Common Uses for Finished Compost
Now that you have put in the work, waited the required amount of time and have your
finished compost material – what are you going to do with it? There are more uses than
just laying it down on your flower beds. Some are practical everyday uses and others are
You can make a tea with your finished compost; it is not for drinking though. To make
your compost tea, add your humus to a water-tight container and fill with water. Let the
tea “steep” anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days. After it is done, put the
liquid compost through a fine screen to collect any debris. What you have made is a
liquid fertilizer that can be sprayed on plants or other garden areas.
Compost can be used to help stop the spread of erosion. It can be laid down thickly on
the area that is eroding away or it can be mixed with water to make a thick slurry and
then sprayed on the area that is in danger.
Humus (finished compost) is used as a final layer over a finished landfill to help new
plants grow with little to no erosion. Finished compost can also assist in revitalizing an
endangered wetland. The nutrient rich composition can be used to create a new wetland
Of course there are the traditional uses too – in gardens, planting beds, or other areas that
plants or vegetation grows. If you are starting a new compost bin, in place of a layer of
topsoil for the base you can substitute an equal amount of compost material. Farmers and
cities use mature compost on a large scale; it helps the environment and reduces the
amount of garbage that ends up in a landfill.
There are five problems that can arise when you are composting. All of the issues are
relatively easy to troubleshoot and fix. During your routine monitoring of the pile keep a
look out for signs of a problem and try some of the suggested solutions listed below.
If you see a swarm of flies around your compost bin chances are you have not put enough
brown food (leaves, twigs, hay) on top of your kitchen scraps. The kitchen scraps are
very inviting to fruit and house flies, make sure you don’t leave them exposed.
Your compost bin has a bad smell. The most likely cause is not enough air is getting
through to all parts of the compost. Give the compost a good turning and add a bulky
substance such as woodchips or sawdust. They are bulky and created pockets where the
air can move freely.
If you find that your pile is very dry, add some moisture in the form of water. You
should not soak the pile, just enough to get it wet. If the pile is continually drying out
look at other factors such as location and what you are adding – you may have to move
the bin to a less sunny location or add more wet scraps (fruit and vegetable waste).
Your compost pile seems to be working (it is moist and warm) but only in spots. Either
your pile is not large enough or you are not rotating it enough. Make sure you are
regularly adding new scraps and are rotating the pile every second day.
Like the problem of flies, if you have pests visiting your pile you need to make sure you
are covering all kitchen scraps thoroughly. Moreover, do not add any animal products
such as meat or bones.