Building a successful compost heap is about more than just piling up some dead leaves and kitchen scraps.
Even if you do create a perfect environment to create compost by making it the right size, feeding it the right material and making sure that it is at an optimum temperature, how do you start the composting?
It seems that composting do start more or less by ‘magic’: the materials used in the compost will contain sufficient micro-organisms to get the process started. If your compost pile consists of a good combination of carbon and nitrogen, it will not need any additional nutrients supplied by a compost additive.
The truth about compost additives
There has been no conclusive evidence to show that adding commercial compost additives will in any way improve the process.
Indeed, it seems that the best compost activator is finished compost or topsoil from your own yard.
If you do feel that your compost needs a helping hand (especially if it contains a lot of carbon-rich material such as dead leaves and other brown material), the nitrogen content of the activator will determine how much is needed.
It is always great to save money in the garden, and if material you already have in your garden will work just as well, that is even better!
Do you use anything specific to get your compost heap going? I’ve asked the same question on Twitter recently, and it got me a suggestion of using urine. Don’t think I’ll be following that advice anytime soon though!