Composting is a natural process and is essential for gardening. But it can take a lot of months to prepare compost from organic matter. This is where compost accelerators come to play and n this article we’ll discover how these accelerators speed up composting and are they even worth using
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What are Compost Accelerators?
In simple words, compost accelerators are products which are added into organic waste with is being decomposed to introduce microorganisms and nutrients into the pile which speed up the process of composting.
These accelerator are usually combination of organic matter, such as bone meal, blood meal, or alfalfa meal, and microorganisms, such as bacteria or fungi. Some compost accelerators also contain enzymes, which can break down tough materials, such as woody stems, more quickly.
How Do Compost Accelerators Work?
Compost accelerators introduces micro-organisms and nutrients which are essential for composting early in the pile which in turn speeds up the process of decomposition.
These microorganisms help break down the organic waste into simpler compounds faster which helps in preparing the compost faster that usual time period. A compost accelerator works usually in two ways:
- Activating Microbial growth: Compost accelerator can provide the compost pile with beneficial microorganisms with necessary nutrients for their growth and reproduction which results in an increase in microorganisms population in the compost resulting in speeding up the process of composting.
- Breaking Down Complex Materials: Compost accelerators can also help break down vey complex materials which are very difficult to decompose on their own. Breaking down complex material makes it easier for microorganisms
Are Compost Accelerators Worth Using?
Compost accelerators are definitely worth using if you you’re just beginning your composting journey and you don’t know how to maintain it. If you want to prepare compost a little early and speed up the process then compost accelerator is definitely worth buying and using.
If you have a well balanced compost that you can check and maintain regularly, you don’t have to add compost accelerator and the organic matter will decompose naturally over time.
Types of Compost Accelerators
There are different type of compost accelerators available in the market depending on the ingredients used in the accelerator. The most common type of compost accelerators available in the market are given below:
Microbial-based compost accelerators contains live bacteria that can help to break down organic matter more quickly which are usually sold in powder or liquid form and are added directly to the compost pile.
Enzyme-based compost accelerators contain enzymes that can break down tough materials like woody stems or leaves, more quickly and they are typically sold in liquid form and are added directly to the compost pile.
Nutrient-based compost accelerators contain a blend of organic matter, such as bone meal or blood meal, that is high in nitrogen and other nutrients. They are typically added to the compost pile in the form of a dry powder.
Fungal-based accelerators contain specific strains of fungi that are known to break down organic material quickly. These accelerators typically come in powder or liquid form and are added directly to the compost pile.
Making Your Own Compost Accelerator
If you prefer to make your own compost accelerator, there are several ingredients that you can use to speed up the composting process. Here are some of the most effective ingredients:
Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen and can help to speed up the composting process. Simply sprinkle a layer of coffee grounds over your compost pile and mix them in.
Grass clippings are another good source of nitrogen. Add a layer of fresh grass clippings to your compost pile and mix them in.
Compost tea is made by steeping finished compost in water. The resulting liquid is rich in microorganisms and nutrients and can be poured directly onto the compost pile.
Epsom salts contain magnesium, which can help to break down organic matter in your compost pile. If you want to make Epsom salt accelerator, just dissolve one tablespoon of Epsom salt in one gallon of water. Pour the mixture over your compost pile, and mix it in thoroughly.
Yeast contains beneficial microorganisms that can help to speed up the composting process. To make a yeast accelerator, mix one tablespoon of yeast with one cup of warm water. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes, until it becomes frothy. Pour the mixture over your compost pile, and mix it in thoroughly.
How to Use Compost Accelerators
Using compost accelerators is relatively easy. Here are some steps to follow:
- Start by adding your organic waste to the compost pile.
- Sprinkle the compost accelerator over the organic matter, following the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct amount to use.
- Mix the compost accelerator thoroughly into the pile using a pitchfork or shovel.
- Water the compost pile to ensure that it stays moist.
- Monitor the compost pile regularly and turn it every few days to ensure that it is well aerated.
Benefits of Using Compost Accelerators
There are several benefits to using compost accelerators, including:
- Speeds up the composting process, allowing you to get finished compost faster
- Helps to create a more efficient composting process
- Introduces beneficial microorganisms to the compost pile, which can improve soil health and fertility
- Helps to regulate temperature and moisture levels in the compost pile, ensuring that the process is effective and efficient
The Ultimate Compost Accelerator Recipe
Making your own compost accelerator is easy and can be done with just a few simple ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 part high-nitrogen material (e.g., grass clippings, fresh manure, or alfalfa meal)
- 1 part high-carbon material (e.g., dry leaves, sawdust, or shredded newspaper)
Follow these steps to make your own compost accelerator:
- Mix together one part high-nitrogen material and one part high-carbon material in a bucket or container. For example, you could mix one cup of grass clippings with one cup of shredded newspaper.
- Add enough water to the mixture to make it damp but not soaking wet.
- Stir the mixture well to combine the ingredients.
- Sprinkle the mixture over your compost pile or add it to your compost bin.
Repeat this process every time you add organic materials to your compost pile or bin. The high-nitrogen and high-carbon materials will help to create the ideal environment for beneficial microorganisms to thrive and break down the organic materials into compost.