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Hot composting

Does anyone here do hot composting?

I have succesfully 'cold' composted for a while but thought I would experiment. I have bought myself an 80l bin and an insulation jacket and have all my ingredients ready. I am unsure whether to put holes in the bottom of my bin though. Logic behind it is that I don't want any liquid to escape potentially reducing the mositure level and slowing the composting down. Any thoughts on this? However part of me feels I should add holes so allow for extra air circulation.

I hope I haven't broken any forum etiquette by jumping straight in image



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,887

    Hi Minosgardener and welcome image  Etiquette??? on here???  No such thing - all are welcome to just jump straight in and tag along image

    I've never done hot composting, but Artjak is a Compost Master trained by the local authority - if she doesn't know I'm sure she'll know someone who does.

    She'll probably be along in a bit ....

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Do not worry about jumping in and etiquette  they all lick their plates on here especially after cake.

    Hot Composting happened on the farms and small holdings I lived on as a lad, you piled it high, turned it every couple of weeks, a mix of manure half rotted and anything else, never contained never covered and you could cook potato's in the residual heat. We had a large brick midden outside the stables, the new stuff and straw went in one end and my job would be to move it to the other end when it half rotted, that gave off a lot of heat and was soon spread on the gardens. I have two large compost bins home made of wood with air slots and no bottom. Once empty brushwood is spread at the base then the build up begins, I get heat though not like those large middens, they are sheltered from the wind and in a place they get a lot of sun, turning on a regular basis is essential, remove slats chuck it out into a wheel barrow or onto plastic stir and toss it back sprinkle each layer with water mixed with recycled bodily fluids and you will get good compost. Mine are loose covered so as not to get too wet.

    Never heard of your hot composter so cannot comment on them, let us know if they do get up to heat, my recipe has always been Air/ Damping/ A Good mix of ingredients and they will produce heat.


  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    To make use of the nutrient-rich liquid that drains out you could plant a couple of crowns of rhubarb nearby.   They'll love it.

  • Many thanks all for the welcome image

    Palaisglide/Frank tbh that's the sort of compost heap I learned about as a child helping my grandfather out and loved having the job of turning it. Dreamed of growing up and having a massive compost heap that heated water for the house. Was never quite as bothered about the plants! Although as a small child rhubarb was my speciality! And my compost heaps do heat up a fair bit and disappear fairly quickly at the moment.

    Was particularly interested in hot composting to get rid of animal waste as well, which at the moment is the main contents of my rubbish bin and it seems such an annoyance that biological matter is going to landfill.

    Look forward to any extra tips from Artjak image

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    Hello MinosG, it's not true that we lick our plates on this forum Frank (only the knifeimage)

    MG, there is a new type of bin called a Hot Composter (£150image) it is made from thick heavy duty black polystyrene material. I have seen it in action; you fill it all at once and should achieve 60c within a day or two.

    If you get it to this temperature, you can compost chicken carcases and dog waste (google also dog poo wormery), the dog waste has to be collected in COMPOSTABLE BAGS (e.g.made from cornstarch) NOT BIO-DEGRADABLE bags as these take around 180 days to break down.

    What type of animal waste are you looking to compost; waste from rabbits and other herbivores can go into the normal compost bin with very good results. It would only be omnivore/carnivore waste that needs basically a wormery, you would have to check with the Hot Compost people if heat alone would deal with dog waste.

    I'm sorry to sound a little vague about this, but am in the middle of researching the subject.

    There are about 9,000,000 dogs in the UK, producing around 4,500,000 kilos of waste PER DAY.  This mostly goes into landfill at the moment, so it is something that all us dog owners need to think about.

    I hope I have not raised too many issues for you. image

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    MG, sorry should have read through above more thoroughly; am not certain that a Hot Composter can deal with dog waste.

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    MG, I've just fired off a couple of compost questions to Garden Organic, the people who train Master Composters.

    One more thing about composting dog waste; it may still have Toxicara, which means that you could not use the resulting compost on veg or anywhere near children. They are trying to compost this kind of material at an Arboretum near me and they will only really be able to use the compost in the bottom of a hole when planting a tree.

  • davids10davids10 Posts: 894

    minos  in my experience you can make hot compost with almost any plant material-the key is to grind it fine. i use a rotary electric mower. its fast, easy and a good electric mower is cheaper than a compost grinder.                                                        i make the initial heap with the first garden cleanup and with leaves scrounged from around the neighborhood. i make an open heap  on the veg garden site so it usually pretty large-6x5x4ft. you need uniform moisture for uniform heat.depending on how many leaves i add the heap will heat to between 160 and 172 in 1 or 2 days.i turn it when the heat drops or when i add new material-an advantage of an open heap.             if the heap is too dry it will heat up fast and cool almost as fast.                                                                                                   we havent had frost here yet so veg garden continues to produce so just accumulating material for the big grind. as far as adding carnivorous animal waste i dont do it because i dont want to worry about where i put the finished product. 

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,717

    Palaisglide  "water mixed with recycled bodily fluids"

    made me titter.


  • Today I had a leaflet from our council offering composters, Green cone food waste digester ??15 rrp ??79 50, or a green johanna food waste digester and composter ??20 rrp ??108.90 they are both made by Great Green Systems Ltd

    It might be worth looking on your councils website or giving them a ring if anybody is interested
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