How to make compost fast
The desire to make compost fast can be driven by space restrictions, the need for more product, or simple impatience. It’s a common goal for composters everywhere, from the backyard to industrial facilities.
Unfortunately, wishing will never make it so. The speediest course from raw feedstock to finished quality compost is a series of steps controlled by the person doing the composting. Skip or bungle just one, and biodegradation could slow or even grind to a halt.
It doesn’t matter whether you make compost by the tumbler or by the ton. If you want to make compost fast, follow these steps:
- Consider carbon-to-nitrogen (C:N) ratios when mixing every batch. Base mixes on the C and N percentage of each feedstock, not feedstock volume – it’s not buckets of “brown” to buckets of “green.” Learn more about calculating C:N ratios.
- Get the blend right with uniform particle size, good porosity, no clumps or marbling of feedstocks.
- Maintain a desirable moisture level throughout primary processing. Don’t expose the composting mass to weather or allow it to dry out. Add moisture, as needed. Learn more about composting moisture levels.
- Keep air moving through the pile. This allows microbes to breathe and removes excess heat. Invest in a temperature probe and adjust air flow to maintain ideal temperatures.
Master these basics to make compost fast.