The Different Compost Types

It might surprise you to know that there are different compost types. Depending on what goes into the mix, and how the composting process operates, the result will be a little different. There’s vermicompost, composted animal manure, the familiar vegetable and yard clippings compost, and several others. It can be hard to tell the difference between types at the end, since most of them look the same, and all of them are rich additions to your soil. However, they do have a few differences.

Let’s take a look at some compost types.

Animal Manure Compost
compost types, animal manure compostThis kind of compost is made from the droppings of vegetarian or mostly vegetarian livestock. Composting cat and dog manure, or other carnivore droppings, is rare and poses a lot of problems. But horse, cow, and chicken manure are popular choices. They contain a lot of helpful nitrogen that can be good for plants. But applying them to your garden fresh can “burn” your plants. That’s why they need to be composted to make them usable. It’s important to make sure that any animal manure compost you use is fully composted. If you’re doing it on your own, check the pile temperature to make sure that the whole thing decays properly. That’ll help you keep a healthy garden.

Vegetable Compost
compost types, vegetable compostingThis is probably the most common type of compost made at home. Many people put their kitchen and yard waste into a compost bin and turn it into a nitrogen rich soil additive. It’s important to maintain the right balance in the pile if you want it to stay hot and decay quickly, instead of moldering and smelling. However, if you get it right, the result is a useful garden treatment that even works well as a mulch. There’s not as much danger of nitrogen burn from unfinished vegetable compost, but it should still be done completely.

compost types, vermicompostMost compost piles will actually end up containing at least some of this type. That’s because earthworms are a helpful addition to any composting operation. They break down organic matter and leave rich soil additives. However, some people decide to use worms more deliberately. They choose types of earthworms that can successfully live in an enclosed space, and place their kitchen scraps and other small vegetable waste products inside. The worms multiply and turn the waste material into rich compost. Most vermicomposting operations are small, but some people have much larger worm boxes, or several sets of boxes, and compost yard waste this way, too. Vermicompost is a very rich form of compost in most cases.

But that is just the first step in creating an organic garden compost. More information about the proper technique and procedure here.

Knowing the different compost types can help you determine which materials you can use for your own compost file.