Composting is a relatively easy process that will reap huge benefits for your gardens and landscape. There is no right or wrong way to compost. The main thing is to have equal amounts of ‘greens’ and ‘browns’ in your pile or composter. Our previous blog will teach you how to start your compost. In this article we will learn the four stages of compost.
The first stage is the fresh stage. The materials that have been added to your compost are still recognizable. Micro-organisms are just beginning to break down the materials. The first stage is the ‘heat’ phase, and a rise in the temperature of the pile can be seen.
The next stage it the partially decomposed stage. The compost will have a mild, but no unpleasant odor. The materials that are being composted are now loose and brittle, nearly unrecognizable. It some instances, mushrooms and other fungi will begin to grow which will help to break down the more resilient materials. This phase is the gas and liquid phase during which chemical exchanges are taking place.
The third stage is the maturity stage. This stage is known and the humidification stage. The compost pile will continue to break down using both processes from the first and second stages.
The fourth and final stage is known as the mineralization phase. The compost will resemble soil. It is ready to be added to your gardens and flower beds to provide the added nutrients that your plants need to flourish. This material that started off as merely food scraps and yard waste will help your flowers, trees, and shrubs bloom and grow into the healthiest, most gorgeous foliage on the block.