Garden compost is super simple to create – you just need to follow a few rules to make sure that what comes out of your pile is odor-free, rich, vibrant, and nourishing for your soil. It doesn’t even matter what C:N ratio you’ve got – decomposition is happening.
As you visit your compost each week, you’ll see it goes through three phases: (1) mesophilic, which lasts for a few days – this is the point where the temperature begins to rise very quickly to peak temperature, due to heat given off by food web activity. Then it reaches phase (2) thermophilic, which can last for a few days to a few months – this is the point of highest microbial activity from thermophyllic organisms. At some point most of the original organic matter has been consumed and as this quantity continues to decline, so too does food web activity, and we enter phase (3) cooling and maturation, which can last for a few months. Once your compost has cooled to ambient temperature, you are free to use it in your garden.
Simple, right? There’s no complex math or science when you simply want to replenish your soil with what your garden has taken.