Compost Activator: Biodegradation of Organic Material.
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The Natural Solution
Compost Activator


               Composting 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.

               The 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.

               The 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.

                Carbohydrates (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.

                 At 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.

                  The 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.

                   These 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.

                     The 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.

Why Compost

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