In this lesson, we will teach you how to collect and store cured compost.
The compost will be ready to collect between 3 and 6 months after completing your pile.
At this point, the decomposition process will be finished and the compost should be only a few centimeters in height.
Here is a compost pile that’s ready to be collected and stored.
You can see that the original plant material is hardly recognizable, and that the residue has a dark brown color. It should also have a nice fresh smell.
The product of this decomposition is a stable form of fertile organic matter, rich in beneficial microorganisms and insects.
Now we’ll show you how to collect your cured compost.
For this, you will need: a border spade, 2 wheelbarrows, a pitchfork and a sieve.
Step 1: Using border spade, transfer the compost into the wheelbarrow.
If your pile is on a growing bed, like this one, be careful not to dig too deep; otherwise, you’ll remove the top layer of soil. Make sure the spade remains parallel to the ground.
Step 2: Sift the compost to separate the cured material from the non-decomposed organic matter. This step halts the decomposition process and facilitates its use in the garden.
For this, we will use a sieve designed specifically for this task. It’s easy to make at home,
but if you don’t have one available, you can also use chicken wire.
Gather the remaining non-decomposed plant materials to put in your next compost pile
Step 3: Now the compost is ready to be used or stored.
For storage, place it in a dry, shady location, like this one. This will also allow it to retain its properties.
We'll place ours in a garden shelter where it will be easily accessible.
Note that if you’ve built your compost pile on a growing bed, your plants will be able to grow without any additional compost.
This will often give you a better harvest than the rest of your garden.