Compost-ology thermometer
Time & Temperature

Compost piles made with the proper balance of materials, particle size, moisture, aeration and volume will decompose faster and at a higher temperature than piles with an imbalance of any of these factors.

  • A compost pile that is made with the proper materials can heat up to 170ºF and produce usable compost in as short as one month. However, it is best to keep temperatures below 140º to avoid killing beneficial organisms and losing nutrients. Turning a hot pile will cool it off.
  • With less attention to the materials used and the environment provided for them, composting will be cooler and slower, but will still produce good compost.