Hot Composting (Hot and Fast)
- heats up enough to kill most weed seeds and pathogens
- uses space efficiently
- labor intensive
- must be built all at once, requiring storage of materials until enough is collected
- requires careful control of moisture and carbon/nitrogen ratio
- grass clippings
- brown leaves
- garden fork
- water hose with spray head
- compost thermometer
- compost bin (optional)
- burlap scraps or black plastic to cover top of pile (optional)
- Set compost bin or start pile in an area which it is sure to get rained on, yet preferably out of direct summer sunlight.
- Chop or shred woody trimmings over 1/2 inch diameter if adding large amounts.
- Lay 6 inches of chopped “brown” trimmings and leaves at bottom of bin or pile. Moisten materials as they are added.
- Add 6 inches of “greens” – grass clippings. Moisten.
- Mix layers with a garden fork and moisten dry materials.
- Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until a pile at least 3 ft. x 3 ft. x 3 ft. is made, or until the bin is full.
- Monitor heat in pile using a compost thermometer. When pile has heated and starts to cool (about one week) turn it. Using a garden fork, move the material, shaking it in order to add air around the particles.
- Repeat Step 7 in one week. Repeat until pile does not reheat after turning (about four weeks).
- Let cure for two weeks before using.