There are some BAD compost products out there. In order to find a great compost for your garden, we’re going to help you use two of your keen senses: sight and smell. First, what’s the compost look like? You want the compost to have a crumbly structure somewhat similar to coffee grounds. If you look at so-called compost that still looks like the ingredients it is made from, it is bad and can’t even really be called “compost.” Great compost is fine and smooth to the touch, which means the breakdown process was nurtured correctly. Also, compost should look like a rich brown soil, not completely black. Black compost is not black gold. In most cases, if it’s black it means the compost got too hot and began converting to an ash state. A nice brown to dark brown soil is what you actually want.

Next, what’s the compost smell like? If it smells like “crap” then it is “crap!” It’s that simple. If compost smells horrible and you would never want to touch it, this means it has not been fully composted and it is breaking down. Quality compost should smell like earthy dirt you would find out camping. A quality compost will smell like the forest.

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