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When is compost ready for use?

Decomposition typically takes 1.5 months in Daily Dump composters. We recommend a further 1 month for full maturation. Compost should contain no recognisable food & should have an earthy smell. But, if you are trying to get compost into your garden quickly, it's best to mature it for another 2 months and test it before use. If it is a year old and has been kept moist for sometime - it is definitely ready!

Sapling Test

Check Germination

  • Mix equal amounts of compost and water and let it sit for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.

  • Pour the ‘tea’ into another container. (The remaining solids can go back to your compost).

  • Soak a few methi (fenugreek) & dhaniya (coriander) seeds in compost tea and an equal amount in distilled water for 2-3 minutes. Lay them on damp cotton on a flat surface; Keep moist and warm. Check every 2-3 days.

  • Here the water treated seeds have germinated faster while the seeds in the tea have not shown any progress. This means that the compost has not aged enough and is not mature yet.

The seeds in the ‘compost tea’ should sprout faster than the seeds in the water.
All ‘not yet done’ compost should be kept moist in an aerated container
for another month or until it passes this test.

Jar Test

A simple smell test

  • Put some compost in a bottle.

  • Add water to make it soggy.

  • Seal the bottle tightly.

  • Leave it alone for a week.

  • Open the bottle (carefully!) and check for odour.

  • If it smells like nice wet earth, then the compost is done.

If you notice a bad odour then it means that the organic materials are not sufficiently decomposed.
Anaerobic organisms have gone to work on the nutrients that remain. These anaerobes release
unpleasant odours as a by product. So, bad odour indicates that the compost is not done yet.
Keep it moist & aerated. You can add microbes to speed up decomposition.

Why Test?

Effects of pre-mature compost

Using compost before it is ready can damage plants & harbour weeds.

The compost that you create in our products has to be fully mature before you can use it to grow food or other plants. Immature compost will infest your garden with weeds as many seeds will not be fully broken down.

It is best practice to store compost for at least 4 - 6 months and keep it moist during this time. Additives like microbes, curd or cowdung will help to break down the smallest parts. It’s best if you also add some earth worms.

• Undecayed brown materials in the soil can temporarily reduce plant available nitrogen.

• Undecayed green materials can harbour pests and diseases.

Looking for gardening tips? See our 'grow' section

Fun ways to use compost!

Don't think composting is easy & fun? Get your kids started & learn from them!SHOP Nano Khamba
When do we buy back compost?

When do we buy back compost?

If you accept the rates that Daily Dump quotes after examining your compost (maximum = Rs 5 per kg)

If you made the compost in a Daily Dump product (and have photographic proof!)

If you have more than 10 kgs of compost and are willing to drop it off at our headquarters in Bengaluru and pick up the money.

If you have over 100 kgs and are willing to pay us for the transportation to have it picked up from your premises.