Posted: 20/08/2014 at 10:06
I have never been able to get a 'hot' compost bin. When I have time I shred (or mow over) woody material and add it with grass cuttings & that makes a nearly hot (steam rising) bin but it soon seems to cool down. I operate a 3 bin system.
Bin 1 is fresh material & the one I add to.
Bin 2 is 'cooking'
Bin 3 is usable compost
When Bin 3 is empty I turn Bin 1 into it & leave that to cook and start a new bin again in bin 1.
If my back was a bit stronger I would turn Bin 2 into bin 3 and bin 1 into bin 2 but I've only done that once & it cost me a fortune in osteopath bills!!
I think it is more important to get the right 'mix' of brown and green & to try to build up layers with coarser stuff mixed in with the shreddings. I also water mine (with both recycled tea and water) if it seems dry and I stir the top layers each time I add stuff.
Seems to work but stuff composted this season will not be usable till next year. I have always had a problem with seedy compost so this year I've been more circumspect about composting seed heads - I only do those which are still very green and I do shred them.
I have ants in mine too Hester - even though I try not to let it dry out too much.