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hot composting

hello, I'm going to build a small hot composter, it may be a bit Heath Robinson but it's just an experiment to see if it works and how much quicker. Is there anything I should definitly do/ not do in regards to it's general construction? thanks


  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    Yes - pallets are good - the heap needs to be at least a metre each way (or well insulated) to avoid losing too much heat. Covered with old carpet too.  Have the boards on the pallets running vertically to make it easier to shovel the stuff out.

    Make sure it's on the soil (so the beasties can get in when it cools down a bit) and the mixture needs to be pretty well balanced between nitrogenous and carbonaceous stuff.  Plenty of water when you build it, and activators: seaweed, chicken poo, human wee - anything highly nitrogenous like that.  Grass cuttings too, but mix them well with other stuff otherwise you get a slimy mess.  And air.  Must have air.  Brushwood and vents at the bottom to let it in and chimneys (created when you remove the posts you had in when you built the heap) to encourage it to flow through.  Should get too hot to hold your hand in (should you want to...). And turn it within a few days of its starting to cool down. a bit carried away of my favourite topics. image  You probably know most of this.  Good luck!

    Oh yes - I nearly forgot.  To get really hot it needs to be built all in one go, rather than added to over weeks.  That's often the difficult bit!

  • MrsGardenMrsGarden Posts: 3,951

    Chimneys Steve? Can you tell me more about that? I am waiting for delivery of a new bin 150x92 x62high, closed on 3 side but frony slats for air and can be removed for access. (Primrose easy compost bin it's called) Thanks. Oh also not sure what to do for 'hot compost' different to normal???

  • lisa masseylisa massey Posts: 252

    thanks Edd and Steve, I've seen one on the internerd and it was basically a double skinned plastic box about the size of a slim wheelie bin and the cavity between the skins was filled with insulation material. It was filled, sealed and left to get on with it. The write up on it said that it will get up to around 40 degrees and would produce useable compost in 3 months and they said it worked with all kitchen waste. So I have used a plastic packing case with lid, put it into a cardboard box that's about 2" bigger in all dimensions, then filled the space between with polystyrene packaging, filled the case with kitchen waste and shredded paper(not packing it too tight) put the lid back on, shut the box and put it under cover. I may end up with a box of mush but time will tell.

  • MrsGardenMrsGarden Posts: 3,951

    Thanks Edd, I think I will put the contents of the black 'tardis' in the new as it never quite turns out right. Also as it's new I can line the new one with something to start with. New garden waste can go in the old bin. Does this ound the right way of doing things? I've never used any thing I've taken out of the tardis just ended up taking it to the tip so all advice taken on board.

    (sorry Lisa if I've jumped in there)

  • lisa masseylisa massey Posts: 252

    Not to worry, all information is good, compost is a bit of a worry, I'm in the same position as you with the darleks. I need a proper compost bin and my OH was going to build me one but had to go back to work so it'll be 3 months until he gets back. May have to have a go at it myself. I think the pallets sound like a good solution.

  • MrsGardenMrsGarden Posts: 3,951

    Sorry your husbands away working lisa, hope your bin building goes well.

    Edd, just read your first link, very interesting! Yes tardis  for activator/maturer. Now going to read 2nd link.

  • MrsGardenMrsGarden Posts: 3,951

    oh yes, the same link, comparison chart on both. Thanks.

  • MrsGardenMrsGarden Posts: 3,951

    Hi, can I ask for a bit more advice please?

    My fab new compost bin has arrived and I will hopefully build it this weekend. Before I fill it I would like to line it to make an 'almost' hot compost. I have twigs and branches, an old rug, fleece, bin liners but don't know what is advised, it also doesn't have a lid but I could use the rug or find some wood for this.

    Thanks for your help.

    How's yours going Lisa?

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