When is Your Compost Ready to Use? (video)

When is Your Compost Ready to Use?

When is your compost ready to use? Some questions to ask yourself include:

How does it look?
Can you recognize any of the material?
How does it smell?
Is the material warm?

Here I have a few different samples of compost…vermicompost, tumbler compost, commercial compost, and trench compost.

What do you think of these samples?  I feel like my tumbler compost and vermicastings could both go even longer before using them, but that they’re still OK if I were to use them now.  In fact, I’m going to use these samples for my next “Clash of The Composts!” experiment coming soon… stay tuned!

2 thoughts on “When is Your Compost Ready to Use? (video)”

  1. Tyler, thanks so much for posting a video about this. feels like the web is flooded with composting advice and rarely do I find anyone actually talking about when the process has ended. so here is my question. I get that it depends but I noticed that you mentioned newer compost is richer in organic matter or living organisms. moreso than the storebought stuff. if that is the case then why are people so into “aged compost” as though its a very good thing. do you know? this may be more of a gardener question. I just got this book called teaming with microbes I’m gonna see if i can’t find it in there. take care,

  2. hey john,

    thanks so much for staying in touch. i’m glad you pointed out the lack of content with regards to finished compost… i had noticed that too, and then your question was the confirmation to do it. my readers definitely inspire me to keep going and figure out what else to write about.

    “Aged compost” just means that the compost is finished…in my experiment that would probably mean the commercial compost as it smells strongest like earth and is graniest and the most degraded. While this is good, depending on how this material is stored/packaged it can lose its clout over time. Storebought stuff can be a problem simply due to having it sit in an airtight bag for who knows how long…the stuff needs air and moisture.

    A good suggestion is to add some of your own material to the storebought stuff…i always like to mix my material. Ask some hardcore gardeners and see what they tell you. I know my compost could be better if I used manure (or at least achieve higher temps), but I just haven’t gotten my hands on any as of yet.

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