Author Topic: Hotbin composting  (Read 2312 times)

markfield rover

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Hotbin composting
« on: January 20, 2017, 14:16:18 »
Does anyone have a Hotbin composter ? I am very tempted I was wary about the cooked food element but it would appear to be a good idea as it helps with the humus element. It would be for home and on the face of it would look to be a good investment , unless you know otherwise!
Cheers.

Beersmith

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Re: Hotbin composting
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2017, 23:06:07 »
I am very interested to see any replies. I too am tempted by the prospect of composting in a few weeks rather than many months.

I have a wormery at home. That copes with a fair amount of domestic vegetable waste, and it is slightly quicker than a typical allotment cold heap, but cannot cope with everything. Excess waste gets taken to the allotment, but meat, bones and dairy goes into the recycling bin. My allotment heap is cold and slow. It works eventually but takes a long time.

I wonder if others avoid hot bins partly because they are expensive, but also because they are more skilled at producing a hot, fast rotting heap in other ways. So, any advice to an unskilled composter?

Not mad, just out to mulch!

markfield rover

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Re: Hotbin composting
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2017, 08:02:19 »
Beersmith, I have done quite a lot of research into this including watching the Hotbin inventor on YouTube - worth watching if you haven't already, Alys Fowler uses and recommends - Guardian article , I have looked for cons but it all looks like pros. I looked at what was going in the kitchen bin plus what I can't get  to the allotment on a daily basis and what can't go on a open/cold compost , l think a Hotbin is the answer. I'll keep you posted if you are interested . Cheers

sparrow

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Re: Hotbin composting
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2017, 10:40:02 »
Hi Both,
I have a hotbin from a woman who was downsizing. (I know how lucky that was!)

I really like it, but I do struggle to keep it up and to temperature so that it produces compost as per the videos. I don't put any cooked food in it though. The compost that comes out is wetter and more clumpy than the stuff I get out of my daleks, but it is fine for digging in or using around bigger plants like squashes & corn.

Watch the lids - if the wind catches them when raised it can split them across the hinges when they flip backwards. The lid temperature gauge seems a bit variable too - the meat thermometer thingy is much better.

markfield rover

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Re: Hotbin composting
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2017, 14:58:14 »
Thanks sparrow , I also have quite a few small bits of corrugated card so I am hoping this will help too, good tip about the lid . Cheers

strawberry1

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Re: Hotbin composting
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2017, 20:36:28 »
I have a hotbin, bought it four years ago when I had to remove three compost bins. It works very efficiently on normal garden waste and peelings etc and I remove several loads of lovely dark crumbly compost throughout 2/3 of the year. I don`t do meat and similar food waste in it, had rat evidence on the side so had to enclose the sides in wire mesh. The door straps are a little awkward for a 70 year old as I have to kneel and reach to get the straps done up. The bin temperature is always hot in the growing season but it will be cold right now. It steams, I don`t bother with the thermometer, you can feel the heat when you open the lid.  Bringing the temperature up again at the end of winter is easy, just the natural composting heat does it and I add comfrey to it several times a year, which also keeps the heat going. If I get short of plant material then I just add a layer of shredded paper from time to time. This is all I use on my very productive allotment, no manure, just this compost and comfrey. It should last many years more and yes I would buy it again. You need to add a handful of composted bark to avaoid wetness
« Last Edit: January 21, 2017, 20:38:02 by strawberry1 »

Digeroo

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Re: Hotbin composting
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2017, 09:55:47 »
They are very expensive.  I have found a wrapping with bubble wrap helps to keep the heat in and a good mix up with grass clippings.  Though I prefer to use the grass clippings as mulch wlhike still hot it cooks the weeds.

markfield rover

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Re: Hotbin composting
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2017, 11:56:27 »
Thanks for the reply  strawberry1 , I am going for it . I think when OH sees steam and gauges he wil come over all Fred Dibnah and get quite attached to it. Thanks everyone.

strawberry1

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Re: Hotbin composting
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2017, 21:08:32 »
I completely emptied mine two weeks ago and spread it, I refilled with any plants I cut back, not the woody bits. Russian sage, hellebore leaves etc plus paper shreds in layers, leaves, kitchen compost and I managed to fill it. It was full to the top and yesterday it had started moving down, won`t be long before it is hot again, the sunny days here help

squeezyjohn

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Re: Hotbin composting
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2017, 21:49:36 »
I've thought these sound amazing for years and wanted to have a go as my woeful compost heaps take so long to rot down with what my allotment and kitchen produces!

But they're 185!  185 for a bin???  I can't see any way they are worth that much, or any way they could possibly pay for themselves ... anything made from plastic and left in the garden for 6 or 7 years will be photo-degraded and need replacing and just how much will that make the compost you produce worth?  More than I can afford that's for sure.

I have had a cursory glance round the web and can't find instructions on how to build your own ... but they don't look so sophisticated that it's beyond most allotment people ... has anyone here tried making their own hot bin for less than 50?

strawberry1

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Re: Hotbin composting
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2017, 07:37:15 »
it is thick coated polystyrene, door at the base of the front. Lid with an adjustable vent. Yes pricey but it is all relative  and for me, cheap at the price. No sign at all of photo degrading. Just line a wooden compost bin, leave airflow spaces top and bottom and allow for an easily removable lower door, to shovel the compost out. I don`t have space for three big bins and nor do I have the youth to lift and shift. Hotbin is easy to run, I just take the compost from the bottom. Now the weather is warming, I`ll start shoveling in about three weeks  :happy7:

markfield rover

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Re: Hotbin composting
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2017, 08:08:48 »
Thanks strawberry1 I was waiting for things to warm up enough, I've kept a mental note of what we put in the bin at home and how much could have been 'hotbined' ....a lot!
I know they are not cheap but it will save so much waste! I would t have the confidence to build one as they are more vermin proof than I could ever make them , I noticed it's the same plastic as in the boot of our car and they build jets!

squeezyjohn

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Re: Hotbin composting
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2017, 09:50:31 »
I noticed it's the same plastic as in the boot of our car and they build jets!

Well in that case Markfirld Rover I'm sure you can afford a hotbin if you can afford a Rolls Royce!

markfield rover

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Re: Hotbin composting
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2017, 12:48:43 »
I'll opt for the Spirit of Ecstasy on the bin lid!

Allotments 4 All

Re: Hotbin composting
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2017, 12:48:43 »

 

anything