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Is she ready to harvest some mulch...?!

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  • Is she ready to harvest some mulch...?!

    Hi everyone. I started using my hotibin with the quick start method around 6 weeks ago. The hotbin quickly achieved the green zone and was looking good after 2 weeks (see attached pic) but then cooled down after 3/4 weeks around early October and has been running around 60-80 degrees since then. I have been mainly composting food bin waste, shredded paper with the bulking agent. Occasionally grass cuttings with extra shredded paper and bulking agent and also some natural wool (which I may have not broken down into small enough pieces as this went in before the bin started to cool). I have opened the hatch today and there are about 3 layers of waste in various composted states (see attached pic). Is this normal at this stage? I am wanting to get the heat back up in the bin so should I remove the bottom layer if it looks like it is useable as mulch? Would this improve airflow which I know is one of the reasons the temp can drop?

  • #2
    Yes, if he bottom layer looks well composted, remove it, especially if it is wet (not so much air getting through). I also use a corkscrew aerator which helps keep the air flow healthy. Layers in various states of decomposition is normal unless you fill the bin all in one go. I store my mulch in a secondary bin for several months, and it becomes very nice compost once all the moisture has properly drained out of it.

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    • #3
      Great thanks. Good to know it looks normal! Do I need to dry the mulch out a bit before using it? Also where did you get your corkscrew aerator from?

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      • #4
        I actually found my aerator (I think its actually something to do with an electric fence) but you can buy various types of aerators on ebay. If you are going to use your compost as mulch, I don't think you need to dry it out, any excess moisture will soon soak into the ground. I make potting compost with mine and reuse the larger bits a bulking agent so I dry mine as its the only way to get it though a sieve

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