Compost 101

Compost is produced from the controlled biological decomposition of organic matter.  The benefits of compost are significant and varied.  Benefits are long-term and related to the product’s organic matter content.

What is Compost?

  • Organic resource able to improve the chemical, physical and biological characteristics of soils
  • Bears little resemblance to the raw material from which it originated
  • Sanitized through the generation of heat
  • Stabilized to the point that it is beneficial to plant growth

Key Attributes

  • Extremely versatile and beneficial
  • Improves the properties of soils and growing media in three key ways:
    • Physically (structurally)
    • Chemically (nutritionally)
    • Biologically

How is Compost Produced?

  • Produced through the activity of aerobic microorganisms
  • Aerobic microbes require oxygen and food in order to grow and mutiply
  • When these factors are maintained at optimal levels, the natural decomposition process is greatly accelerated
  • The microbes generate heat, water vapor and carbon dioxide as they transform raw materials into compost
  • Active composting is typically characterized by:
    • A high-temperature phase that sanitizes the product and allows a high rate of decomposition
    • A lower-temperature phase that allows the product to stabilize while still decomposing at a lower rate