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How to know when to empty both in?

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  • How to know when to empty both in?

    Received hotbin week after Hampton court flower show in July set it up filled it at least to the top three times and have seen it got down spectacularly. Want to know how you determine it is ready to empty and restart.

  • #2
    The simple answer is you empty it when it fills up close to the top of the bin and you can't add any more to it. The longer you can leave the compost in the bottom of the bin to mature the better. I have taken compost out after about 4 weeks - it's useable at that stage - but in reality compost takes about 2-4 months to fully mature.


    • #3
      If it's been hot (ie between 40 and 60 or so) for a couple of months I tend to put the bin gently down on its back, (tape the lid down), take off the cam straps and remove the front cover so you can see how the compost is looking. You can then see how well it's broken down that way. Hope that helps.


      • #4
        I empty my hotbin about every 6 months and remove the top layer of partially composted material and put it in the wheelbarrow, this means that the compost is not going to cause a problem with weed seeds germinating. I then remove the fully composted material and put it in plastic bags to await a time to use it. I then hose out the bin and clean the holes in the base. ( what are these holes for?). I then return the partially composted material to re-start the cycle.
        Re: worms. My wife thinks these should be returned to the soil but surely they are Eisenia foetida, not normal earthworms which are Lumbricus terrestris and not normal soil commensals.


        • #5
          I never empty and restart - its a flow through bin, so I take a little out of the bottom each week. The longest I've had the hotbin running continuously is just over a year.