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Having problems

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  • Having problems

    Got my hotline working nicely in January and was hitting 50-60 degrees easily in February so very happy. Took the first load of compost out of the bottom in May and it smelled vile, but after leaving in the sun for a bit was OK. Now I can't get the bin back up to temperature. Have added shredded paper etc and put the hot water bottle in several times. I can't get it over 38 degrees and there are maggots in there now.

    Have just thrown in a load of grass clippings and am hoping for the best. Any tips? And does removing material always mess up the process like this?

  • #2
    Anybody there?


    • #3
      I see you added shredded paper but did you add plenty of bulking material ? This creates the air pockets that enable the hot-bin to work. The fact that your first removal "smelled vile" suggests it is not breaking down as it should. I would suggest taking it all out laying it out to dry on a tarpaulin and then adding lots and lots of shredded paper/cardboard plus plenty of bulking agent.


      • #4
        I have had my bin for three years now, similar problems, I cannot maintain a hot temperature, and end up with a soggy, smelly mess!


        • MMC
          MMC commented
          Editing a comment
          I ave a different problem. After opening the hatch door to remove compost I can't fit it back!

      • #5
        Have to agree that my second batch was less successful than the first, and it does seem necessary to leave the output in a normal bin to mature for a bit longer. But I made a mistake not building the base layer correctly and it went anaerobic. I think you do need a lot of airspace in the base layer, I have been experimenting with some hanging basket fibre and may try either weed membrane, folded chicken wire or pipe with holes in. You can also get those plastic practice golf balls with holes in, from sports shops.


        • strawberry
          strawberry commented
          Editing a comment
          To keep the air flowing in through the base of the bin the holes in the base need to be clear. To keep the air flowing up through the compost you need to mix everything really well so there is less risk of stuff matting together, like grass cuttings, which block the flow. When I started I used less paper and cardboard and the compost was quite wet with some anaerobic bits, now I add plenty of both as well as bulking agent and this helps a lot. When I take compost out I try to check the holes in base are clear by poking the stirring stick in to holes and then put some twigs over the base- not easy as you are trying to stop stuff dropping down.