Houzz Logo Print

Heat in small batches of compost.

5 months ago

I've used various methods to compost and regardless which,it's difficult getting heat in final stages unless the batch was rather large at the onset. That is to say after a cubic yard has heated,been turned and reheated, it has shrunk to a quantity which doesn't hold heat well ,thereby slows or even stalls before finished. I have more than one batch at any time year round and use compost and mulch almost monthly but not great quantities at once. In the past I've mixed fresh greens while turning but heat was always short lived. After a number of barley pops one evening an idea struck me. I attached legs to a 2x2x4 foot playground tunnel to hold it 10 inches above ground then glued stryafoam from Ebay and Amazon shipments to the tunnel. When it was pretty much covered I put spray foam in voids which effectively reinforced random pieces into a solid cover. To protect foam from the elements and physical damage I covered everything with EPDM. Using a plumbers bit I drilled 7/16ths holes randomly all the way through and out other side. Filled new bin with 75% completed coompost,stuck a rebar through a set of holes 1 foot from top and another 1 foot from bottom (22 inches including 10 inch space between bin and ground. Rebars hold material up until material rots then collapses. I move rebar to different holes once per week or so. An old pump for large aquarium hooked to a 24" 3/8 ss pipe with several holes drilled in it. I stick the pipe in holes at random and timer runs pump 15 minutes ever 8 hours. Hand turning not neccessary and material stays hot and finishes much faster than before above additions. I basically have 8 or 10 cu ft finished compost on a regular basis.

Has anyone else have difficulty keeping heat up after compost shrinks to 10 cu ft or so?

Comments (5)