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Nutritional Value of Compost

Nutrients in Composting

Posted by Angus Stewart

Aug 20

Nutritional Value of Composts

Compost is an inherently variable material when it comes to nutrient content.  It very much depends on what materials go into building the compost heap and also the stage of maturity or decomposition the compost has reached at any particular moment in time.  By maturity I mean, the composting process takes organic materials of all sorts, and breaks them down into smaller chemical components, which can then be utilised by plants. This process can take variable amounts of time. If there’s a lot of nutrition available in the compost heap then the process will happen very quickly as there is plenty of fuel available for the microbes to break down the organic matter to work with, if there are large amounts of woody materials (carbon) with a lower nutritional content, there is a limited range of organisms which are able to break down that organic material.  In general terms this takes a lot longer than green or nitrogen rich materials.

There are some other necessary ingredients for effective nutritious composting.  There are numerous organisms that can break down organic matter, and they can live under quite variable conditions.  Anaerobic composting will create a different nutrient mixture in the final product as compared to aerobic or worm assisted composting.


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