|Here's the heap on day 3. There are 8 layers of tarpaulin keeping the heat in. Its already shrunk a little as the material begins to break down.|
|I dig it out into 2 piles for the first time on day 4. The pile on the left is from the outside of the heap, and the one on the right is from the hot interior. When I throw it back into the compost bin, I put the lighter coloured material back into the middle of the heap surrounded by the hot material from the right hand pile. |
Beneficial bacteria grow at a fantastic rate in this process and heat the pile up to about 65 deg C in the centre. To maintain this heat for a couple of weeks its necessary to aerate the heap every 2 days by moving it out of the bin and back in again inverting it at the same time.
Inverting ensures all parts of the heap are exposed to this high temperature to quickly break down the organic waste materials and kill off unwanted weeds and microbial pests. More on my page about thermal composting.