How To Check If Your Compost Is Ready

Okay, first things first: How long does it take for compost to be ready?

If you’re living in a sunny tropical island like we are, we’ve got good news for you.

With the year-round warm and humid climate, your compost could be ready in a couple of weeks. Do bear in mind that this depends on the mix of materials in your bin.

It might also take a couple more months for your compost to be ready during prolonged cool weather seasons, such as monsoon rains.

Wish to speed up the composting process? Discover quick and easy ways to do so here.

And now for the next frequently asked question: How do you tell if your compost is ready?

Easy peazy. It’s ready when:

  • It smells pleasant and earthy, just like soil.

Any unpleasant odor would mean that some material is still undergoing decomposition and has not yet turn into compost.

  • It appears brown and crumbly (or lumpy).

In other words, you shouldn’t be able to recognize any waste material, as they would have all turned into compost.

However, it’s normal to observe egg shells, hair, and twigs as they take a longer time to break down. You can either leave them in the bin to further compost, or add them directly to your plants as they provide special nutrients.

  • Your compost should be cool to the touch (not warm).

An active pile (that is still composting) will be warm to the touch, especially in the center.

In summary, the compost is ready to use once it has turned into a crumbly, dark material that looks like thick, moist soil. It also gives off an earthy, fresh aroma.

Don’t worry if your compost looks a little lumpy with twigs and bits of eggshell – this is perfectly normal.

Also note that your finished compost will be found near the base of your bin, because composted material shrinks in size and gravitates down toward the bottom.


Got it? Superman gets it.


So based on the above, is your compost ready?

If it is, congratulations! Nothing beats the satisfaction of turning your trash into black gold. Your plants will love you for it!

If your compost pile isn’t ready just yet, be a lil patient. Here are some ways to speed things up if you’re raring to go compost-crazy on your plants. 😉

To find out how to harvest and use your compost, click right here.

Haven’t got a compost bin and wish to start one of your own? Look no further. You’ll find simple step-by-step instructions here.

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