Compost accelerators can give your compost pile a kick start. They aren’t required for composting – nature will facilitate the natural decay of organic material, but they do serve a purpose in getting those beneficial bacteria started. But which compost accelerator is best? That’s what we’re going to explore here.
Top Compost Accelerators:
- Compost-It Compost Accelerator
- Espoma Organic Traditions Compost Starter
- Jobe’s Organics Compost Starter
- Roebic Laboratories Bacterial Compost Accelerator
- Ringer Compost Plus
Let’s look at what compost starters have to offer, how you can even make your own if you want to, and why each of these was selected as a top choice.
In A Hurry? Here’s Our Top Pick (Links To Amazon below):
Espoma Organic Traditions Compost Starter (Check the latest pricing on Amazon)
Why Is This Our Top Pick?
Simply put, Espoma is transparent about the product and its use. They offer a pure (100%) bio-organic mix containing billions of beneficial microbes to speed up the decomposition of your compost pile. Espoma also includes important pH balancers.
Before we delve into the gritty details on each of these, let’s first outline what a compost accelerator really is and how you can make your own if you prefer to go the DIY route.
What Is A Compost Accelerator?
Compost accelerators, also known as compost “starters” or “activators”, essentially contain fungi and bacteria that are aimed at getting the decomposition process underway. There is a lot of biological activity that takes place during the composting process (source). It’s more than leaves and grass clippings just “dying”. Deep at the microscopic level, bacteria are working around the clock to decompose the organic material.
At the visual level, we also often see worms, grubs, termites, or other small creatures doing their part to move nature’s process along. But it begins at a level that we can’t see with the naked eye and this is where compost accelerators are designed to come in.
If we push past all of the marketing hype, there is value in adding beneficial bacteria into the compost pile early. And while each of the products we’ll discuss in this article have their advantages, you do have another option…
How To Make Your Own Compost Accelerator
If you want to take advantage of the benefits of a compost activator but aren’t crazy about investing in a commercial product, you can make your own compost accelerator.
One solution is to simply add finished compost into the new pile. It will introduce the bacteria needed to jump-start the composting process. If you have finished compost or a pile that is near completion, take a couple of shovels full and spread it into your new pile. This will help to get the decomposition process going.
Garden soil is another alternative to commercial compost activators. Soil that has been amended and grown in for years can be filled with microscopic helpers that are all too eager to help you break down your fresh compost pile. Just be mindful that if you are using pesticides in your garden those will have likely soaked into the soil so you are better off doing this with organic gardening soil.
If you don’t have finished compost or garden soil, however, a quality compost accelerator can help to get that decomposition process started. Let’s look at our top picks one by one.
The Top Compost Accelerators – In-Depth
Compost-It Compost Accelerator
Manufactured by Biomaster, Compost-It contains over 60 active ingredients and is suitable for just about any type of composting project. It’s an organic formula, free of chemicals and produced in Australia.
Click Here For Latest Pricing (Link To Amazon).
Below is a video from the manufacturer outlining the benefits of this product and includes some tips on how to use it.
Top Pick – Espoma Organic Traditions Compost Starter
Touting billions of microbes ready to go to work decomposing your kitchen waste, Espoma’s compost starter is a 100% bio-organic mixture that is aimed at helping break down organic materials that are usually slow and difficult to compost.
Click Here To Check The Latest Pricing (Link To Amazon)
The company recommends applying the product over an initial layer of organic material and then continuing to layer organic material as you would in any lasagna-approach composting project. Keep the pile moist as you normally would to help the microbes activate.
Jobe’s Organics Compost Starter
Jobe’s is a brand name that garners trust with many gardeners and for good reason. With over 200 products on the market and a long history, Jobe’s has earned a place in many gardens. The Jobe’s Organics Compost Starter (link to Amazon) comes in granular form and contains their proprietary BIozome formula, a mixture of fungi, bacteria, and Archaea.
This formula is incorporated into many of their products including the compost starter. You can read more about Biozome on Jobe’s website. One thing that I should mention that I do find attractive about this product is that it is usually one of the lowest-cost compost accelerators out there.
Roebic Laboratories Bacterial Compost Accelerator
Roebic Laboratories offers a granular compost accelerator that is rich in magnesium and calcium as well as nitrogen-rich nutrients to encourage the thriving growth of beneficial bacteria.
Ringer Compost Plus
Taking advantage of thermophilic organisms that are known to thrive in higher temperatures, Ringer Compost Plus (link to Amazon) is a blend of microorganisms and nutrients designed to kickstart the decomposition process in your compost pile. The manufacturer, Safer Brands, claims that their 2lb package is enough for up to 750lb of yard waste composting (source). That’s a lot of compost.
In the end, you really aren’t going to go wrong with any of these. Remember that you probably don’t need a compost accelerator in the first place and if you do, you do have the option of making your own. That said, if you are looking for a quality compost activator, I would go with Espoma Organic Traditions Compost Starter (Link to Amazon). I like their transparency and that they use a 100% bio-organic mix. Other products may use very similar but they aren’t always as clear about it and I think that’s what sets Espoma apart from the rest for me.