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Cold & wet

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  • Cold & wet

    My HotBin Mini had gone cold, so I opened the front hatch for the very first time since buying it in August, and it was very compacted, and quite wet, even though I drain it weekly!

    I’ve dug all the bottom section out, which is difficult as the material above which hasn’t broken down yet, then falls down!

    I’ve put the composted material into a bucket and placed it in the greenhouse, I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it at this time 🤷🏻‍♂️

    I think I’ll remove everything from the HotBin and start again, mixing up some of the broken down compost with newly added greens (pruning evergreens only) & browns and see if I can build up some new heat 🤔

    Without a lawn, I have to scrounge grass cuttings from the neighbors, as it’s key to the process, but there’s not going to be any grass cuttings around now for a few months, so not sure how I’ll generate heat with no greens for the next few months 🤷🏻‍♂️​

    But it was really wet, which no doubt affects air circulation, and with all the rain we’ve had lately, I suppose this is simply a winter hurdle 🤔
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  • #2

    The material in the bottom looks well-rotted. It's wet, but leachate from above will always have to drain through it, so it's never going to be light and fluffy until it is dried out or you stop putting fresh stuff on top. I would put it in something that drains or you will end up with it dry on top and really soggy at the bottom. I dry mine in large unglazed terracotta pots during the winter.

    When I dig the bottom section out, I dig out a small bit at each side and put two bricks in. This is enough to hold up the material above until the rest is dug out. Pull the brick out and the stuff will slide down. You can always lay the bin on its back and dig it out that way, but you need to be careful not to damage the bin.

    Evergreens might not be as green a material in the way that grass is. That is, it might have a much lower nitrogen content, so it might not heat up as much. Lots of kitchen scraps are a good replacement for grass. I eat a lot more fruit now just so I have adequate material to keep the beast fed over winter. Pineapples are cheap and have a lot of waste material.

    Having said all that. Heavy rain doesn't help and the wetter everything is the less airflow.