General Question

Anatelostaxus's avatar

When should I expect my compost to be ready for use?

Asked by Anatelostaxus (1428points) February 22nd, 2012

There was already some material in the pile when I started it this last spring. I’ve been tending to it carefully, adding, turning occasionally, adding…
It got covered by snow this winter and still is a bit now. (By the way I mean to concoct a solution to this so that it might stay dryer during the snow/rain season; about which I’ll post another question later).
Do you think I’ll be able to use it by, say this coming spring?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

7 Answers

auhsojsa's avatar

I’ve heard of some solid results from 3 week old compost. Let the feeding frenzy begin!

Anatelostaxus's avatar

@auhsojsa Really? Very interesting. were did you hear of this?

SpatzieLover's avatar

The best answer: It depends. It could be as little as two weeks to as much as two years. The balance of ingredients varies largely between gardeners.

You’ll know it’s ready when you can no longer recognize pieces of matter in it. It should smell earthy. Once it’s dark brown or black, you can start using it around your garden or as compost tea

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

You can use it anytime. Just remember fresh plant material will require a little more nitrogen in the soil for it to be broken down and fertilize accordingly. I don’t even use a compost pile at times and bury the green material in the garden.

auhsojsa's avatar

@Anatelostaxus Aside from my basic research of worm composting and understanding how organic materials break down in nature over a short amount of time especially in moisturized environment I got that particular source from a person who composts themselves. Some go 2 weeks with more worms, some go 4 weeks with raw eggs it’s just like @SpatzieLover has mentioned it really just depends.

blueberry_kid's avatar

My family’s took about a month or so to prepare. But, the month went by quickly because we used our neighbors. Be sure to prepare correctly because we did ours wrong and it just ended up being a smelly pile of crap. Yikes.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@blueberry_kid If it was smelly, then it wasn’t ready yet. It should smell like earth and not be foul. Patience is key in composting….that & turning the pile over.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther