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Plants after lots of use in the garden can take away much of the nutrition in the soil. It is a great idea to fertilize it. But if you store fertilizer, does it go bad? If it does, how long is it good for? In this article, I am going to answer these questions.

Compost (even compost you make at home) does not go bad unless you store it the wrong way. If you store it for a while, it is going to break down and that is ok. It doesn’t affect the quality; that’s what it’s supposed to do. When it breaks down, that’s the optimal way plants ingest the nutrients. It will seem like after storing humus compost that it loses volume over time. It does but very little every year. The nutrients never go ‘bad’, so don’t worry if it will affect your crops.

How to maintain compost

There is no worry if your compost goes bad, but there are some places where the compost will break down faster. Compost breaks down faster in a hot, moist humid place rather than a cool dry place. Compost doesn’t have expiry dates. When storing compost, it should be in a container that is not air-tight and should let in a little water. Keeping the compost open to air allows oxygen to get to the microbes, and if they die, the compost goes anaerobic.

Usually, if you buy compost and have it open for more than 6 months, it can grow fungus, rot and even lose nutrients. It’s best to use it as soon as possible.

Cold composting

Cold composting refers to collecting any waste product or organic material (grass, leaves, wood, etc.) in a pile of compost so that it decomposes to make more. Organic material usually takes 1 to 2 years to decompose.

You don’t have to buy any compose material to cold compose.

Just throw anything and everything organic into the pile and wait. Cold compost is optimally placed in the shade to prevent the sun from drying it out. It might be a good idea to mix it once in a while.

Also, don’t add dairy, meat or fat products in. The kitchen scraps go in the middle for the best results.

Hot composting

This is a decompose method that takes a shorter time. You can decompose the same amount of cold composting matter for 2 years in 6 months. The materials have to be placed in high temperatures. The way this works is that the bacteria and microbes in the organic matter adapt to the heat.

They can stand the heat, but they work faster. They become more efficient, and the matter can be decomposed in months, as opposed to years. Hot compost is usually richer in nutrients and promotes plant growth more than cold compost.


It really doesn’t matter what way you get the compost; they will all do their job. If you need compost fast, buying it or doing hot composting is the best option. If you can wait a few years, cold composting is great, but it is best to mix it eventually. If you need help, talk to a professional or someone specialized in gardening. Hope this helps.

Thank you for reading.