What’s better – hot composting or cold composting? Let’s have a look at pros and cons of both. Temperatures rising in a hot-compost pile come from the activity of numerous organisms breaking down organic matter. To keep a pile running hot, pay attention to four elements: carbon, nitrogen, water, and air. A hot pile requires enough high-nitrogen materials to get the pile to heat up. The ratio by volume should be 2 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen. To aid in decomposition, keep the mixture as damp as a wrung-out sponge but not sopping wet. A variety of different-size mate rials (like twigs, stalks, straw, or hay) creates air pockets. You also increase the air/oxygen exchange every time you turn the pile. Keep reading the tutorial in the source.