How To Make Hot Compost

How to Hot Compost

Making compost for use in your garden is a great way to recycle kitchen and garden organic waste. When incorporated into your garden soil, it improves soil structure, water retention, strengthens the resistance of your plants against pests and feeds the plants. Hot composting is a way of maximizing the amount of humus you get from a given quantity of organic waste material. Humus is a high quality soil amendment rich in microbial life and essential minerals required for strong plant growth. During the hot composting process, the compost heap builds up temperatures as high as 60deg C. This kills off unwanted weed seeds and diseases which can infect your plants. Beneficial microbes multiply during the process and worms are also attracted to your compost. You don't need a formal structure to make compost. It just keeps things neat and tidy. All you need is the space to accumulate waste organic material from the garden and kitchen, and anywhere else you can find it.


  1. Collect the materials you need.
    • Recycle your kitchen and garden organic waste by first accumulating it in a cool, preferably shaded, part of the garden.
    • Chop the waste into small pieces. This helps the microbes and worms break it down quickly. You can use a garden shredder, you can run over it with a lawn mower or you can use a sharp spade.
    • Keep the brown and green waste separate until you are ready to build the compost heap.
    • Note: Green waste is material rich in nitrogen and brown waste is rich in carbon (see chart for details).
    • Examples of Brown Waste (high Carbon):
      • Wood Chips..................400 Carbon: 1 Nitrogen
      • Shredded Cardboard......350 Carbon: 1 Nitrogen
      • Sawdust.......................325 Carbon: 1 Nitrogen
      • Shredded Newspaper.....175 Carbon: 1 Nitrogen
      • Pine Needles..................80 Carbon: 1 Nitrogen
      • Straw.............................75 Carbon: 1 Nitrogen.
      • Leaves...........................60 Carbon: 1 Nitrogen
      • Fruit Waste....................35 Carbon: 1 Nitrogen
    • Examples of Green Waste (high Nitrogen):
      • Weeds...........................30 Carbon: 1 Nitrogen
      • Green Wood...................25 Carbon: 1 Nitrogen
      • Food waste.....................20 Carbon: 1 Nitrogen
      • Grass clippings...............20 Carbon: 1 Nitrogen
      • Seaweed........................19 Carbon: 1 Nitrogen
      • Cow manure....................16 Carbon: 1 Nitrogen
      • Chicken manure..............12 Carbon: 1 Nitrogen
      • Fish waste........................7 Carbon: 1 Nitrogen
  2. Build the compost heap.Work out the mix of brown and green materials you need to achieve a carbon to nitrogen ratio of about 30 to 1.
    • Use the above chart to calculate the proportions you need to use.
    • Use a heaped shovel load of waste as your standard unit of measure.
    • Example: Set aside 20 shovel loads of chicken manure, 5 shovels of weeds, 20 shovels of leaves and 10 shovels of fish waste.
  3. Calculate the total carbon and nitrogen content.
    • For chicken manure this is 20 shovels x 12 (from the chart) 240 units of carbon, and 20 shovels x 1 (from the chart) 20 units of nitrogen.
    • For the weeds this is 1200 units of carbon and 20 units of nitrogen.
    • For the leaves this is 150 units of carbon and 5 units of nitrogen.
    • For the fish waste this is 70 units of carbon and 10 units of nitrogen.
    • The totals for all the ingredients are 1660 units of carbon and 55 units of nitrogen, a C:N ratio of 30.18 to 1.
    • Build the heap in layers alternating between green and brown waste. You will need at least a cubic meter (cu.yard) to get the required temperature in the middle of the heap.
  4. Maintain the high temperature.
    • Turn the heap over with a garden fork every 2-3 days. This aerates the heap so the heat generating microbes - which are aerobic and need oxygen - can continue their work.
    • Move fresh material from the outside to the inside of the heap at the same time so that, in about 2 weeks, all the material will have gone through this high temperature stage of the process.
    • Leave the heap to mature for about a week. A whole new army of microbes and worms will move in to complete the maturing process.
    • Under ideal conditions, the whole process can be completed in 3 weeks.
  5. Use the compost in your garden.Incorporate the compost into your soil by first spreading it generously over the surface and then digging it into the soil with a garden fork
    • Apply straw mulch to the surface of the soil once your plants are established. This keeps the soil moist and encourages worm and beneficial microbe activity right up to the surface.
    • Properly made compost when added to the soil is rich in beneficial microbes. Worms live off the compost and the microbes in it, and distribute organic matter and accompanying microbes throughout the upper layers of the soil. These beneficial microbes break down the organic materials into easily assimilated plant nutrients and break down the minerals in the soil into trace elements which plants need for healthy growth.
    • Food from plants grown this way is rich in minerals and vitamins, and tastes great.

Video: How to Make a Hot Compost Pile Successfully (Complete Guide Pt 1)

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Date: 03.12.2018, 01:21 / Views: 54483