How to Make Fast Compost

You’ve heard everyone speaking about making their own compost and you have been eager to give it a go for your own garden. The thought of being able to recycle most of your household waste and reduce the amount of waste you send to the land pile is appealing, but the thought of waiting months for your compost is too long. You need to know how to make fast compost and it can be done.


The Methods

There are two methods to making compost. The first is the Indore Method where you pile on the green nitrogen materials and brown carbon materials in alternate layers.  You turn it every now and again to allow air circulation and moisture and after one year you have compost.

This sounds like a long time and it is, but it is completely hassle free and requires very little effort from you.

The Berkeley Method on the other hand enables you to have wonderful nutrient filled compost within fourteen to twenty one days. This compost has higher nutrient levels and fewer weeks but the disadvantage is that it is time consuming and you need to do a larger pile.


The Compost Bins

You will need to start to make fast compost in a bin that is a minimum of three foot by three foot; this is because the more materials you have, the more the pile will heat and the faster it will make you fantastic compost.

There are plastic sealable bins available that offer many advantages including a sealable lid to reduce the risk of rodents.  You can make your own, which in this case may be your best option with wooden posts, slats and wire mesh.

Place your posts three foot apart in a square, wrap your mesh around the posts and along the bottom and then add your slats vertically down three sides.  On the fourth side put your slats half way up to make it easy for you when turning the pile.  Always remember to add some mesh over your compost to reduce rodents and small animals getting in.

Compost tumblers are another wonderful way to make compost, though you need to ensure you have one big enough. Often the compost tumblers don’t hold as much material as a more traditional compost bin but the require the least amount of work are easy to turn and tend to produce finished compost much faster than traditional compost bins.


Composting Materials

When learning how to make fast compost you need an equal amount of green nitrogen materials and brown carbon materials. If you have a garden you should have no problem producing both from your kitchen and garden.

Green nitrogen materials include vegetable scraps, tea bags, fruit, coffee grounds, egg shells, paper towel and grass cuttings. The brown carbon materials include pasta, rice, bread, dry leaves, sawdust, shredded paper, wood chips and shredded cardboard.

There are a few things you must never add to your compost pile and these include weeds, diseased plants, pet manure, meat or fish, bones, dairy products and sawdust from treated or painted wood. Remember your compost pile is completely natural and enables you to recycle naturally, by using sawdust from painted wood you are removing the natural goodness these shavings have to offer.



One of the most important parts on how to make fast compost is shredding. If you decide to use the Indore Method and wait months for your compost, you only need to shred your cardboard and paper.

When using the Berkeley method to make fast compost, you need to shred everything. The finely shredded materials increase the surface area and offers even distribution of air and moisture.

Some people sit and carefully chop everything into small pieces but a rotary lawnmower will also do the trick. Throw everything on the lawn and go over it a couple of times until it’s all been collected and then throw it on the pile.



When making fast compost, the balance in your compost is imperative. You should have a fifty fifty balance of green nitrogen and brown carbon materials. The green nitrogen materials offer the moisture your compost needs to become that wonderful earthy and crumbly compost that will do wonders for your garden.

You also need a lot of materials; they need to fill a three foot wide by three foot tall compost bin to make it hot enough to form compost. Getting an even supply of both materials may take you some time, when deciding to make compost let your lawn grow for a good few weeks before you start, that way you will have plenty of green nitrogen materials.



When making compost in a leisurely and hassle free manner you will turn it approximately every ten to fourteen days or even longer if you’re not in any rush. But when you learn how to make fast compost you will need to turn your pile at least every two days to ensure that the air is circulated, moisture is dispersed and the bottom composted materials get to the hot middle to start composting.



There is an easy step by step method you can use to make fast compost. You will start with having the right balance of green nitrogen and brown carbon materials. You don’t have to alternate your layers as you normally would when taking your time to make compost.

When using the fast compost method you can throw everything together, mix all your well shredded materials well in a three foot wide by three foot tall compost bin. The bigger the bin the better, so for quicker results use a four foot or even five foot bin.

Make sure you turn your compost every two days; this way the compost all gets a turn to enjoy air, moisture and heat. If your compost appears to dry add a little water. Water is important during the composting process, but too much water can leave you with a very unpleasant smelling compost bin.

After two weeks your compost should be almost ready, it is safe to use once the temperature drops to below 100 degrees Fahrenheit. There are compost thermometers you can purchase to take the temperature of your compost and see when the temperature starts dropping.



You may be faced with a few small problems when making fast compost for the first time, this is completely understandable. While it is a relatively easy process, it does get easier once you know how.

When you learn how to make fast compost, you don’t get told the basics of what to do if problems arise, so I’ve decided to list them here for you as a troubleshooting exercise should you experience any problems.

Odors: The first thing you may notice is that your compost bin stinks. If it’s close to your home this smell may become unbearable like a garbage bin that hasn’t been cleaned out for some time. There are two causes of odors in your compost bin, the first is air circulation. Plastic compost bins with sealable lids sometimes don’t allow enough air circulation, give your compost a turn and maybe just add some mesh over the bin rather than sealing up the lid.

The other reason for odors is that your compost is too wet. It should be damp but by no means wet. If you find your compost is wet adding some additional brown carbon materials will help. Also be sure that your bin has been placed on a good drainage area, where extra moisture can run off and out of the bin.

Your compost isn’t breaking down: You’ve put all your effort in and no compost is being made, this is very frustrating if you want to make fast compost. This may be due to the fact that your compost is too dry. Try adding a little water to the bin and see if that improves the rate in which the compost grows.

Another reason for your compost not breaking down fast enough is that the size of the pile isn’t big enough; your bin must be at least three foot by three foot in order to heat up enough to make fast compost. Smaller bins take a lot longer to make compost.


Advantages of Fast Compost

The advantage of making fast compost is that the faster the compost is made the higher nutrient level it has and fewer viable weed seeds will remain in the finished compost. It’s been found that compost that takes many months to make tends to lose its nutrient value as it cools down and weeds begin grow in the compost over time.

The ability make fast compost is so beneficial to your garden offering it lots of nutrients and enabling the soil to retain moisture. You will soon enjoy the benefits of a lush green lawn and blooming flowers and healthy trees by making your own compost, recycling all your kitchen waste and saving money that you would have spent on expensive garden fertilizers.

If you are a strong believer in saving the environment then knowing how to make fast compost is exactly what you need to recycle, reduce the amount of waste on landfills and be environmentally friendly to your garden with a completely natural fertilizer and soil amendment.