What is compost?

Compost is dark in colour, sweet smelling and nutrient rich material. Compost is more than just an important addition to soil – it is absolutely crucial. Compost is a material created by nature.

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Good composting is a matter of providing proper environmental conditions for microbial life. Compost is made by billions of microbes (fungi, bacteria, etc.) that digest garden and kitchen wastes that you provide them. If the pile is cool enough, worms, insects and their relatives will help out the microbes. However, like people, these living things need air, water and food. If you maintain your pile to provide for their needs, they'll happily turn your garden and kitchen wastes into compost much more quickly.

Keep in mind the following basic ideas while managing the piles in your Daily Dump products:


Composting microbes are aerobic - they can't do their work well unless they are provided with air. Without air, anaerobic (non-air needing) microbes take over the pile. They do cause slow decomposition, but the pile tends to smell like putrefying garbage! For this reason, it's important to regularly stir your pile.

Some compost ingredients, such as green grass clippings or wet fruits and vegetables, mat down very easily into slimy layers that air cannot get through. Other ingredients, such as straw, shredded paper or dried leaves, are very helpful in allowing air into the center of a pile. To make sure that you have adequate aeration for your pile and its microbes, thoroughly break up or mix in any ingredients that might mat down and exclude air.


Ideally, your pile should be as moist as a wrung-out sponge to fit the needs of compost microbes. This means that there is a thin film of water coating every particle in the pile, making it very easy for microbes to disperse themselves. If your pile is drier than this, it won't be very good microbial habitat and composting will be significantly slower. If your pile is a great deal wetter, the sodden ingredients will be so heavy that they will tend to mat down and exclude air from the pile, again slowing the composting process (and perhaps creating anaerobic odor problems).

Fruit and vegetable wastes generally have plenty of moisture, as do fresh green grass clippings and garden trimmings. In hot, dry climates, it may be necessary to water your pile occasionally to maintain proper moisture. If you are using dry ingredients, such as dried leaves or straw, you'll need to moisten them as you add them to the pile.


In broad terms, there are two major kinds of food that composting microbes need:

'Browns' are dry and dead plant materials such as straw, dry brown weeds, leaves and twigs. These materials are primarily composed of chemicals that are long chains of sugar molecules linked together. Browns are a source of carbon and energy for compost microbes.

'Greens' are fresh plant materials such as green leaves and garden clippings, kitchen, fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, etc. Compared to browns, greens contain more nitrogen which is a critical element in amino acids and proteins. So greens can be thought of as a protein source for the billions of multiplying microbes.

Browns, tend to be bulky and promote good aeration. Greens, on the other hand, are typically high in moisture, and balance out the dry nature of the browns. A good mix of browns and greens forms the best nutritional balance for microbes. This mix also helps maintain aeration and moisture levels in the pile.

The above explanation is a simplified way of understanding compost - for a more detailed scientific explanation see this site - according to us, it explains compost very well - http://www.composterconnection.com/site/science.html

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Yes. Soil needs what compost’s life processes give; nutrients that release their nutrition gradually and in small doses over long periods of time.

Synthetic fertilizers provide quick jolts of nutrition to the plant roots, but in the process they stymie root development, while compost-enriched soils encourage healthy and abundant root development. Without the life processes that distinguishes composted soil from soil fertilized with synthetic ingredients, the skin of our planet will quickly degenerate into an inert, barren landscape.

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Compost increases organic matter in soils

Compost builds sound root structure

Compost makes clay soils airy so they drain

Compost gives sandy soils body to hold moisture

Compost attracts and feeds earthworms

Compost balances pH (acidity/alkalinity) of soil

Compost reduces water demands of plants and trees

Compost helps control soil erosion

Compost reduces plant stress from drought and freezes

Compost can extend the growing season

Compost improves vitamin and mineral content in food grown in compost-rich soils

Compost generously applied replaces reliance upon petrochemical fertilizers

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