How do I know when my compost is
Take a look!
Compost that is ready to use in the garden should look dark brown
and earthy. There should only be a few recognisable bits of twig.
you have a plastic compost bin you need to look at the stuff at the
BOTTOM of the heap. The material on top is fresh –
you only put it in last week.
Compost Converter or Ecomax is
easy to lift up off the heap. See
Emptying your compost bin.
If the compost bin has a hatch you can
use that to look at the material at the bottom. Remember that the
stuff closest to the hatch will be dry and will not therefore have
rotted as well as the moister stuff at the back.
If your bin is held together with rods, pins or clips you will need
to release one section so that you can look at the profile of the
Brown earthy stuff at the bottom will be ready to use.
You will need to pull out the unrotted material at the top of the
pile so that you can harvest the finished compost at the bottom.
Then refill the bin with the uncomposted material and start adding
fresh compostables again.
If you compost on a 2 year cycle, for example using a
New Zealand Box, then the bin that has
been left for one whole year to decompose should be full of finished
Remove any covering and, if there is dry, unrotted stuff on top,
scrape it in to the bin you are currently filling.
Then start using your bin full of wonderful compost.
If you have inherited a compost bin and don’t know for how long its
contents have been decomposing, take a look – you may get a lovely
surprise and find a bin full of well rotted compost ready to go on
If you get a horrible surprise see
Troubleshooting to help you solve the problem.
Use your home made compost
for filling pots, dig in to the ground, or use as a mulch.