Quick Answer: How To Store Compost
Many of us prefer to keep the compost pile where it is, but this can damage the quality of the compost, unless you use a storage method. But knowing how to properly store compost is not something that everyone knows how to do, especially if you need to store it for a longer amount of time. Here we look at options for short, mid, and long term storage.
Once we go through the lengthy process of composting, we reach another challenge – how do you store it appropriately?
This comes with its hurdles because, if it is stored improperly, the compost can go bad. This would be a waste of a lot of effort, time, and materials. Let’s find out how to store compost!
Why Storing Compost Is a Challenge
Making compost is an environmentally responsible way of disposing of your kitchen waste and garden trimmings.
However, you might find yourself in the position of having to store the compost over a longer period of time, especially if you do not need all of it right away.
The main challenge comes with the realization that compost can certainly go bad if it is not stored accordingly.
This means that your nutrients will get lost, the pile might start rotting, or there will be excessive fungi. As a result, if you have compost and you plan to use it another time, you must provide proper storage.
How To Store Compost
First of all, it is worthwhile to mention that you should add 1-2 inches of compost to your soil each year.
This can work wonders for all of your plants and trees.
After that, you should seek to store the leftovers.
One easy way to differentiate is on the basis of how long you want the compost to be stored – short term, for a slightly longer time or much longer (3+ months).
Let’s look at them one by one –
Generally, storing compost for a short time should not be challenging.
The only thing you need to ensure is that the compost is not subject to extreme weather conditions, such as high humidity and massive rainfalls.
If this is the case, you can cover the pile to stop the water from getting inside and remember to turn it now and then to make sure it remains well aerated.
If you want to keep the compost for the next few months, you need to protect it against rainfall.
This is particularly relevant if there is an expected rainy period at some point. You can do so by covering it with a tarp.
Then, add stakes in the same way that the tarp is placed over the compost.
This protects the heap against adverse weather conditions, and it also ensures that there is enough oxygen passing through the compost.
If your compost needs to be stored for more than 3 months, then you might need a different approach.
For instance, when the compost needs to be kept through the winter, you need to concern yourself with protecting the heap from the moisture in the ground while ensuring constant airflow.
To do so, the compost needs to be stored in a walled facility, such as a barn, shed, or garage.
How To Store Finished/Fresh Compost
If you have finished compost, you can simply leave it on the ground for a short period of time.
If this is not ideal, you could search for a sheltered area where it is protected against high humidity and excess moisture.
You also want it to be exposed to worms and insects, as these will make it better.
If you have fresh compost, all you can do is place it in a plastic bag or a garbage can.
These are quite accessible and practical, and there’s nothing much to do apart from turning the pile periodically.
Make sure the plastic bag or the container is loosely open or has holes on the top or the sides to ensure the flow of oxygen.
Here’s a video showing you how to store your finished or fresh compost:
Storage Options For Compost Tea
If you have a pile of compost tea, the good news is that this can be stored much easier than other types of compost.
You can place it in a sealed container for up to one week. A longer period might require extra aeration.
Some examples include a canister that has a blubber stone, or you could use an aquarium pump. Both of these encourage aeration.
Overall, compost storage depends on the length of time you need to store it.
Short periods should not be worrisome, as most, if not all, compost will remain fresh and retain all of its nutrients for a few days or weeks.
If you need to store it over the winter or for a longer period, you should seek a walled facility, such as a barn or garage.