Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What is happening in a compost pile?

Now that you know that you want to have a compost pile, what is going on in that pile that leaves you with such great plant food?  When you set up a compost pile in your yard what you are really doing is building a giant buffet for bacteria, microbes, fungus, mold, worms, and other tiny creatures. These creatures are naturally present everywhere, but when given the proper conditions, like in a compost pile, they run wild. They each have their own favorite meals, and so everything gets eaten.
Bacteria are the main workhorses int he compost pile.  They take in oxygen and use it to breakdown the organic materials in the pile.  As a byproduct, they create carbon dioxide and heat.  The heat created can get to be up to 140 degrees.  This will attract heat loving microbes to do their part of the decomposing process.  Once the microbes are done, the  worms come through and eat whats left of the organic matter leaving you with nutrient rich worm poop.  

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