Last Updated on January 16, 2023 by Grow with Bovees
The best compost starters will help to accelerate the composting process production. They can improve the quality of the compost from your compost pile by speeding up the breakdown of organic material, i.e. speeding up the composting process in the pile.
Microorganisms are the key element in the decomposition process of a compost pile and to survive they need two things — carbon and nitrogen.
While everyday wood ash, dried leaves, grass clippings, bread, citrus peels, coffee grounds, corn stalks, some types of paper towels, and myriad other kitchen scraps/food waste are relatively easy to come by to add to your pile, nitrogen-rich composting materials, essential for producing the optimum finished compost, are sometimes lacking in an average compost pile.
So, if you notice that your compost heap isn’t turning into “compost” even after a couple of months, then you need to use some type of compost starter to activate the decomposition process in your compost pile.
There are many composting accessories, accelerators and compost starters on the market, so we decided to investigate them for you and come up with our top seven compost accelerators and activators that will get your compost rocking & rolling in record time!
1. Jobe’s Organics Compost Starter
Certainly streets ahead in terms of customer satisfaction with compost starters, Jobe’s is also regarded as the perfect all-rounder in the realm of compost accelerators to add to your compost pile.
Jobe’s Organics Compost Starter contains Jobe’s Biozome® which is a mix of two highly beneficial bacteria; Archaea and Mycorrhizal fungi, that work together to increase the quality of the soil by supplementing any lacking in rich materials, which in turn aids plant development and helps combat disease as well as fighting against the negative impact of some insects.
The improvement in soil quality that they contribute to also increases water-holding properties which are particularly beneficial during periods of drought.
Another important ingredient in Jobe’s product is bone meal which helps promote the production of root growth, leading to increased numbers of blooms followed by healthy fruit. This is due to the high and rich content of calcium and phosphorous (in their natural state) contained in bone-meal.
Another less talked about, but nevertheless, highly beneficial ingredient is feather-meal. As the name suggests, this is basically dried feathers (which are 12% nitrogen!) that have been partly ground up under high pressure and high temperatures.
Feather-meal is used as an additive, both in animal feed and in organic soil supplements, due to its valuable nitrogen content.
If one considers that we humans consume more than 25 billion chickens per year, that’s a lot of feathers that could be put to very good use.
Potassium (potash) is another constituent that Jobe’s use. Potassium helps plants to absorb other nutrients as well as aids with transpiration, respiration, and the transport of water through the plant and the function of enzymes, thereby enabling the plant to produce better quality flowers and more flavorful fruits.
The processed manure that is also present increases further the levels of; phosphorous, calcium, potassium, and sulfur along with basic organic matter.
Jobe’s product is OMRI listed for safe organic gardening by the USDA, which means that it is completely free from synthetic materials and very environmentally friendly for your pile.
Made in the USA, the recommended dosage for Jobe’s starter is two cups per cubic yard of organic waste and they recommend adding it to your compost piles every four to six weeks, which may sound a lot, but when you consider the price per pack compared to other brands, it is very good value!
You can also use it in your kitchen countertop compost bucket to start moving the process along before you even add the material to your pile.
Results from this Jobe’s product are very quick and are generally noticeable within two to three weeks. Compare that with normal timescales for pile composting!
- Quick results within 2 – 3 weeks
- Helps resist disease
- Safe to use with worms
- Deters insects
- Made in the USA
- Several sizes available
- OMRI listed by the USDA
- Free from synthetic materials
- None that we can find
2. Dr. Earth 727 Compost Starter
Dr. Earth 727 Compost Starter is a 100 percent natural and organic product that can play a key role in the making of excellent quality humus compost by speeding up the decomposition of raw organic materials in your pile such as; grass clippings, composting leaves, kitchen waste, and other organic ingredients which contain a plethora of potential nitrogen sources.No products found.
Dr. Earth 727 Compost Starter can be used for a wide range of composting applications and is both a people and pet-friendly thing. It contains a rich blend of ingredients including; seaweed extract, friendly bacteria, alfalfa bi-products, blood meal, and a plethora of soil microbes, which work collectively to break down the organic matter in your kitchen compost bin or your garden compost pile.
With its infusion of TruBiotic® which consists of five of the most beneficial soil microbes, Dr Earth 727 Compost Starter ensures that all materials in a compost pile are digested to the fullest by the microbes.
In addition, its abundance of MicroActive™ Seaweed Nutrients and Alfalfa Bi-products make it suitable for all types of composting methods from a simple pile in a small garden to multi-process setups with a larger scale composting process.
Plus! It is also ideal for making nitrogen-rich compost tea(!) that can be used as a liquid ground fertilizer or for spraying on foliage.
The composting of organic material will ultimately occur, but Dr Earth can make it occur faster.
