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Compost Microorganisms

Microorganisms are essential in the composting process. These microscopic organisms are the tiny guys and gals, that break down raw, organic compost matter.

In the composting process, micro-organisms produce carbon dioxide, heat, water and humus.... finished compost that is ready for use by your plants.

There are a wide variety of microorganisms at work during each stage of the decomposing process. 80% to 90% of the micro-organisms are bacteria. Other microorganisms include:

  • Fungi - including molds and yeasts

  • Actinomycetes - bacteria similar to fungi

  • Protozoa - single celled, feeds on organic matter

  • Rotifers - feeds on organic matter, bacteria and fungi

Three stages of decomposition, where micro-organisms are at work:

  • Mesophilic, warm up period:  Aerobic bacteria is at work. Temperatures are 70-90 degrees F. Aerobic microorganisms, which require oxygen, are working on the compost.

  • Thermophilic, high heat period: Temperatures reach 100 to 170 degrees F. The microorganisms dominant in this stage, are anaerobic. This stage usually lasts 3-4 days.With high heat, weed seeds and other seeds are killed.

  • Cool down period: Temperatures cool off and aerobic micro-organisms take over once more.

Micro-organisms are present in your garden soil, on plants, and in any compost pile. To kick-start the decomposition process, you don't need compost activators. Just add a shovelful of dirt, or finished compost from your last batch, to the raw materials.

Related Topics:

Composting Health Hazards

Hobby Greenhouses

Add a cover system to your raised garden frame, and you have....  A hobby greenhouse!

This raised bed kit comes with a cover system, designed for the Guarden raised garden bed frames. The cover latches firmly to the raised bed frame, allowing it to withstand high winds. The plastic cover comes standard with the unit. Optional pest covers and insect netting are also available.  The cover system helps to extend the gardening season spring and fall. It's easy to remove the cover system, for summer months.

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