How long does it take for compost to cure? (8 Things you should know)

The curing time for compost can range from 21 days to many months because it differs depending on the compost. 

The compost has to be finished before it’s ready to use. Depending on the chosen foods and compostable items such as parchment paper the time frames for breaking down will differ a lot.

Today you will be able to find some composting bins that use the help of worms to make the process go faster. The worms will eat the scraps, while

Some composting bins use the help of worms, while others rely on the chosen elements.


How do I know when the compost is finished?

The correct answer here is that the compost should be dark and crumbly and look like topsoil.

If you got the time you can also test the compost by yourself. Take a handful of your compost you think is ready to use and take it into a sealed plastic bag.

After three days, you open the bag again and if it smells sour, you know that the compost ain’t ready yet. However if the compost smells like dir and fresh, then you can indeed use your compost in your garden.

How often should compost be watered?

You need to find a great balance here where the compost keeps getting moist. However, it should not be soggy or dry, because it’s living organisms that break down your compost. If your compost gets too dry the living organism will die and they will stop breaking down the compost.

It’s therefore important that you water your compost as often it needs water to keep your compost moist.

How much water does a compost pile need?

Depending on the climate you living in, if it takes watering your compost every day to keep it moist, I will water it every day. If your compost doesn’t keep moist, it will not break down and can be used.

However, if you find it frustrating to water your compost pile every day, you might consider trying to find additional materials used for your compost, which will retain more moisture and therefore don’t have to get watered every day.

The ideal percentage of water for your compost is between 40-60 %. If the conditions are too wet, the water will fill the pore space, which is needed for air movement and to get the best results of compost. If conditions are too dry for your compost, the decomposition will slow.

Does compost need to be mixed with soil?

You don’t have to mix soil into your compost, but you can do it if you want to create your own potting compost, which soil gives as an advantage.

Adding soil to your compost makes it dry out more slowly and also holds its structure a lot better.

If you are growing vegetables in your garden such as potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots, they will grow a lot better because of the added nutrients. However, you still have to feed them with water and maybe some more compost regularly in order to get the vegetables to grow properly.

The basic rules I would recommend:

Topsoil = Used for general gardening projects.
Compost = Used for pots or hungry plants like vegetables.

Does compost need sun?

Your compost doesn’t need to be directly in the sun. However, it depends in the end on how you want to have your compost. The thing that matters is how the compost is managed.

The compost pile or bin should be slightly warm, cause that’s the best condition for bugs, bacteria, and microbes to live in.

The climate you live in can have an impact on how much sunlight your compost pile needs. If you live in a climate with high temperatures, you may want to keep your compost pile in the shade, so it doesn’t dry out in the sun, but stays moist.

However, if you live in a colder area, you might have to place your compost pile or bin in direct sunlight, to give the best conditions for bugs, bacteria, and microbes to break down the materials.

Do there need to be bugs in my compost?

It’s not necessary to have bugs in your compost, but usually, bugs will not harm your compost but actually help break it down.

However, if you don’t remove the bugs from your compost when it’s ready to be used, you might find the bugs snipping around your plants and other seedlings.

You might think, what you need to do if the accident has happened and your finished compost is infested with sow- or pills bugs and want to use your compost on seedlings in your garden.

Do you then have to start all over again and start breaking down your compost once or is it possible to save the compost?

You can actually save your infested compost by spreading the compost in a thin layer on a tarp in your garden in the sunlight and leaving it here to dry. Then the bugs will quickly ball out and you will be able to use your finished compost where seedlings are growing.

Are maggots great to have in compost?

The answer here is simple:

Yes, maggots are really great to put in your compost pile, because they will make it decompose even faster.

Typically these creatures will get a lot of people to turn away in disgust, but maggots are a really great thing and a big help to have in your compost pile.

However, since these creatures can be disgusting for a lot of people, some don’t even want to have them in their compost pile.

Here are some tips if you want to get rid of the maggots:

Adding more dry materials: It’s commonly known that your compost should be balanced with both wet and dry materials. Dry materials such as grass and leaves will help get rid of maggots since those creatures need a moist environment to survive. By adding more dry materials the environment will be drier.

Cover holes from flies: If holes are covered in your compost pile flies will not be able to lay larvae eggs and you will therefore never get maggots. By adding a mesh screen to try covering air holes in your compost bin you will keep the flies away for good.

When you have got rid of the maggots in your compost, their bodies will die and decompose as well as the other materials. However we should really be thankful for all the work the maggots do, and the thick, rich soil they leave behind us.

Therefore, keep in mind if you really want to get rid of them or if you just want to leave them in your future compost.