Benefits of Using a Compost Accelerator
Gardeners who recycle garden waste and kitchen scraps enjoy good quality free compost. But, sometimes it can seem to take a while for that garden compost to be created. Maybe then its time for the addition of a compost accelerator.
Whether or not you need to add a compost accelerator to your compost bins really depends on what else is going into making your compost. You may automatically be composting waste which is in itself a great compost activator. If you do, you probably already find your compost bins create fantastic, rich compost for you in no time. If not, maybe you keep waiting and waiting for that lovely hummus smelling of damp woodland to materialise, to no avail.
If you feel like you have been waiting for your garden composter to get working, for the last six months you definitely need a compost accelerator to speed up the composting process. The chances are your heap just doesn't have enough nitrogen rich matter in it. All the organisms working to break down your garden waste into usable garden compost will be there, but in small quantity. Give them a boost of nitrogen and their activity will increase exponentially. They will multiply and work their little bacterial socks off for you.
Adding a nitrogen rich substance gives all those organisms lots of food. They work faster on all the other stuff on your compost heap, motivated by that nitrogen 'hit'. The whole compost pile will heat up significantly after an addition of activator so all the other garden waste gets broken down more quickly.
If you add any kitchen scraps you really want the heap to get hot, to destroy all the bacteria in that food. A regular addition of a nitrogen rich compost accelerator will do the job in no time.
Ways to add a compost activator include powdered blood and bone, fish meal or pelleted poultry manure. All are really effective but not particularly nice to be around. Make sure you do not breath in any of the fine dust which comes off these bought products and wash well after using!
Alternatively (and I am afraid, even more messily), you can simply add animal manure onto the compost heap directly. This gives you another reason to keep poultry or install a super environmentally friendly dry composting toilet!
Any slow, cool compost bin can be activated in such a way. A weekly dose of accelerator is all that's needed. For some, the most convenient form of compost accelerator is a product bought off the shelf. For others, its a stable full of horse manure! No matter which option is appropriate to your garden composter, make sure it gets a regular dose of activation!
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