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What Can You Add to the HOTBIN?

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  • What Can You Add to the HOTBIN?

    With hot composting in the HOTBIN you can put more types of waste into the bin then would ordinarily be possible.

    For example, did you know that it’s fine to add in citrus items (which wouldn’t normally go into a wormery) and also cooked food waste which you wouldn’t add to a traditional cold heap?

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  • #2
    with a glut of apples and pears coming on our trees, is it best to chop them before composting or just add them whole? and how well do tea bags and egg shells compost??


    • #3
      Apples and pears are best chopped, I keep a large black bucket near the bin and chop them in it with a small spade, add shredded paper etc and mix well before adding to the bin. I prefer to cook the windfalls and make apple puree, adding the warm residue to the hot-bin - again well mixed with other waste.


      • #4
        Originally posted by fatbuddha View Post
        how well do tea bags and egg shells compost??
        Neither of these break down particularly well, but that doesn't mean you can't add them. The tea leaves will rot down but some types of tea bag won't and you will find them in the compost. Eggshells are a good thing to add as they add calcium to the compost. If you smash them up they don't come out in huge pieces and they also create air spaces in the compost which helps other things break down.


        • #5
          I find adding citrus slows the process down a lot and the temperature drops by at least ten degrees after we've had a few days of grapefruits for breakfast, or I've baked a lemon tart. You need to be able to maintain a pretty high temperature to break citrus down. As a result I put citrus to one side and it still goes to landfill - sorry hotbin.


          • #6
            Saw dust and rabbit droppings don't seem to do well in the hot bin for some reason. I find that tea bag work well and I put them in straight away while there still hot. Egg shells don't seem to compost well but there good as they add calcium to the compost.


            • #7
              And what about leaves off roses with black spot, escallonia with some kind of leaf disease, etc? My bin is not often above 40 degs. Should I discard ALL suspect leaves?


              • #8
                I would be concerned about putting diseased plants into a cooler hotbin. It may depend on the disease, for example tomato/potato blight can only live on living plant material so you can compost that safely in a cold compost bin. Try googling the disease to see what conditions will kill it.


                • #9
                  Am I right in thinking dairy products can go straight in the bin? For example yoghurt past the use by date, cheese that has mould on it. Thanks in advance for any advice given.


                  • #10
                    You can add some dairy products into the HOTBIN, but we would advise against adding any soft or liquid based dairy products such as yoghurt, milk or cream cheese. The reason for this is that these more liquid based dairy products would add excess moisture into the unit.


                    • #11
                      Followed the instructions to the letter. 48 hours first visit inside and out the temp reached about 9c. Okay, half expected so back to instructions. 72 hours - no change. Will leave it now till Monday and go back to instructions once more. A feeling of minor frustration but no more at this stage.


                      • HotPeter
                        HotPeter commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Mine took 2 days to start to heat and 4 days to get to 70deg. I found the best material to produce heat quickly is fresh grass mowings. Add some chicken manure and it goes like a bomb!

                    • #12
                      I am having such a dilemma.

                      We have a veg garden in our front garden that is small but productive -veg beds instead of grass. And a bigger back garden where we grow some strong perennial kales and tomatoes etc in pots. We don’t grow much out the back because it is riddled with horsetail and I cannot keep on top of it in veg beds. I have separate garden tools for front and back because I am terrified of horsetail spreading to the front and ruining my veg beds!

                      I really want to get the big hotbin and be able to compost grass from the back garden, as well as food waste. But I am worried because there is horsetail in the lawn (its just everywhere in the back).

                      My main need for using the compost is in the veg beds but the idea of spreading horsetail through the compost is painful.

                      So here is my dilemma:

                      Do I
                      a) get the mini, keep it in the front and use it solely for veg bed bits and food waste. And know that I am safe from horsetail.

                      b) get the big one and compost grass clippings from the back too and hope desperately that I get it right and don’t infect my lovely veg garden.

                      What would you do???


                      • #13
                        I recommend looking at Charles Dowding web pages. His No Dig methods would provide a very good solution to the problems you describe. It will revolutionise your lives!