How To Hot Compost
How To Hot Compost
Hot Compost. Composting is nature's way of recycling and hot composting is a method of accelerating the process by regularly digging through, or turning, the decaying matter.
Step 1: You Will Need
- A series of 2, 3 or 4 composting bins (alternatively you could use a tumbling bin or a bottomless bin)
- 1 Pitch fork
- An old bit of carpet
- A few bricks
- 1 Garden fork
- 1 Wheel barrow
- Compost Material
Step 2: Start a compost batch
Collect any organic material laying around your garden. Dig up spoiled or dead vegetables and shake off excess soil. Pull up weeds and add to the pile. Perennial plants, like bine weed, must have their roots torn off and discarded, otherwise they will regrow in the compost.
Break up any woody plants into pieces. The smaller the particles, the quicker the composting process.
Add fallen leaves, grass cuttings, twigs and any other unwanted organic matter. The bigger the variety in composting ingredients, the better the quality of the final compost. Collect both 'brown' and 'green' vegetation, the brown is carbon heavy while the green is nitrogen heavy, a good compost needs a mix of both.
If you have been using a fungicide or pesticide on your lawn do not add the grass cuttings to the composting pile. The treatments will cause the essential organisms which aid the decomposing process to die.
Take your collected pile to the composting bins
Step 3: Layer
Fork the material into an empty bin. If you feel the material is too dry add in a layer of grass cuttings for moisture.
If you have a second batch of compost that has already began to decompose, add a layer to the top of your new batch. This will weigh down the fresh matter and speed up the process.
Step 4: Cover
Use an old piece of carpet to cover the compost pile. Place pieces of wood or some bricks on top to weigh it down. This seals in the heat and humidity, aiding the decomposing process.
Step 5: Leave to decay
Leave the compost to rot for about a month, the pile will compress and shrink as it decays.
Check occasionally to see if it's too wet or too dry. If it is too wet add some green vegetation, and if it is too dry add brown. The ideal consistency should feel damp but not produce water when squeezed.
Step 6: Turn the compost
After a month's time remove the covers and combine the contents of two of the bins. Pull out any branches or matter that hasn't rotted and discard. Turning it like this allows air get into the layers, helping the microbes break down the compost - this process is called aeration. As you dig further down into the bin you will get to the better, decomposed matter. Layer this on top, it's weight and moisture will seep down into the fresher layers and speed up decaying process.
Cover as beforehand leave to decay. Turn once every month
Step 7: Finished compost
In 3 or 4 months time the compost with have become a dark brown, crumbly rich fertiliser.