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The following tips will help you check expectations and ensure the HOTBIN Mega works for you.
Each customer will have different garden waste volume, different plants etc (e.g. allotment of vegetables versus large lawn/borders) and different habits and working patterns. The product is new to the market and time will tell us how different customers use it, right now we think there will be two groups of users:
You will get maximum and year-round hot composting when you add enough compost waste each week. (This is not as easy as it sounds - most gardens have little waste in winter!
Subject to enough waste, you can add new waste each week and take out finished compost every 90 days (3 months). Just remember, using this method, the top layer will not be fully composted. You will skim it off and put it to one side. (It is then ready to load into the empty bin and re-start the bin quickly). The other factor to consider is where is the compost going to be used every 90 days. For some, the answer will be moving it to a cold bin until needed. This sequence maximises the hot composting ability.
We think composting is easier when it fits around your gardening schedule. We use our bin as follows: we empty the bin in Spring and late Autumn as this is when we need the compost for Spring planting and Autumn dressing/spreading. In early Spring, we have an empty bin. We do the spring clean-up and add the contents to start the bin. We add small amounts of vegetable peelings and bits of garden pruning each week. Then in late Spring and through Summer, we have grass and more pruning etc. By late Autumn the bin is full. We empty it and use the compost. Any of the top non-composted material goes back in. We then have a big Autumn clear up and the bin gets full. We know we won't have much over winter. We accept the bin will get hot and then overwinter drop down to 10-20C. In spring we have a nice batch ready again. If all goes to plan we have enough capacity, empty almost full batches and have less skimming and re-loading of non-composted material.
Emptying out the bin takes time and a little bit of care. Dismantle it correctly, and take your time removing compost from the base carefully without digging into the base plate with the fork. Clean off the edges and grooves before re-assembly. It will give years of good service. (we aim to have some videos available shortly).
Users of the HOTBIN 200 litre Mark2 will spot a considerable difference between the advice for the 450 and 700 and the 200 around the use of wood chips and shredded paper. Both HOTBINs work the same and use the same science - but with the 200, the focus is usually food waste. (In composting terms food waste is 'wet' (70-80% water) and quick to digest and hence slump into a mushy layer). The focus of the Mega bin is garden waste (which in composting terms is drier (50% water) and woodier - so is less prone to slumping). The former needs help to aerate and balance the water (hence the advice to add shredded paper and wood chip), the latter 'self aerates' and has the right amount of water so rarely needs any shredded paper.
No - but this is only a meaningful answer if you understand the correct use of the term - see our blog. The only accelerator worth focusing on is heat and shredding waste.
Yes. Again you need to understand what the humification does in relation to other terms such as activator, inoculator and accelerator.
Yes. Adding biochar to your compost heap is by far the best way to ensure success with biochar. We believe our biochar-based humidification agent offers more value than just biochar, To understand what the humification does in relation to other terms such as our humification blog.
SoilFixer has 7 years of practical hands-on experience using the HOTBINs with biochar and biochar-humification agent. Contact us if you need more expert help
When adding large volumes of grass, it can heat up rapidly and then form into a matted layer. After 5 days, rake this through and mix in with compost.
On rare occasions, the grass will be very wet and might slump into a putrid layer. To avoid this, add some shredded paper and wood chips (or biochar) chips.
If you have composted grass in the 200-litre HOTBIN - the advice for the 450/700 may seem contradictory.... see explanation above.
In hot summers with lots of organic waste, the extra heat can overdry the waste. If this happens, you will need to add some tepid water - try 5 litres.
This blog provides detailed information on SoilFixer's Compost Humification Agent. The first page covers the highlights per the website product specification page. If you have already read the website product page, please jump down to start at the question 'what is the story around the product devel
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