Decomposition phase: two to three weeks.
volume (approx. 1 cu-metre of a good mix of shredded material is needed
to create high temperatures. Quick heating, from 40 °C upwards,
warmth-loving fungi and spore-forming bacteria begin to break down the
cellulose, and the temperature increases to 65—70 °C. The thermal
phase destroys weed seeds and harmful organisms.
Composition phase: several months,
Depending on the time of year and the ambient temperature, a lot of
oxygen is also required, and the work is now completed by worms,
isopods, soil mites. maggots and springtails. They break the material
down into suitable nutrients for muckworms and compost worms. These
combine mineral and organic substances in their intestines. enrich the
compost with their faeces and build up stable humic forms and clay humus
compounds. Plant tolerance is achieved at the end of this phase. A
fungal odour (actinomycetes) is a forest smell and a sign of maturity.
The plant decomposition process can be anaerobic (without air) or
aerobic (with air).
Plant tolerance is tested by sowing cress in a vessel filled with an even mix of garden earth and compost. If the cress grows quickly without turning blue, the compost can be used without any problems. If there is poor growth and leaf damage, the compost is only suitable for mulching.