How long does it take to make compost? What is the easiest way to compost food scraps? How do you know when compost is ready?

How long does it take to make compost?

So, how long does it take to make compost? This largely depends on the methods that you use. There is the traditional method of composting, using a compost bin outdoors, or by using an electric composting machine. Additionally, when using a traditional composter, there are certain techniques that you can adopt to produce compost as quickly as possible. There are 6 different ways of making compost at home, but here’s a look at making compost the old fashioned way, and using an electric composter:

Making compost the old fashioned way

When using a traditional compost bin, you can typically produce compost in at little as 6 to 8-weeks, however, it can take up to a year or more depending on your methods. Generally speaking, the more effort you put into making compost, the faster you can achieve results.

Once the ingredients in your composter have successfully turned into a rich, dark brown, earthy smelling material, then your composting process is finally complete.

There is a faster way to make compost, however. This method is called the Berkeley method which can deliver results in as little as 2 to 3-weeks. Here’s a quick look at the method:

  • Slice your materials into small chunks.
  • Build up your compost heap in 1 or 2-days.
  • Make sure that your compost pile has a carbon/nitrogen ratio of approximately 1:30.
  • Keep moisture levels at about 50%.
  • Using a bin, build your pile of compost of at least 36” x 36” x 36”.
  • Turn the pile every single day to reach the final stage in as little as 2-weeks. By turning the pile every other day, you will add a week or so to the composting process. Typically speaking, this is all that is required, with nothing else being added to the compost heap during this process.

If you are in no particular rush for your compost and you want to put in as little effort as possible, there is a cold composting method that takes up to 1-year to complete. Cold composting is something that many gardeners do; it involves adding material to the pile in a garden while paying little attention to the carbon/nitrogen ratio. While it can be complete in around a year, some people prefer to leave it for 2 to be on the safe side.

Using an electric composter

Electric composters, such as the new Hass Food Composters, are new and innovative and are favoured by many people because they work extremely quickly. While traditional composting methods tend to take anywhere from a month to over 1-year, electric composters can produce compost in less than a single day!

What is the easiest way to compost food scraps?

So, what is the easiest way to compost food scraps? Well, it all depends on how quickly you want or need compost. Arguably the easiest way to compost your food scraps is by using a cold composting method with a large compost bin in your garden. That way, you can simply bury your food scraps as and when, adding to the pile over the course of 1 or 2-years.

However, if you don’t mind emptying your electric composter on a daily basis, using one of these machines is incredibly straight–forward. The fact is, when using an electric composter, it turns the pile for you. As such, there is very little in the way of effort required on your part, besides sorting and preparing your food scraps appropriately, and then removing the compost once the process is complete.

Using an electric composting machine is quick and easy and is without question the most effective method of producing regular compost for you to use at home.

How do you know when compost is ready?

How do you know when the compost is ready? Again, this depends on what method you are using. If you are using an electric composting machine, the compost is ready when the cycle is complete. However, you can tell for sure if compost is ready by inspecting it. If the finished product appears to be a rich and dark brown colour, it has an earthy smell to it, and it crumbles easily in your hand, then the compost is good to go. If, however, there are still recognisable signs of food in the pile and the pile itself is still quite warm, then that’s a good sign that it is not quite ready for use.




To recap:

  • Depending on your compost bin type (traditional or electric), and the methods that you use (cold composting or electric), it can take anywhere from a single day, up to 1 or 2-years to make compost. It’s all down to personal preference.
  • The easiest method of composting is by using an electric composter. This is because the composting machine turns the pile automatically. However, if you want as little input as possible and simply would prefer to bury your scraps and leave them, a cold composting pile requires very little effort.
  • Once the ingredients in your composter have successfully turned into a rich, dark brown, earthy smelling material, then your composting process is finally complete.

We hope that you have found this article insightful and that you now have a better idea as to which method of composting is for you. Composting is good for the environment because it allows you to take your food waste and turn it into nutrient-rich food for your house plants, thus allowing you to grow your own food! It is a beautiful cycle that can bring great value to your life – not to mention the sense of satisfaction and personal achievement.

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