Characteristics and Benefits of Hot Compost. This is often referred to as “cold composting”. Basically, you just let the pile sit and rot. Meanwhile, the hot compost piles are made up all at once and decompose rapidly. Hot composting is far quicker, taking three to four weeks. I would like to know if you usually get fast hot compost or slower cold compost, and how it performs in your garden. Use a compost thermometer to monitor the temperature. Our guide will show you how to make beautiful, earthy compost for free – quickly and efficiently. COMPOSTING METHODS. You can turn the pile if you want, which does speed up the process. By Veronica Lorson Fowler The Iowa Gardener . If you have even a small space, it can just be a pile in a remote corner of the yard. Hot Composting vs Cold Composting. What’s the difference and which one is better? All the ingredients are at your disposal, so the only question is, should I hot compost or cold compost? Hopefully, it’ll help make your holiday season as special as possible. As far as CO2 release, pretty much any organic material decomposes to release its carbon as CO2. Microbial Populations in Compost vs Vermicompost. There are many different composting methods. Cold composting is definitely a more natural method than hot composting, and it definitely fosters more of the beneficial organisms necessary for plant health. Hot Composting vs. A good size for a pile or bin for hot composting is at least four feet wide by four feet high. Cold Composting. Hot Composting. Most of the compost I make ends up not heating up very much (partially from not having enough material around to provide the right balance). To aid in decomposition, keep the mixture as damp as a wrung-out sponge but not sopping wet. There's an old saying that the three best things you can do for your plants is compost, compost, and compost. What do these mean anyway and which is better? Hot composting has the benefits of killing weed seeds and pathogens (diseases), and breaking down the material into very fine compost. Hot Composting. Your email address will not be published. As with the choice of what materials to compost, what type of compost bin/container to use, and other facets of composting, there is no right or wrong answer. Basically, some combination of time and temperature kills pathogens; colder temperature, more time. Just compost. Hot Compost Vs. Composting doesn’t have to be complicated. They are considered “cold” because little or no heat reaction occurs as the material decomposes. Here are four tricks for heating up your compost pile. Hot Composting vs Vermicomposting. Compost basically falls into two rough categories, “hot” and “cold.” Each has its advantages and disadvantages. This method of composting has two steps: Put your waste in a pile, and wait. When actively working, a handful of compost should feel like a wet sponge. Cold composting can also be done in a dark dank corner of the garden behind … Hot Compost vs. Get complete site access to decades of expert advice, regional content, and more, plus the print magazine. It’s finished when the compost is dark and crumbly. Many gardeners prefer the cold composting method becauseit requires much less effort and maintenance to create the same nutrient-richgarden humus that hot composting makes. Happy holidays from all of us at Gardening Know How. The smaller the particles, the faster they will break down. It’s how you balance the basic four ingredients — greens, browns, moisture, and oxygen — that determines whether you have a hot, cold, or warm (hybrid) compost pile. Too small and the pile won't heat up sufficiently. Cold composting is for those who aren’t in any hurry for the finished product, which can take up to two years. Are you sure you want to delete your notes for this recipe? Hot (or active) composting uses microbes to breakdown the matter. Your compost pile won’t be quite as productive, but that’s OK. You’re not going to be gardening through those months anyway. Er, grass clippings? It just takes more time. But the pile needs to be no more than about a cubic yard (3’ x 3’ x 3’) in size. Sign up for our newsletter. You build a pile of material and then leave it alone. Now that you know the difference between the two, it’s merely a matter of which method you have time for or how quickly you’d like to see results. Unlike a hot compost heap, a cold heap can be of any volume as it does not need to reach a critical mass to be a good environment for the particular micro-organisms that inhabit it. In general, bigger is better, but four feet by four feet is a manageable size for most gardeners. Hot composting takes much less time than cold composting. What does that mean?” Well, basically, hot composting will break the pile down faster. Sign up for a free trial and get access to ALL our regional content, plus the rest The ratio by volume should be 2 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen. The faster these tiny microbes work, the faster the compost decomposes. The time needed to have finished compost is hard to estimate because it depends on the materials in your pile and the size of the particles. David J. Jimenez. Cold compost piles take longer to break down but are ideal for recycling small, steady amounts of organic material. It doesn’t kill weed seeds or plant pathogens. © 2020 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved. Compost basically falls into two rough categories, "hot" and "cold." The one thing…, When the snowflakes begin to fly and the ground becomes frozen solid, many gardeners start to lament the end of the season. Making your own compost is a great way to get a free garden soil amendment. You must be a magazine subscriber to access this feature. Browns (carbon source) are dried leaves, twigs, straw, and shredded newspapers or cardboard, while greens (nitrogen) are grass clippings, weeds, vegetable scraps (no meat or dairy), coffee grounds and filters, and tea bags. Some experts recommend you inoculate the compost with live organisms in order to speed up the process. Heat will kill weed seeds and some plant diseases, but heat is not necessary to break down the pile. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. See how to turn garden waste and kitchen scraps into nutrient-rich goodness—whether it’s “hot” composting or “cold” composting. Norfolk Pine Holiday Plants – A Living Christmas Tree You’ll Love, Growing Plants Indoors: Forcing Amaryllis Blooms In Winter, Phalaenopsis Orchid: A Surprising Addition To Holiday Décor. Turn it twice a week at first, then every week. Firstly, as noted above, you need to have all your ingredients on hand, ready to go. This won't delete the recipes and articles you've saved, just the list. If the temperature starts to drop or if it gets hotter than 160°F, turn the pile again and add water. Cold vs Hot Composting Cold Composting . Your email address will not be published. The process of decomposition when usingthe cold composting method, however, takes significantly longer. It's about time we had something to celebrate! Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. By Lynn Bement Fine Gardening - Issue 130. Cold Composting Hot composting is faster but requires attention to keep carbon and nitrogen in the optimum ratio. Moisture is important so if it doesn’t rain, you’ll need to water the pile to keep it moist. Cold Composting is very similar to hot composting, the difference being with a cold heap you are making it gradually as materials become available. With a hot heap you’re making it all in one go. We know this year has been tough, and this will surely be a very different holiday for many people. It takes much longer to produce finished compost. Sear Nation 18,067 views. Without high temperatures to kill off weed seeds or disease pathogens, you will be spreading these bad guys around your landscape. Cold composting is similar to hot composting. Come spring, you’ll have a good head start on producing compost … Pathogens can be killed in cold composting as well as in hot composting. There’s an old saying that the three best things you can do for your plants is compost, compost, and compost. A hot pile requires enough high-nitrogen materials to get the pile to heat up. It’s relatively simple to keep composting outside over winter, even in cold-weather climates. Because hot compost piles take less time to break down, it also reduces the amount of space you need to allocate for composting in your garden. Organisms that will convert your organic matter into compost material will speed things up a bit know how be parts...? ” well, basically, you will be spreading these bad guys around your landscape pile turn! 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