Composting 4 – Hot Heaps

Some like it hot 🙂 … and it certainly does produce good compost as well as killing off weeds and pests.

A hot heap needs to be at least 1m x 1m x 1m so that it has enough mass to generate the super-high temperature. Hence you need a lot of material, all at once, to get it going. If/when this happens – like spring and autumn – then use the compost preps in the way of farmers and large-scale growers.

You Need …

–          The 6 compost preps

–          An egg box

–          A small amount of wet clay soil or moist cow dung

–          Bucket and stirring stick

–          Half a bucket of rainwater

–          Watering can with a rose

–          A stick, half the height of your compost bin/heap

–          Clock


It’s good to be indoors, in the garden shed, or somewhere comfortable to make up each preparation into a little ball ready to put into heap. Having a table and chair makes things easier.

  • Take the first of the compost preps – 502, Yarrow – and open it up
  • Break off a piece about the length of you first thumb joint
  • Take a piece of wet clay soil or moist cow dung and mix it with the preparation so that the two together become a well-mixed ball, or egg shape.
  • Put the ball into the top left hand corner of the egg box – as in the pattern below
  • Now, take the chamomile and repeat the process
  • Put the chamomile in the bottom left hand corner of the egg box
  • Now, take the oak bark and repeat the process
  • Put the oak bark in the top right hand corner of the egg box
  • Now, take the dandelion and repeat the process
  • Put the dandelion in the bottom right hand corner of the egg box
  • Finally repeat the process with the nettle
  • Put the nettle in the bottom central hole of the egg box.

You use this same pattern to put each of the balls of prep your bin – this way, you know which prep is which!           

Now, head for the compost bin …

  • Take the bamboo cane or stick that’s half as deep as your bin and push it into the heap, making five holes as in the pattern. NB – the pattern works just as well for round bins as square.
  • Drop each ball of prep down the relevant hole.

Now it’s time to do the valerian …

  • Put about thirty drops of valerian juice (prep 507) into the rainwater in the bucket
  • Stir it vigorously clockwise and anticlockwise, making a vortex in each direction and creating the chaos as you change direction – as for preps 500 and 501 – for twenty minutes
  • Pour the stirred valerian into the watering can (with rose!)
  • Water the valerian onto the contents of the bin

Put the lid back on and leave to cook! My Dad would have added, “Light the blue touch-paper and stand clear …” but he used to set off fireworks long before there were any safety regulations!

Your compost preps won’t blow anything up. They will start a wonderful process of making your heap into really excellent compost, and it should all be ready for you in about 3 months depending on how well you were able to chop things up. The finer the chopping the faster the compost, it’s like chewing your food helps digestion.

writer artist gardener shaman
Wye’s Woman Rainbow Warrior

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Celtic shaman – Elen Sentier Wye’s Woman

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