Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Difference Between Hot and Cold Compost

There are 2 methods that can be used to make compost in the backyard: hot and cold. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, making it important to know the difference between the 2 before getting started.

What is Hot Compost?

Hot compost decomposes much faster than its cold counterpart. Using the hot method allows gardeners to make several piles of finished compost in 1 season. Typically, it takes about 2 months to make finished compost using the hot composting method. The drawback; the finished product contains less nitrogen than finished cold compost.

What is Cold Compost?

Cold compost takes less of an effort to make and takes between 6 to 24 months to completely decompose. This method is easier to make because all a gardener has to do is add compost ingredients and occasionally turn the pile. Unlike hot compost, the cold variety doesn’t kill weed seeds or pathogens.

Whether the hot or cold composting method is used, the benefits of finished compost make this gardening activity well worth it, especially for the organic gardener. I use the cold compost method and usually have 2 to 3 piles in different stages of decomposition going at once. I don’t mind the wait and since I’ve been composting for a number of years now, my gardens enjoy a dose of finished compost each season.

Additional Composting Articles

Reference: Organic Gardening (2007). Make Compost in 14 Days. Rodale Inc

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