Hot composting with aerobin

My friend kindly gave me an Aerobin 400 back in february so I could try some hot composting.  A couple of days back I inspected the bin to find that the mixture was not hot anymore (a good sign that it had broken down).  I figured it was time to empty the bin into the garden and fill the bin up with a new mix to cook over the colder months.  The total time it had taken the mix to be ready for the garden was 9 weeks!  Not too bad considering it generated 400kg of compost in this short amount of time. 

The mixture taken from the hot composting bin was (mostly) very well broken down which was great to see.  The compost mix in the centre of the pile was best and looked like normal soil.  I used most of the compost to top up my wicking garden bed which had just finished up the tomatoes and was ready for the winter crop.  However, there were some parts of the bin that were very dry and had not broken down as well as other parts.  Another issue I had was thousands of ants through the mix, which I was a little concerned about.  I decided to leave the ants in there and as I added the compost to the wicking garden bed, I gave it a good water to encourage the ants to find a new home elsewhere.   A week later and the ants have all gone, leaving me with some well broken down compost ready for planting.  Today, as part of my crop rotation plan, I planted out the wicking bed with some garlic, leeks,  spring onions and garlic chives.  Ideally this garden bed would have been followed  by corn and zuchinni (curcurbits) but the season for these plants has ended and I figured the Alliums would do ok after the tomato crop. 

Time will tell if the compost mix has the right nutrients for the Alliums – stay tuned…