COMPOST IS PRODUCED ?
by definition is the biodegradation of fibrous materials to create
usable forms of fertilizer. Decomposition is an integral part of
the natural life cycle. Organic matter is decomposed by the process
of oxidation, reduction and hydrolytic enzymes. The process produces
nutrients used by the microorganisms for further breakdown, enabling
bacteria to carry on their life processes of growth and reproduction.
rate of oxidation and biological degradation of organic matter varies
within the compost heap. Some compost heaps heat up very rapidly.
The heat in the composting materials is produced by bacterial activity
(biological burning). By using Microtack®
Compost activator ,
this critical buildup of heat can be sustained, significantly reducing
the time of composting. As materials are used up or decomposed and
bacterial activity slows down - the compost heap will begin to cool.
This biological reduction of organic matter is how compost is produced.
raw materials that you add to your compost heap will have to be
of biological origin in order to decompose down to finished compost.
Grass clippings, leaves, kitchen vegetative waste, weeds, sawdust,
straw, shredded newspapers, etc., can all be composted. As compost
is broken down from these raw materials to simpler forms of proteins
and carbohydrates, it becomes more available to a wider array of
bacterial species that will carry it to a further stage of decomposition.
(starches and sugars) break down in a fairly rapid process to simple
sugars, organic acids and carbon dioxide that are released
in the soil. When proteins decompose, they readily break down
into peptides, amino acids, and then to available ammonium compounds
and atmospheric nitrogen. Finally, species of "nitrifying"
bacteria change the ammonium compounds to nitrates, in which from
they are available to plants.
this stage of decomposition, the materials are near to becoming
finished compost, with the exception of a few substances that still
resist breakdown. Through complex, biochemical processes, these
substances are the rest of the decomposed form humus.
composting microorganisms, like any other living things, need both
carbon from the carbohydrates, and forms of nitrogen from the proteins
in the compost substrate. In order to thrive and reproduce, all
microbes must have access to a supply of the elements of which their
cells are made. The principle nutrients for bacteria, actinomycetes
and fungi are carbon (C), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium
(K). Trace elements are needed in minute quantities.
chemicals in the compost pile are not in their pure form, and certainly
not all in the same form at the same time. For example, at any given
moment, nitrogen may be found in the composting matter in the form
of nitrates and nitrites, in ammonium compounds, in the complex
molecules of undigested or partly digested cellulose, and in the
complex protein of microorganism protoplasm. There are many stages
of breakdown and many combinations of elements. What's more, microorganisms
can make use of nitrogen and other elements only when they
occur in specific forms and ratios to one another.
carbon/nitrogen ratios are a general guide to help determine the
proper balance of ingredients. The ideal C/N ratio for most compost
microorganisms is about 25:1. Materials too high in carbon make
composting inefficient, and it will take longer for the decomposition.
This is why a pile of oak leaves or a mound
of sawdust and wood chips will sit for years without much apparent
decay. Materials to high in nitrogen will likely release the excess
smelly ammonia gas. I prefer to put up with a slight odor and keep
surplus of nitrogen in the pile just to make sure there is always
enough to speed decomposition.