Compost Activators


What is compost activator?

Is it something you have to buy for your compost, or is it just a suggestion?

What are the different types of compost activators you can choose from?

Compost activator is any material that is added to your compost pile to give it a boost and make it start decomposing sooner than it ordinarily would. These activators help you compost process fast, so they’re especially beneficial to add during the first few days of the compost pile’s existence.

Although you don’t have to use an activator, it can make a big difference in the amount of time it takes for your compost to break down. If you’re in a hurry to get started composting or you just want to process your compost as quickly as you can, you can’t go wrong using an activator.

There are a few different styles of compost activator to consider:

  • Dry activator: This is usually a blend of materials that are both carbon-rich and nitrogen-rich. It’s added to the compost to give it a boost.
  • Wet activator: This can take the place of water in your compost pile and is a good way to start the breakdown process.
  • Inoculator: Although this isn’t quite the same, inoculator is still a type of activator. This offer contains microbes as well as healthy materials for your compost pile.

Read on to find the right activator for your composting needs.

Option #1

Jobe’s Organics Compost Starter

Jobe's Organics 09926 Fast Acting Fertilizer Compost Starter, 4...

Check out Jobe’s Organics Compost Starter to help you begin composting fast. This is a certified organic product that’s safe for use on edible plants as well as decorative ones. Use it to improve your soil quality and make it easier for plants to grow in your compost, too.


  • This choice comes in a bag that’s designed to be easy to pour.
  • This option comes in three-pound, four-pound, and six-pound options.


  • The instructions for use of this choice are difficult to understand.
  • Some customers report this option doesn’t make much of a difference in compost speed.

Option #2

Dr. Earth Compost Starter

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No products found. comes in several pack size options to help you find the right volume of compost starter for your needs. Safe for use around pets as well as kids, this activator can speed up your composting process when used according to its directions.


  • This compost starter is made of alfalfa and seaweed for an organic composition.
  • This offer introduces healthy microbes to your compost.


  • Rarely, this offer may arrive in a torn or damaged bag.
  • Customers may need to use more of this choice to see results than they would with other products.
No products found.

Option #3

Safer Ringer Plus Compost Starter

Safer 3050-6 Ringer Plus-Compost Starter Kit Brand, 2 lb, White

With Safer Ringer Plus Compost Starter, you can pick between a one-pack or a six-pack to suit most garden size needs. This choice is designed to help your compost break down in 60 to 90 days in most instances, when other composting needs are met.


  • It only takes a single bag to jumpstart up to 750 pounds of waste for composting.
  • This compost activator introduces microbes to your soil for nutrient and health purposes.


  • This option may not always make a difference.
  • The smell may be stronger on this option than some others.

Option #4

SCD Probiotics All Seasons Bokashi Compost Starter

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Pick up a bag of No products found. to get your compost going strong. This offer is made of bran and includes microbes that will be introduced to your compost pile as soon as you start using it. This choice helps “pickle” waste and break it down fast with no strong odor.


  • This option is great for use in Bokashi bins or much smaller, apartment-sized composting setups.
  • This offer helps reduce pest presence in composting.


  • This choice may be costly, since it takes a lot of it to process a round of compost.
  • It may still take some time for compost to break down when using this offer.
No products found.

Option #5

Medina Compost Starter

Compost Starter 4 Oz. Treat up to 1,000 Lbs of Compost

Try Medina Compost Starter if you’re looking for a slightly different take on compost activator. This activator is a powdered consistency and is meant to be sprinkled over your compost before mixing it into the pile. This way, it introduces fungi and bacteria into your compost that can help it break down faster.


  • This option can be mixed with water and sprayed over your compost to make it break down even faster and more successfully.
  • One ounce of this starter can be used to treat up to 250 pounds of waste.


  • This offer comes in a small container and isn’t available in bulk.
  • This choice may not add as many healthy microbes to your compost as some others on the list.

Option #6

Espoma Organic Traditions Compost Starter

Espoma Organic Traditions Compost Starter- 4 lb Bag BE4

With Espoma Organic Traditions Compost Starter, you can enjoy a healthy and efficient way to help break down your compost. This starter can be used to treat up to 16 square feet of waste with just one cup of the activator, so it’s convenient and doesn’t cost too much to stock up on the product, either.


  • This option is easy to use by simply sprinkling it onto your compost, wetting it, and then turning the pile.
  • This offer can be used with each new layer of compost material.


  • This choice may have a strong smell.
  • The activator may attract pests and pets to the compost pile.

Option #7

Exaco Microbial Inoculant Composting Activator

TeraGanix Compost Accelerator, Reduce Odors, Liquid Compost...

Choose Exaco Microbial Inoculant Composting Activator for an easy-to-use liquid activator option. This option includes plenty of healthy bacteria that are ideal for breaking down waste. Just mix it according to the directions on the bottle and sprinkle it into your compost pile to see results fast.


  • This offer is popular with commercial growers, so it is a good choice for residential gardeners as well.
  • One bottle lasts about six months.


  • This choice can be trickier to use than some others on the market.
  • This option may not help much with odors.


Did you find a composting activator you like the looks of? There are many choices out there, and it may take a little time for you to pick the one you think will work best for your garden’s compost pile. However, keep in mind that all of these options listed above are high-quality compost activators and can provide a great way to give your compost a head start on the decomposition process. You can’t go wrong choosing from our list of top picks and bringing home a product for your compost pile.

Of course, there are some individuals who feel that it’s too costly to buy activator, especially when you may need to use it so frequently. If this sounds like you, then you may be surprised and pleased to know you can make your own activator instead!

When you make your own composting activator, you’ll be able to put together a product that will work great without breaking the bank. And best of all, since you’ll likely have plenty of ingredients on hand, you can make this choice again and again and use it every time you need to clean out and restart your compost.

If you prefer to make your own compost activator, here is a quick guide to help you get started.


  • 5-gallon bucket made of any material
    • Choose a bucket that never contained chemicals, and make sure it’s clean before you begin.
  • Beer
  • Ammonia
  • Soda
  • Gallon jugs (or other method of measuring gallons of water)
  • Shovel


  1. Set up your bucket on a sturdy surface, like a wooden board in the yard or out of the way on the driveway. It’s best not to mix it up inside the garage if you can help it, since you’ll need to carry it out to your compost pile shortly.
  2. Add six ounces of beer to the bucket to introduce yeast, which helps break down materials.
  3. Add a half-cup of ammonia to introduce even more nitrogen to your composting pile.
  4. Top off the mixture with two gallons of warm (but not hot) water. The water will help cut the other ingredients and prevent them from being too harsh for the compost.
  5. Finally, pour in 12 ounces of non-diet soda to add sugars to feet your microorganisms.
  6. Mix everything together well to combine.
  7. Pour everything over your compost pile and use a shovel to mix it completely.

By following this guide, you can jumpstart your compost pile without having to spend money on commercially-available compost activators if you choose.

In the end, the decision is up to you! Decide whether you’d like to make your own composting activator or you want to go with something that is already mixed up and available for sale in the right volume and ratio. Both are good choices and are sure to help you get your compost going strong from day one!

Last update on 2022-12-27 at 03:30 Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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