Composting Info: Is Compost Combustable? Answers.

Often, we get composting related questions. In this video, Lars answers a question from a reader in Austin, TX who asked:

I purchased a rectangular, black, plastic, compost bin but there were no instructions regarding how often I need to “turn” the compost. I live in Austin, TX, so I’m concerned about the combustibility of the contents during the hot summer months. Any tips?
Thanks!

What a great question!

First things first, how often you turn the compost is really up to you. If you want to be an active composter, you might want to turn your compost about every 3 days or whenever you take stuff out to the bin. You can mix your compost tool up with a pitchfork or even a specialized compost turning tool. There’s no right or wrong answer, because everything will break down over time.

As far as combustibility is concerned, there shouldn’t be a problem. As far as compost spontaneously combusting is concerned, that’s usually in regards to more of a municipal scale – for example to where you may have 5 yards by 5 yards of material piled really high. You probably won’t get temperatures over 120 or 130 degrees in the middle of your compost bin. In fact, in Austin, you may have more of a worry of your compost drying out. If this happens, you can always take the lid off when it rains, or you can add some water in there. Remember, you want your compost to have the texture, dampness, and feel of a rung-out sponge.

Hope this answers your question, thanks for reading!

Compost Activator. Do you really need it?

Compost activator is not vital to the success of your compost pile – in other words, it will not make or break the final product. However, the truth remains that compost activator can certainly help out when it comes to composting. The main function of compost activator is simply to speed up the compost process.

Sounds great, but how does it do that?

Compost activator speeds up the composting process by using a combination of pH balances, energy sources, and microorganisms. Basically, you can buy compost activator (also called “compost accelerator”) by the bag, and then just add it to your compost pile. It’s that easy. You will notice that any organic matter that you have that is difficult to compost may break down a bit more quickly, and that once the rapid decomposition takes place, you are on your way to quicker compost.

As previously stated, it’s not entirely necessary when it comes to your compost, but it can certainly help speed up the process.

Where to buy compost activator

You can find compost activator at online stores like this one, and often at your local garden center.

Compost Starter. Do you really need it?

So much like compost activator, compost starter is a great thing to have in your corner to speed up the compost process. It is not required for having that perfect compost when all is said and done – compost can still be produced without it. The fact remains though that it can be quite helpful.

Compost starter is typically a natural biological activator that really gets the compost going, and aids in the decomposition process. As a result, you can get to that sweet black gold in no time! Since it is all natural, it is 100 percent safe for the environment, and in some cases a little 4 ounce bottle can be used for up to 1,000 pounds of compost – so you can use it with ease.

If you are looking to speed up the decomposition process right from the get-go, then compost starter is where it’s at.