Rancho Mondo logo

rancho mondo

how to compost manual

Aerobic / Anaerobic Composting

Now that you have some background on the processes of composting, let's get into some specifics.  There are as many ways to make compost as there are people making compost; but they all fall into two general categories.  Anaerobic composting is decomposition that occurs using microorganisms that do not require oxygen.  We will only mention anaerobic composting in passing, primarily because of two reasons:

1)  The process is often referred to as fermentation, and is characterized by very strong odors.

2)  Only a small amount of heat is generated by the process, making the decomposition take a much longer time and not reaching sufficient temperatures to safely kill plant pathogens, weed seeds, etc. Aerobic composting, not surprisingly, is decomposition that occurs using microorganisms that require oxygen to perform their work on our compost pile.


Aerobic composting methods vary from simply raking the material into a pile in the open, to confining it in some manner; and whether to turn and mix the material or not.  The basic requirements of an aerobic compost are:

*  organic matter
*  the appropriate microorganisms
*  moisture
*  oxygen

To better understand the mechanics of aerobic composting we will divide the topic into three major sections; INGREDIENTS of the compost pile, MAKING the compost pile, and MANAGING the compost pile.


< C/N Ratio   —   Table of Contents   —   Ingredients >