- Accelerates decomposition of raw organic materials
- Turns kitchen scraps into rich hummus
- Pet, and people safe. No adverse effects on worms
- Contains seaweed extract, alfalfa meal, and soil microbes
- 100 percent natural and organic
- More expensive than Jobes or SCD Bokashi
3. Ringer Compost Plus
Ringer Compost Plus is a rich blend of microorganisms and nutrients, which work together to fire up the composting process. It can be used to compost several things, including brown leaves, lawn clippings, wood chips, pine cones, and twigs.
The compost activator by Ringer Compost transforms common yard waste within 60 to 90 days and a 2 lbs box can be used to convert up to, an impressive, 750 lbs of yard debris into proper rich compost.
- Contains microbes capable of composting pine cones
- Makes compost within 60 to 90 days
- A 2 lb bag can convert 750 lbs of yard debris into rich compost
- No detrimental effects on worms
- Complaints about the way it smells.
4. Biomaster Compost-It Compost Accelerator/Starter
The Biomaster Compost-It Compost Accelerator/Starter is perhaps the quickest of the compost starters we’ve selected as it claims to create compost in just under four weeks. Further, it is compatible with a wide range of composting methods including; drums, compost bins, piles, and tumblers, and is completely safe to use in worm farms.
Biomaster Compost-It accelerator is 100 percent easy to use, boasts an effective natural biological formula, and its ingredients include naturally occurring colony-forming enzymes and bacteria.
These microbes work collectively to break down garden waste items and kitchen food scraps, turning them into nutrient-rich compost. Adding to this, Biomaster Compost-It compost activator and accelerator is chemical and poison-free and greatly reduces unpleasant and unhealthy odors -always a good thing!
- Super quick finished compost!
- Suitable for several different composting methods including tumblers and drums
- 100% easy to use and effective natural biological formula
- Chemical and poison-free
- Safe for a compost bin with worms in it
- Reduces unpleasant and unhealthy odors
- Extremely expensive compared to the others in the top pick
5. DooKashi Natural Odor Eliminator & Compost Accelerator
DooKashi was primarily designed to eliminate odors stemming from chicken poo and urine. But DooKashi has another hidden talent — the ability to speed up the composting process for turning chicken poop into nutrient-rich chicken manure, one of the most nitrogen rich materials you could hope to use as a soil amendment.No products found.
Many home gardeners say that manure is one of their greatest assets, but ‘raw’ chicken manure can’t be used on flowers and vegetables, because when used in it’s ‘raw’ state it can damage the roots, and in worst cases kill your plants.
However, when given a kick start with DooKashi compost accelerator, chicken manure can work miraculously to improve your overall lawn and garden health by adding organic products and increasing the water holding capacity, as well as providing much more; nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium than horse, cow, or steer manure.
DooKashi is a 100 percent natural and scientifically proven to be a product that is safe for both humans and pets if ingested.
It works on several types of bacteria and odor particles at one time, and greatly reduces dirt and waste build-up, two things that one has to make sure of preventing as they can cause sickness, and the spread of salmonella in chicken products.
- 100% natural
- Speeds up the conversion of chicken poop into finished compost
- Safe for humans and pets if ingested
- Limited to 1 size option
6. Roebic Laboratories Bacterial Compost Accelerator
For starters, the Roebic Laboratories bacterial compost accelerator contains pH balancers formulated to maintain soil pH levels and works effectively in a wide range of temperatures.
It is easy to use, and a great way to enhance biological activity, resulting in the quicker breakdown of plant material, ash and food waste products in any type of composting bin to make a carbon rich compost perfect for fertilising your garden soil.
Since it is already buffered to maintain pH levels, you do not need to add lime, as it is rich in calcium and magnesium. It is even effective in green compost piles as it has a fast-acting nutrient-rich formula.
- Easy to use
- Suitable for use in any type of composter/pile
- Enhances the biological activity
- Already buffered to maintain pH levels
- Rich in calcium and magnesium
- Fast-acting nutrient-rich formula
- Not available in solid-state
Compost Starter Buying Guide For Kitchen And Yard Waste Composting
Contents – look for products that are made from organic material, and have a good nitrogen ratio and plenty of good bacteria and microbes.
Compatibility – The best compost activators are suitable for a plethora of different composting methods including drums, compost bins, piles, and tumblers.
Size — compost activators are available in a wide range of sizes, where each is designed to help make a certain amount of compost. If you have a large pile/amount of trash to convert to compost, buy a larger size of compost starter.
Final Thoughts on Compost Starters
The bottom line is, if you want to speed up your composting efforts, you can’t really go wrong with any of the starters/accelerators mentioned on this list.
But, without using any of the products on this list, and with proper aeration, the process of making nutrient-rich compost will certainly take anywhere between three months and three years in an average compost pile.