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Rapid Composting

Melissa Dunlap is a writer, editor and blogger specializing in lifestyle communications. Fueled by curiosity, and a tad too much coffee, Melissa enjoys dissecting current trends for the modern woman. When she's not having dance parties w...

If you have a mix of the right organic ingredients and the right temperatures, compost will happen. But it can take months... Some gardeners are turning to a new different composting method to speed up the process.


If you have a mix of the right organic ingredients and the right temperatures, compost will happen. But it can take months... Some gardeners are turning to a new different composting method to speed up the process.

Rapid composting can cut the time to create compost from months to a year down to just a few weeks. In exchange for the quick return on investment, it does require a bit more effort. Here are the basics to set you on your way to rapid composting:

  • Use small materials. Material will compost best if it is between 1/2 to 1-1/2 inches in size. Soft, green materials do not need to be as small because they already decompose rapidly. The harder or the more woody the material the smaller they need to be chopped to decompose rapidly. Use a shovel or pruning shears to cut your compostables into bits.

  • Material in the compost pile should have a carbon to nitrogen ratio of 30:1. Equal amounts of green plant material and brown material will give approximately the correct ratio.

  • Once a pile is started, do not add anything additional. This increases the decomposition time for the whole compost pile.

  • Keep the moisture content at about 50 percent. Too much or too little moisture will slow decomposition.

  • Bins are better than piles for heat retention. Use a thermometer to measure temperatures and ensure heat is in the appropriate range for decomposition.


 

 
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