Setting up a Hotbin Composter – How I did it – Getting Started !
So my new HotBin Mini composter arrived today 🙂 and I could not wait to get it started!
Included in the big box is the following...
- Composter – Hotbin – I choosen the mini model – but there are 3 sizes in the range.
- Stiring Handle
- Bottle for hot water (if below 5 degrees outside temp)
- Long thermometer (for inside)
- Woodchip/Bark to kick start the process
I have positioned the composter on a level slab surface at the side of my house for easy access to fill the Hotbin in future. Note it gets the sunshine (8am-13:00) which gives it alittle warmth in the mornings.
Lets Start !
To get it started I have placed the woodchip into the bottom of the hotbin, roughly about an inch high from the base inside. Next I have then added paper towl , cardboard , grass clippings with some added trimmed twig bushes from the garden all the way upto the fill line inside where the composter is needed – to start its process.
Currently its temperature reading is 20 degrees, so I do not need to use the supplied water bottle at this time. I still have 2 flexi buckets of grass clippings, bush trimmings and paper ready to load into the hotbin.
Sadly I cant add this yet as I need to wait a week for the composter to warm up to its ideal temperature of between 40-60°c.
Im just awaiting it to warm up so I can add the rest of my kick start materials and be well on my way to fantastic compost from my new Hotbin.
Observations a Year On! and how to keep your hotbin working well!
1. Grass helps get the heat up on the composter.
2. Sticks and chopped bark help aerate the hotbin.
3. Drain the humeric acid from the bottom at least once a week.
4. Fill it regular with anything you can (paper, grass, card, foods, sticks) just keep filling it.
5. Empty it when it gets to 90% full – otherwise it gets too wet.
6. Regular check the temperature and adjust what you put in to suit.
7. Clear the drain holes on the inside base when you empty the compost.
Other than that I have not emptied it around 10 times in the last year and grown various plants and vegetables with the compost made from it, and as the garden centres are going peat free with their composts… this certainly wins and Im very happy with it. Often I will simply spread the hotbins compost round the garden to simply boost the organics of my garden.
What I wouldn’t use the hotbin for?
Only thing I wont use the compost for is seeding new seeds where I will use a purpose seed and cutting compost like this. This is because what is produced is simply large and not fine enough for seedlings I use.