What Is Good For Using As A Compost Activator?

You can use a compost activator to encourage the decomposition process in a compost heap. Compost accelerators help to restart the slow-down decomposition process. A good compost activator contains high amounts of Nitrogen, Carbon, and Microorganisms. 

How Do Compost Activators Work?

Carbon and nitrogen are essential for decomposing organic material by bacteria in a compost heap. The ratio of carbon and nitrogen plays an important role in the decomposition process. 

This ideal ratio should be around 3:1 to 35:1. The brown material contains carbon and the green material has nitrogen. You should maintain a balance for rapid decomposition.  

In case, the compost heap is out of balance then you can use a compost activator to accelerate the process. 

For instance, there is a high amount of carbon in the compost heap.  It means you use brown material like paper in large quantities.  There is a shortage of nitrogen so decomposing will be disturbed.  

In such a situation, you have to use a nitrogen-rich compost activator to maintain the carbon and nitrogen ratio in the heap. This act will effectively decompose the brown material into beneficial compost for your favorite plants. 

In the same way, if there is a large quantity of green material in the compost heap then there is a shortage of carbon to maintain it. You need a carbon-rich compost activator to restore the balance. 

Do Compost Activators Speed Up Composting?

When you add a compost activator to your pile it will start working more quickly than normal. The addition of nitrogen or carbon helps microbes to grow. 

The addition of an effective activator in the compost pile helps to improve the microbial activities to break down organic matter.  

You should not wait for the naturally occurring microbes to multiply but add the best activators to increase the population of microorganisms to jump-start the process of decomposition. 

When you are selecting an accelerator for your compost pile you must consider that your activator has active bacteria, nitrogen-boosting elements, and essential organic material.  

The microorganisms work to make ideal compost; they are agents of decomposition. The nitrogen-boosting elements provide food for composting microorganisms. 

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Natural Compost Activators

If you don’t want to buy store-bought compost activators then you can also use organic materials that are available in your home.  Now we are going to discuss with you some options that you can use to activate your compost. 


To maintain the amount of nitrogen in the compost pile you can add coffee grounds and tea leaves.  Before throwing them you must consider they are rich in nitrogen. 

You can add coffee grounds or tea leaves directly to the pile if there is a cold composting system. For the hot composting system you need to mix grass with coffee grounds to make a layer.  You can also use a mixture of grounds with lime; it will also give you better results. 

If you are using tea bags then keep in your mind they contain microplastics.  Before using them you must open them to release the tea.  This process is very time-consuming. 

If you need a large quantity of coffee grounds and tea leaves then you can ask a local cafe. 


Another organic material that is rich in nitrogen and helps to accelerate the decomposition process is human urine.  You will be surprised to know that human urine is the best compost accelerator as it is rich in nitrogen and has enough water to moisten your compost heap.  

As it is found in liquid form it can easily travel in the compost and reach the microbes. I know it is not easy to get enough urine as a compost activator.  You can also feel disgusting using pee in your compost pile.

If your compost heap is too dry, you must not hesitate to use human urine. If the heap is extremely moist then you must not use it as it will not work effectively. 


Most people use manure as a natural fertilizer but you can also use it as a compost activator as it has a great amount of nitrogen. You can easily get it from farm animals. You can also buy dry manure to accelerate the process of decomposition in the compost pile. 

The manure of chickens, cows, alpacas, rabbits, and horses can be used as compost accelerators. There are pesticides and undigested seeds present in the horse manure so you should avoid it as it cannot be the best choice. 

Fresh manure has a high amount of nitrogen so you can use it as an excellent compost accelerator. 

The addition of manure in the compost bin will raise the temperature.  If you use cow manure with a combination of grass, sawdust, and grass then the temperature will increase around 60 degrees Centigrade. 


Fish Blood and Bone can be used directly in the soil to improve their growth. There are many benefits of using it as a compost activator because it can improve the structure of the soil. 

To maintain the nitrogen level in the compost pile, you can also use blood, fish, and bone because they contain high levels of nitrogen.


This proves that you can also use cooking oil to increase the heat of a compost pile. If you use cooking oil then the compost produced has 20% more nitrogen than the compost made without using cooking oil. 

This means the addition of cooking oil is very effective for making an ideal compost as it speeds up the composting process.  


Plants that have high levels of nitrogen will be best for improving the composting process in the pile.  For instance, you can use comfrey, seaweed, grass clippings, clover, nettles, beans, and peas. 

These green plants act as a great compost accelerator as they significantly boost nitrogen levels.

You can chop or shred these plants and use them in the compost pile.  It is proven that grass clippings are very effective in making a compost heap hot. 

The addition of grass clipping raises the temperature to 10 degrees centigrade.  Make sure to mix the grass clippings well with the compost otherwise, it will become soggy and compacted. 


Bacteria and fungi are the primary decomposition agents and mature compost or soil has these beneficial microbes.  The addition of it will not only speed up the decomposition process but it can balance the carbon level in the pile.  

The organic matter breaks down easily and transforms into high nutrient-rich compost. If the amount of nitrogen is too high in the compost then you must add mature compost. You just need a few handfuls of mature compost and see results. 

The soil can also be added to fresh compost to make it more effective. If the garden soil is very high quality and contains beneficial microorganisms then you can add only one scoop of soil into your compost heap. 

Commercial Activators

If you don’t want to use a natural compost activator because you don’t have time or energy then you can also buy commercial activators that are easily available in the market. You can also buy them online. 

There is a wide range of activators or accelerators available. You can get all the information from the manufacturer’s website for an idea. You must select microbial compost starters because they work well to speed up the decomposition process. 

When you are using natural compost activators then there is one problem: an excess of browns. For a perfect ratio of nitrogen and carbon, you can use a commercial activator. 

When you are composting kitchen waste there can be a problem of balance ratio. By using commercial activators it will speed up the composting process and balance green and browns.

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Following are the important points before adding any compost activator to speed up the composting process. These recommendations will work best for your compost heap. 


Oxygen is essential for microorganisms as you know they are responsible for breaking down the organic material present in the compost heap. 

Turn the compost pile regularly so it will get enough fresh air. This is a very simple and easy step but it will give you significant results. 


The moisture level plays a very important role in perfect composting.  If you want an effective speed-up composting then take care of the moisture levels.  

If the moisture is too high then the heat drops and it will slow down the composting process.  Water present in the pile fills up free-air spaces and reduces the oxygen level. The ideal moisture level for a perfect compost pile is between 40% to 60%.


If the size of the pile is large then it will compost efficiently to the as.  A bigger pile produces more heat and results in rapid composting. A pile should be 3 feet square by 3 feet high. This dimension of the pile will generate enough heat for the best decomposition.


The pH of the compost pile plays an important role in the part of the composition process. It has a critical role in microbial activity. The ideal pH of the compost pile is between 5.5 to 7 slightly acidic to neutral. 

You can control the pH level of the compost pile by introducing slightly acidic material. 


If you want to accelerate your compost pile very fast then you should make sure you add smaller constituents.  If you are using large materials then they will provide less surface area for microorganisms to do their work.  

It is best to shred them to break them down faster.  Before filling your compost bin you must chop the ingredients into manageable pieces.  You should not underestimate the advantages of smaller materials used in a compost pile. 

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