Raw, Hot and Finished Compost
There are three stages of compost:
Raw compost materials:
Hot, decomposing compost:
Raw Compost Materials:
The materials you collect and use for composting is raw compost. The process
of decomposition has not yet occurred. So the valuable minerals and nutrients
are not yet available to your plants.
Hot, Decomposing Compost:
As compost materials begin to decompose it is often called "Hot" for two
reasons. First, decomposing compost is generally very high in nitrogen, which
in high concentrations can burn your plants.
Secondly, the process of decomposition, produces heat. The heat can get
so high that the pile ignites. Don't worry. This rarely happens in home
composting. But, it is not uncommon in large town composting piles.
Your compost is finished, when the materials have broken down and decomposed
into very small particles. The material is soft, looking a lot like peat
It is now ready for use in your yard and garden as a mulch, or to feed your
Tip: It's a good idea to test the ph of the finished compost.