Compost is the organic-rich, thermally-treated, biologically-stable, degradation
product of an aerobic degradation process. *
However, there are as many types of compost as there are
feedstocks and different uses.
Compost may possess a wide variety of parameters such as carbon to
nitrogen ratio, microbial diversity, moisture content, grain size, stability,
and nutrient content. These parameters are determined by both process and
feedstock composition and can be controlled to produce a product to fit a
particular purpose. Compost may also be the aerobically treated residual
of an anaerobic digestion process. This material is a specific
sub-category of the typical aerobically digested organic residual,
which also strongly depends upon feedstock and process for its
A compost prepared for use as a mulch will require a higher C:N ratio
and larger particle size than
one intended for a vegetable garden amendment.
A roadside stabilization compost will require a larger particle size than
one intended to top dress a golf course turf.
The use of compost adds organic matter and nutrients, increases the water
holding capacity, and increases the
microbial diversity of soil systems where human activities such as logging,
plowing, or pollution, may have sterilized