Compost : When a Compost Heap is Ready

Hi. This is Yolanda Vanveen on behalf of Expert
Village. In this series, we are learning all about how to start a compost heap. In this
segment, we are going to talk about how to know when your compost is ready to use. When
I add compost to my piles, a lot of time, they are really warm. For example, when I’ve
mulched all the tree branches, it was hot. It was steamy for like three months. At that
point, you would never use the mulch. Grass clippings and leaves, a lot of times, they
compost much quicker and when I’m deciding whether it’s ready or not, the first factor
is if it’s warm or not. If it’s heat…if there’s any heat coming off of it or if you
are standing near it and it’s warm, then wait; always give it a couple more months and wait
until your compost is really cold. My compost here is almost ready to use. It’s only been
here for three or four months on these grass clippings, but if I go underneath, from the
very first grass clippings, it is starting to look like soil. It is looking really broken
up. It doesn’t look that much different from the compost that I purchased from the garden
center. So, I wouldn’t say it’s quite ready yet, because the pine needles still look like
pine needles and the leaves still look like leaves. But, when it’s totally broken down
and looks like earth, then that’s a good time to use your mulch. The best thing about mulch
and using all of my compost, I can use it as the base of my garden beds and then put
the mulch that I purchased from the garden center on top and it seems to be a great combination
and that way I save a lot of money on the compost that I’ve purchased. In the next segment,
we’ll talk about how to mulch with compost.

3 thoughts on “Compost : When a Compost Heap is Ready

  1. fresh pine needles are real acidic. but they do make good compost once they have broken down. and you can use them for mulch to keep moisture in.

  2. She did a great job presenting! I love composting and the more that people compost the better the earth and all it inhabitants will be! 🙂

  3. @Allen2045 Exactly! It's called Lasagna Gardening. This is a very cheap and eco-friendly way to start a garden. There are most likely videos on you tube about them.

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