So you’re thrilled to finally get your hands on compost and use it.
We totally get it. 😉
First, take a look into your bin. Is there any material that has not composted fully?
If you can still recognize wastes such as vegetable and fruit scraps, we recommend waiting out at least another week till they’ve composted completely.
(For tips on speeding up the composting process, click here.)
However, if you’ve been composting for at least a month and confident that you’ve got some finished compost in there, here’s how you can harvest it:
- Remove the top insulating layer (of newspapers, cardboard, or hay).
- Dig into your bin with a tool, such as a gardening spade. Simply push aside the material to the inside surface of your bin as you do so.
- Keep digging in until you find finished compost.
- The finished compost should be found near the bottom of your bin, as it would have shrunk in size and gravitated downward after losing moisture and its original form.
- It should appear as crumbly, dark material that looks like thick, moist soil.
- It should also give off an earthy, fresh aroma.
- Once you’ve found some finished compost, remove it from your bin and set it aside for use later.
- Push the material in your bin back into place.
- Put back the top insulating layer (of newspapers, cardboard, or hay).
- Ensure that the area around your bin is clean and dry. This prevents pests and smells.
You may repeat the above steps if you wish to harvest compost from your bin the next time.
Now for the best part—using your compost!
Here are some ways:
- If you own potted plants or a garden, layer about an inch of compost onto the soil—as if covering the soil with a thick blanket.
- You could mix the compost directly into soil, giving it a nutrient boost.
- Use it as a compost starter for your new batch of wastes.
- Feed it to your composting worms to “upgrade” it to higher-quality fertilizer.
- Give it away to friends and neighbours who grow plants.
- Donate it to a nearby school, garden, community, or organization that might have a use for it.
- Apply it to greenery and parks around your area.
What about leftover compost?
If you’ve got some extra compost, transfer it to a sealed plastic bag and store it somewhere cool and safe from rodents. You can use it as an excellent compost starter for your next batch of wastes.
Compost does not rot or turn bad—it has already broken down into safe and high-nutrient soil.
Haven’t got your own compost bin, and keen to start one of your own? Check out our easy step-by-step instructions here.