Join the RHS today and support our charitable work
Free personalised gardening advice
RHS members get reduced ticket prices
RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens
Free entry to RHS members at selected times »
Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops
020 3176 5800
Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm
Help us achieve our goals
Join the RHS today and support our charity
Composting, turning, vessel
The vast majority of compost research has focused on commercial-scale composting and attempts have been made previously to apply that knowledge to amateur composting. However amateur composting is potentially more variable and thus more difficult to generalize. In commercial-scale composting, size of the heap and amount of turning is critical, but should gardeners worry about the type of compost bin and whether they turn the heap?
Two specific objectives were to:
The experiment used three types of amateur composting vessel and examined the effects of vessel type and turning on the resultant temperature, nutrient concentrations and physical characteristics. Observations were also made on the influence of vessel type on the physical characteristics of the resultant compost and the management of the vessels.
The effect of vessel type produced statistically significant differences in temperature as did the effect of turning the vessels. However for all vessel types, the recorded temperatures remained around ambient and lower than necessary to kill pathogens or weeds. The choice of vessel is important but it is probably more a factor of volume than design; volume appears critical. Turning compost heaps would also appear to be worth considering as there is clearly an increase in temperature, albeit small.
We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.