Tells us two important things

First, the transition from fresh material to finished compost is a gradual one, with the end point being entirely a matter of opinion. Second, if you were to rummage around in the leafmold, you would soon turn up a few clearly identifiable twigs. Larger pieces of tougher material (and twigs are both larger and tougher) decompose more slowly than smaller, softer material.

Compost is "finished" when the easily decomposed parts of the original material have disappeared, and the more resistant material has decomposed to the extent that it is no longer recognizable, yet the majority of the original organic matter and nutrients still remain.

Nevertheless, deciding when this perfect state has been achieved remains a personal matter, largely affected by how much twiggy stuff you are prepared to tolerate in the finished product. I can't tell you how to decide when your compost is finished, but I can tell you how to get there in a reasonable time.

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Organic Gardeners Composting

Organic Gardeners Composting

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