Greener Thumb
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Location: Zone 8A Western Washington State

Should I & Do you: Add beneficial bacteria?

Should I / Do you add beneficial bacteria supplements to the compost pile?
If you do, where do you buy it? What do you buy? How often do you add it & when?
Or do you just let the bacteria replenish naturally?
I want to speed up my compost pile & am thinking that adding bacteria might help.
I know people to that to septic systems.

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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

I add some soil from the yard it has plenty enough organisms. I used to add a compost starter but I only did it once. It is a lot like sourdough starter, a little keeps going and going and going as long as you keep feeding it. When I used to have a compost pile, I added fertilizer to it to get it to heat up when I did not have enough greens. Most of the time it was the other way around. I had a lot of greens and not enough browns.

I have switched to worm composting. It is easier for me to manage since the worms do the turning and I don't have enough greens and browns at one time to build a hot compost. The worm bin takes up less space. It still attracts vermin though. I think I do more roach than worm composting.

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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

I don't buy the "starter"/"activator" if that's what you are asking. I do occasionally buy different brand bagged compost -- usually when they look newly delivered and not last year's inventory nor like they had been sitting in the sun and rain -- and put some of that in my compost piles and some in the AACT (actively aerated compost tea). I put in the strained dregs from the AACT in the compost piles. I put in old juice, yogurt and soured milk, lacto-fermented pickles that got too old or the juice, moldy bread and old rice. Bokashi and Bokashi leachate when I have some.

I put in seashells and seafood scraps including lobster, shrimp, and crab shells.

Except for the tumbling composters which I just retrieved from my parents, my compost piles are on the ground and become earthworm haven once they cool down.

Mr green
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Location: Sweden

In my opinion thats a product that aint needed, just another thing the capitalize on. A handfull of old compost, or even native soil will do the trick.

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Super Green Thumb
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Location: TN/GA 7b

I agree, no reason in the world to buy stuff like that. As people have said, I just throw in a handful of good garden soil here and there.

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Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:50 pm
Location: MO

Ditto. There are always a few chunks of half digested stuff from the compost that get thrown back in, and as long as it's in contact with the ground, the pile will have all the microbes it needs.

Are you managing your C:N ratio, moisture and air? Get all those right and your compost will go as fast as it can.

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