Table of contents:
- Symptom 1. Plant residues in the compost are already invisible
- Sign 2. Smell
- Feature 3. Screening without residues
- Sign 4. Absence of worms
Composting is not the most difficult, but also a kind of art. In order to obtain high-quality organic fertilizers, it is necessary not only to collect plant materials and other components in any place, but to observe the technology that allows the waste to burn out and ripen, turning into the best (and most versatile) organic fertilizer available for the garden. But unexpected difficulties can arise not only in the process of direct composting. Knowing when your long-awaited fertilizer is finally ready is not easy. Especially if you lack experience. However, there are signs of change that will tell you that your compost is already in perfect condition.
The readiness of compost for use cannot be determined at first glance or calculated at a certain time. The process of its maturation is influenced by dozens of different factors - from its composition to the weather. And in each individual case, it is not always easy to determine whether the compost has matured well and whether it can be used in your ornamental garden and in the garden. In this case, you should never be guided by only one of the factors. The fact that the compost is completely ready for direct use is evidenced by several important indicators that distinguish rotted compost from unripe compost:
Symptom 1. Plant residues in the compost are already invisible
Compost is ready for use when you can no longer tell by sight what exactly you put in the compost pit and what “layers” of fertilizer have. It acquires a homogeneous texture and becomes virtually a "whole" fertilizer, in which the remnants of leaves from other materials can no longer be distinguished.
Sign 2. Smell
Unlike freshly laid compost, ready-made compost smells very pleasant. In the process of overheating, the compost pit can hardly be called a fragrant object, and in many respects this is why it is recommended to place the compost on the periphery of the site. But as soon as the compost is ready for use and thoroughly grinded, it will acquire a pleasant forest aroma. In short, the smell of finished compost shouldn't make you feel uncomfortable. It should change significantly for the better.
Feature 3. Screening without residues
If you are still in doubt if your compost is ready for immediate use, sift a small amount of fertilizer through a sieve. Finished compost results in small crumbs. But if it is still not ripe, then you will clearly notice it by the texture of the remnants, or even you will not be able to grind it through the mesh at all.
Sign 4. Absence of worms
In the process of overheating at elevated temperatures, the heat (and free access to food) attracts many worms into the compost, which play an important role in creating this organic fertilizer. But if at the beginning of the process, by how many worms there are in your compost pit, you can judge the quality of decomposition, then after the compost has been thoroughly grinded, they should not remain in the compost at all. The complete readiness of the compost means that there are no undecomposed plant residues as such, which the worms over-etch and turn into humus. This means that these largely underestimated inhabitants of our gardens simply do not need to stay in the compost pit. As soon as the worms leave your compost, feel free to start applying it.