Hot composting is a process that speeds up and aids nature’s natural decomposition of organic material, and knowing how to hot compost will bring your garden to the next level in no time.
First you’ll need at least two contained composting areas that also allow you to access and agitate the mixture. Once you’ve constructed or purchased the containers, start your first batch with any organic matter from your yard or kitchen excluding meat, and glossy cardboard. Also, if you’ve been treating your lawn with fungicidal chemicals, do not add your lawn clippings to the mixture, as they will kill off the fundamental organisms that are aiding the decomposition process.
Be sure to shake off excess soil from all plants and to strip perennial plants of their roots, as they may re-grow in the pile. Break up tougher, woodier materials into smaller bits. The smaller the materials are, the faster they will decompose. Be sure to add as much variety as you can into your mixture. The more ingredients you have, the better your end product will be. Also be sure to layer your ingredients as much as you can. Switch between dead dry plants and fresher items, like fresh grass clippings.
Next, find an old heavy blanket and cover your mixture. Weigh the blanket down with rocks, bricks or something of similar size. The blanket will help trap the heat and moisture in the mixture. Leave the pile covered for about a month, checking periodically to see if it’s too wet, or too dry. The ideal consistency of the mixture should be moist, but it shouldn’t’ drip any moisture if you squeeze a handful.
After a month, uncover and turn the compost with a pitchfork. The bacteria that are busy breaking down your material need oxygen, so turning the heap every few weeks helps keep them alive, and ensures an even rate of decomposition. Take the dryer material from the top and place it on the bottom of a new pile, covering it with the more decomposed matter from the bottom. Be sure to discard any large, undesirable dry pieces that haven’t rotted during the process. Repeat this entire process three to four times until the whole mixture is brown, crumbly and rich.