30oC - that's fine for me. I do add bits of garden soil, my old home made compost and or/a little manure into each new bin batch, when I have them to hand. It adds microrobes etc. and speeds things up probably. 

    I find worms really love this bin, and ants too - no matter how wet it gets. Sometimes it gets chocca with worms, but they don't like it too warm, so they want to flee when it gets much above 40oC. They appear on their own. When I empty out the bin, it will be full of brandings again in a month or two. Like magic.
  • Thanks for the info.
    Forgot to ask did either of you ( or anyone else) buy the base or have you put it straight on soil or straight on paving?
  • FireFire Posts: 18,982
    edited September 2021
    I just put it up as was. On reflection, a base would be easier. My unloading door is nearly flush with the ground and it's hard to open and close. Made compost falls out and it's tricky to catch it all. If you keep it all closed tight, you will get less slugs breeding in it, I find. The whole box, pretty much, is just polystyrene and quite delicate (compared to wood etc). I kick the door to close it tight, but I shouldn't.
  • Thanks
  • FireFire Posts: 18,982
    I edited the above message to add detail
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