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Hello from JohnH

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  • Hello from JohnH


    I've just gone semi-retired from work (20 hours a week now) and I'm determined to have a good go at growing some nice food for our table. I've also just put up a new greenhouse, so hope that will fit in nicely with our recently purchased Hotbin.

    I just have a couiple of questions if anyone can help?

    1. I want to put some shrub prunnings in the HotBin - suitably cut to 2" lengths :-
    a) Are there any shrubs that I should NOT use?
    b) Should I just compost the green prunnings or am I ok to use the more "Woody" bits too?

    2. My HotBin is now running at around 30C but has been up to 40C - is this because our bin is not full ( its only just passed half way yet)?

    Hoping you can help.

  • #2
    Hi JohnH


    You can put just about anything organic into a Hotbin. So compost any shrubs you have using all parts of the plant including the woody bits. Just chop them up into small pieces - as you are doing. If I am chopping up woody stems I generally cut them up smaller that the green leafy portions.

    Your bin will normally run between 40-60 plus degrees C and the fact that it's only half full isn't the reason that it's down to 30°C. At the moment my bin is around 35°C and falling despite having a good green/brown mix added. This time around I didn't bother to add any straw or wood chip so I reckon the material has slumped and the air from the bottom is blocked from rising up through the heap. To cure that I'll take enough compost from the bottom until some of the upper layer falls down - this will reallow oxygen into the heap and the temperature will increase. So if your temperature is below par check the mix that your are putting in is a good mix of greens and browns and in sufficient quantities (minimum of 5 kg per week).

    Hope that helps.



    • #3
      Thanks for your reply, it was most helpful.

      I've now cut up my prunnings and added them to the bin and the temperature has now gone up over 40C for the first time. I think that the woody parts of the prunnings added some more body to the bin, so this has helped a lot.