How to Heat Up My Compost Bin

Overview

Generating heat in a compost bin in crucial to creating the rich, natural planting material gardeners seek. Fortunately, it is not difficult to heat up a compost bin, and in fact most of the work will happen on its own. There are a few things that homeowners can do to keep the temperatures consistent and optimal in their compost bin.

Step 1

Create the right environment and use the right combination of materials. Load the composter with green and brown waste. Fill the composter with 75% green materials (yard waste) and 25% brown material (kitchen waste). Be certain to follow this ratio of materials. Make an effort to use small-size pieces of material as they will break down faster and produce the end product sooner.

Step 2

Use proper turning techniques. Insert a shovel or pitch fork into the center of the pile. Lift the materials and turn them over. Turn the compost materials at least twice a week and up to four times a week Don't turn any more frequently, as the proper amount of heat will not build up to start the decomposition process.

Step 3

Add heat-generating materials to an existing pile. Add ½ cup agricultural dry molaases to every 6 to 8 inches of material. Water each layer. Or, use a paint stirrer to stir one quart jar of sulphured molasses well into a five-gallon bucket of water. Use a pitchfork to poke holes into the top of the pile. Penetrate halfway through the pile. Pour the mixture onto the heap, making sure that it does not run off.

Step 4

Put the compost bin in the right spot. Place your tumbler in direct sunlight to help generate the optimal temperature. Use a 20-inch compost thermometer to test the heat. The ideal temperature in a compost tumbler is anything above 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Things You'll Need

  • Yard waste
  • Kitchen waste
  • Shovel
  • Pitch fork
  • Agricultural dry molasses
  • Water
  • Paint stirrer
  • Sulphured molasses
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • 20-inch compost thermometer

References

  • Composter Connection
  • Composting Requirements
Keywords: building compost heat, heating a compost bin, how to heat a compost bin

About this Author

Stephanie D. Green is a freelance writer with over 10 years of experience. Green holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and enjoys writing parenting, gardening and human interest articles. Her work has been published in lifestyle and trade publications including Draft Magazine and Savannah Magazine.