This site contains affiliate links, for more info, please read my full disclosure page, here. So, let’s read about the 4 basic rules to make perfect compost faster.
Introduction to 4 basic rules to make perfect compost faster
Every gardener, sooner or later, comes into contact with materials to compost.
If the gardener does things right, he will receive a nice and crumbly, rich compost that will make his plants thrive all summer long.
it will compost in the end
There are many different ways to decompose materials and as a gardener says:” Compost always happens.”.
Some people just throw the materials in a special green bin that’s collected by the city or another company, which I find a real pity because those people are missing out on some really good, free, black gold. The city will make that black gold in large quantities and then you can go and buy it from them, although in most cases it’s become black copper instead of gold.
Other people throw the materials on a pile and give it a year or more to compost so they can use the black, fluffy material to put on their garden beds.
It’s also possible to vermicompost a lot of materials that can be composted in a normal compost heap and this gives an even better compost than the normal hot compost pile.
How I do it
Some people just use their kitchen scraps and weeds to mulch their beds, I prefer this method as well although I have a good reason to compost half of my materials.
I try to live as frugal as I possibly can. And I do this, especially in the garden.
I tend to sell seedlings and plants in pots for the non-profit. And to be able to grow and sell, I always have to buy potting soil. This soil costs a good amount of money.
If I can make pathogen free, seed free crumbly fine compost, I can make my own potting soil which will be a lot cheaper. But now back to composting.
It takes time, a lot of time to make perfect compost faster
All these composting systems, except for the first one, have something in common, it takes a lot of time to compost the materials and it’s not always ready or usable when you want to start some seedlings in it.
If there’s one thing I lack, it’s patience. I always want my compost ready whenever I need it and I’m always looking for ways to compost faster and better.
The system with the compost pile is a good way to get compost faster if you really want to put the time and effort into it.
The second advantage, next to being able to compost faster is the fact that it doesn’t cost any money to make compost this way.
rules to make good compost
There are some rules to this way of composting to make sure you get the best compost in the fastest way possible.
first rule: composition of the pile
The first rule for the compost pile to work at its best and become hot is the composition of the compost pile. You always have to make sure that you keep a ratio of about 1 part browns to 1 part greens. If you want the compost pile to decompose faster, just put a bit more greens in it. This will also keep the pile warmer.
The scientific papers always talk about an average of 25:1 carbon to nitrogen but it’s almost impossible to make the calculations because you will get a whole lot of different materials in your composting pile.
The best way to measure your compost pile composition is with a thermometer. A compost thermometer will show you the temperature and you’ll have to adapt and throw in more greens or more browns depending on the temperature.
the second rule: turn it often
The second rule, to make sure that the pile heats up for long enough is to make sure you turn the pile every two days. And this can be a really daunting task if you have a quite big heap of compostables.
the third rule: Add more greens
The third rule is to add greens when the greens in the pile are almost decomposed to make sure the temperature stays high enough for a longer period of time because otherwise the weed seeds, and other seeds for that matter, will not be killed by the heat and you’ll get a whole bunch of seedlings starting out in your compost. That can be a real pain if you want to use your compost for starting seedlings. This is the point I’m struggling with at the moment.
The fourth rule: cover it
The fourth rule to keep the compost pile hot is to cover the compost pile whenever it rains. This will also help retain the nutrients in the pile.
If the pile becomes waterlogged, it will start to cool down and turn anaerobic. The pile will stink like nothing you ever smelled before.
Besides the smell, you will also have the nutrients leaking out into the soil instead of staying into the compost pile where they have to be.
Everyone knows that the growth is abundant where the compost pile is not covered. And what I mentioned above is the reason why.
It’s hard to compost the right way
So, composting the right way can be really hard to do if you want to do it right.
Of course, if you follow the above rules, you can have a really good compost in no more than two months.
The heavy job is the reason why most people just wait for a year to use their compost on the vegetable or flower beds.
Me personally, I try to follow the four rules but it’s really hard to keep turning the pile every so often.
Sometimes I just forget, or I don’t have time to turn the whole pile. Then the pile starts to cool down or weeds start to grow on top of the pile and it gets more and more difficult to do the job the right way.
Adding the greens is another hassle because everything is laying on the ground and I can’t bend over due to my back injury.
The same goes for covering the pile. I have to make sure the cover stays on top of the composting pile during hard winds and that means I have to put bricks and stones on top of the cover.
A compost tumbler? Really?
A compost tumbler makes it much easier to follow the four rules.
In a compost tumbler, it’s quite easy to put in the green and brown materials. It’s easy because you don’t have to layer everything. And you can measure the amounts you need according to the situation in the tumbler bin.
Instead of using a shovel, you can use buckets, bags or anything else where you put your stuff in.
Turning the compost tumbler is a breeze compared to shoveling everything from one heap to another. Just use the handles and you can turn “the pile” in a couple of seconds. Some compost tumblers have a special system to make it even easier than it already was.
Isolation makes it even easier
Not all the compost tumblers, but some of them use isolation to keep the materials hot. This helps with the decomposition and killing off pathogens. The seeds will not be viable for a long time if the temperature stays hot long enough. If that isn’t enough, it’s really easy to add greens to the tumbler. By adding greens you can make sure the temperature remains high for a really long period.
It’s even possible to compost meat and dairy in isolated compost tumblers. As there’s no risk for critters getting into the pile, everything can safely be composted. And the pile stays hot for long enough to kill off any pathogens.
Managing the nutrients in the compost tumbler is a lot easier as you can control the moisture level in the bin at all times. If there is any leaking of nutrients, you can always put a bucket underneath the tumbler. And you can use the liquid to fertilize your plants.
Yes it is an Amazon link
I have to be honest, the tumbler I’m talking about is an affiliate link on Amazon. But rest assured, whether you help me get the tumbler by buying something from Amazon or if I have to buy it with my own money, I AM GETTING the tumbler because I’ve seen the tumbler in action and I know what it does.
To me, in the beginning, it was like a small miracle. No more back breaking shoveling, no more covering up the pile, adding greens and browns with a bucket. It’s just too good to be true. Above all, the bin is at my height, so I don’t have to bend over anymore to do anything.
closing to 4 basic rules to make perfect compost faster
That’s it for this post on making perfect compost faster. I hope you enjoyed it or learned something from it. If so please feel free to share with friends and family. I would really appreciate the gesture.
Thanks for reading.