What is meant by compost inoculation?

Monday, 18 April 2011  |  HOTBIN Composting

Compost inoculation is adding bacteria to start the population growth.

With the right food and conditions, 1 bacterium could multiply into 8 billion bacteria in 13 hours. Only a small number are needed to start the process, i.e. inoculate the heap. There is usually enough bacteria in the air (as spores), on your waste plant/food going into the heap to start.

You do not need commercial inoculants/powders in the HOTBIN however when setting up your HOTBIN, adding a handful of an old compost pile will give your base layer a good kick-start.


A handful of garden soil, old compost or composted wood chip sprinkled onto waste will ‘inoculate’ a brand new bin (at no cost), after this there is enough bacteria on the walls . (The usual estimate quoted is that 1 gram of soil typically contains 1 billion bacteria).