24 Composting Terms Defined

When I started thinking about what I could do with my vegetable scraps from the house I did a little research. What I found was information about making compost. However there were many terms some of which are used one way by a writer and another way by another writer. What I have attempted to do is create a short reference of composting terminology. The words are grouped somewhat categorically rather than alphabetically.

Organic – once living, containing carbon, generally considered to be chemical free

Inorganic – not involving living organisms, composed of minerals

Compost- mixture of decayed vegetable or other organic matter often used by gardeners as organic fertilizer

Humus – often used interchangeable with the word compost, a dark brown organic component of soil derived from decayed organic matter

Mulch – protective covering for plants or soil from compost or wood chips which prevents erosion and helps retain moisture

Anaerobic – without air, absence of oxygen

Aeration – to add or allow airflow

Bacteria – plural for bacterium, single celled often parasitic organism responsible for decay, fermentation and nitrogen fixation as well as some disease

Fungus – spore producing organism, absorbing nutrients from organic matter, fungi is plural

Microbe – living organism which transmits disease, which is so small it can only be seen using magnification such as a microscope

Microorganism – word used interchangeably with microbe

Pathogen – something that can cause disease

Bin – compost container type for making compost, may be open or enclosed, made of wire,wood,plastic,concrete

Barrel – compost container type for making compost that is enclosed and often is rolled to mix contents

Tumbler – compost container type for making compost that is enclosed and is often on a stand that allows easy turning of contents using a handle

Counter top – compost container type used indoors that holds components for making compost to be put into a larger container located outdoors

Decomposition – breakdown or decay of organic materials into simpler form

Mineral – inorganic substance occurring naturally

Carbon – nonmetallic chemical element needed for all living organisms – matter high in carbon is considered a brown material in composting

Nitrogen – nonmetallic element needed for proteins – matter high in nitrogen is considered green in composting

Leached – lose a mineral dissolved in rainwater – drained away in soil

Hot Compost – the temperature of the material which is composting is 141 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit

Cold Compost – A compost pile that decays very slowly, very little maintenance is required

Vermiculture – using worms to create compost

I am Patricia Bass owner of Buck Branch Enterprize. The word enterprize is misspelled intentionally because my rewards and i hope those of the consumer are a prize. I am fortunate to be able to sit on my porch of my property where a creek for which the business is named runs. I can listen to the sweet soothing sound of water year round. I watch as my horses graze or run and play at pasture. My cattle relax in the sunshine. As you might think, I am supplied with endless natural material for making compost. Please visit my store
http://www.compostingplace.com”>http://www.compostingplace.com to purchase garden composting bins,items for barrel composting and compost bins tumbler as well as rain harvesting barrels. And as i like to say, enrich the earth, enjoy composting today.