Once you’ve learned how to make compost, you need to move to the next step and know how to store it. Honestly, your garden isn’t going to accommodate all the compost you’ve made. You can also choose to use a compost service like ours, to help you reduce the mess, smell, and rodents that come with backyard composting. We will then return some of the finished compost to use in your garden and store or donate the extra. Today, we’ll look at how to manage excess compost in this article.
Before we look at a few ways to go about it, let’s understand the benefits of storing compost.
In a short time frame, making compost will give you the ability to collect more leaves, table scraps, and start a new heap. The topmost part of the compost pile, which is not completely decomposed, can be set aside and reincorporated into the new heap.
Moving the compost into storage containers will also add a flow of fresh air. If the compost is damp, leaving it in clumps is recommended; the clumps will break apart due to the freezing and thawing of the winter. Keeping the compost sheltered from rain and snow will help maintain its quality, as the extra curing time in the storage containers will make it more hospitable for the microbes that transform nearly-finished compost into soft, spongy humus.
Ways to Store Compost
Get a Compost Bin
The bin we use to pick up your compost can be a good storage solution, we are happy to sell you extra bins if you would like. Just email us and we are here to help. Utilizing a service like ours enables you to streamline your composting. We provide our service in and around the city of Ashville.
Store Compost in a Pile
Another way to store finished compost is to create a pile outside. This is suitable if you will be using it sooner then later. Adding worms in your pile when you’re storing compost helps with adding extra air and nutrients because the worms can add compost casings. If you choose this option, cover the pile with a tarp to keep out extra moisture. However, this can take up a lot of space and be unsightly.
Get a Compost Bag
Alternatively, you can store compost in a plastic bag, garbage bag, or a cheap empty garbage can. Make sure the compost remains moist and that the container is secure so it does not tip over. If the compost starts to dry out, lightly spray it with plain water and use a shovel or garden fork to mix it up.
What’s the Maximum Period for Compost Storage?
You can store compost indefinitely, though the longer it is stored, the more nutrients are lost. Compost is at its best for three to four months after it is completed, but it can still be used after that. Compost does not go bad, but after a year it may start to shrink as it breaks down further. If it starts to smell bad, add more brown material and turn it in with a shovel or pitchfork. This adds air and soaks up excess water. Now that you know how to store compost, you can keep extra compost for a few months to a year to use in your garden!
Where Can You Store Compost?
If you have the space to store compost outside, this is the ideal choice. Make sure to cover it with some kind of tarp or container that has a lid. Try to keep out of the sunlight, If the compost has to be kept indoors, these steps should be followed:
Step 1: Pick an area that is dry, not too hot or cold.
If the compost is not completely broken down yet, you can use the temperature to your advantage. Otherwise, a mild temperature is preferable to keep the evaporation rate steady.
Step 2: Put the container somewhere secure.
Place it on the ground, or if it is on a shelf, make sure it is not in direct sunlight.
Step 3: Ensure nothing can fall onto it or knock it over.
This includes keeping it away from pets and small children. Compost isn’t usually harmful to people or animals, but since there is bacteria in it, and it could make a mess if spilt, it’s best to store it in a shed or closet.
Join CompostAVL, a curbside compost pickup service and make a difference tomorrow.
We’ll drop a compost bin, you fill it up with food waste, and we pick it up and you a fresh clean bin, allowing you hands-free composting.