Compost materials decompose by themselves. The question is, how long will it take? This answer depends upon several variables. And, it can take from months to years. The purpose of compost activators and compost inoculators is to help speed up the decomposition process. They do so by adding nitrogen and microbes, two things essential to the decomposition process.
Compost Activators are basically a dose of nitrogen. Also, it includes lesser amounts of other nutrients. Micro-organisms that break down compost, need both nitrogen and carbon.
A slow-acting compost pile usually lacks nitrogen. Green, nitrogen-bearing materials in your compost provide nitrogen naturally. But, without enough green materials to provide nitrogen, the process can be much slower than you desire. Why? Simply because unfinished compost is not ready for you to feed your plants, and you may need to resort to chemical fertilizers.
Is your compost pile is decomposing at a reasonable rate? If so, no additional nitrogen is needed. If it is decomposing slowly, you need to add more green materials.
Sometimes, for example in the Spring, there aren’t a lot of green materials to add to the compost pile. Compost Activator is useful in these situations. They provide the missing ingredients.
However, most of the year, green compost materials are readily available, and you do not need to purchase a Compost Activator. To speed up decomposition, just add more green materials and mix them in. Fresh-cut grass is the perfect addition. Mix it into the existing compost.
Related Topic: Brown and Green Compost Materials – getting the right mix.
Compost Inoculators add microbes to compost. These tiny micro-organisms break down compost materials.
Microbes exist naturally in compost materials. they are everywhere, including the soil in your yard and garden. Your compost project may need more microbes to speed up decomposition. Adding a few shovels of garden soil into the compost material often accomplishes the task.
Garden Tip: Finished compost is rich in micro-organisms. When you remove finished compost from your composter, leave a little inside. It will be your “inoculator” for the next batch of compost.
We do not recommend spending your hard-earned money on inoculators. Why pay to add more microbes? We believe microbes are available just ablur anywhere in your back yard. A shovelful of dirt does the job!