Finished Compost

How to Know When Compost is Finished

Compost is mature when:

  • The color is dark brown.
  • It is crumbly, loose, and humus-like.
  • It has an earthy smell.
  • It contains no readily recognizable feedstock.
  • The pile has shrunk to about one-third of its original volume.
Compost in Persons Hand

Simple Tests for Finished Compost

  • Bag Test - If you seal compost in a plastic bag for several days, it should produce no foul odor
  • Germination Test - Plant a seed in the finished compost to see if it will germinate. This is a good test to use if the compost will be part of a potting mix.