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How to Make Compost - The Composting Process

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In the most basic forms, composting is replicating what naturally happens in nature organic materials decay, are broken down by small organisms and are used to help other plants grow. This, however, typically takes a very long time to happen, so we speed up the process when we compost at home.

To start with, in order for composting to work properly, you need the correct situation the proper waste material, a lot of oxygen and a lot of moisture.

The beginning stages of composting

During the beginning stages of composting, worms, ants, and other insects help fungi, yeasts and bacteria to break down carbon and nitrogen. The carbon is used as food for the microorganisms, while the nitrogen is used to build proteins usually, it is ideal to have about 30 parts carbon to one part nitrogen when composting for the process to happen fastest.

The mid stages of composting

Once the chemical reactions that break down the carbon and nitrogen really kick in, the microorganisms usually slow down with helping the decomposing process. You can tell when this stage is happening because it usually gives off heat. Heat is generated from the exothermic process (a process where reactants produce energy and a product) of the carbon and nitrogen breaking down.

The finishing stages of composting

Once the chemical reactions have slowed down, the worms, ants, insects, fungi, yeast and bacteria all start working again.

After the material has decayed and the carbon and nitrogen have all been broken down, it is safe to be used as a fertilizer.