So assuming I have a ripen pile of humus, I'd now like to remove the humus but don't know if I should keep in mind any type of cautions and techniques.

Some people have a proper door in the bin that allows to remove from the lower part of the bin, or some other people even have a filter that allows the humus to fall directly into a drawer. But I have a small amount of material in a couple of paint cans. Hence the question

Is it ok to just remove humus with a regular filter?

Is this advisable? Or does this have some undesired results?

  • Are the paint cans completely dried? Go ahead and use this compost. I wouldn't be using paint cans even dried. As soon as your compost looks fine, uniform and unlike whatever it used to be it should be ready to feed your soils. Put it on top of the soil and the micro and macro organisms come up from the soil, eat this stuff (has to be completely decomposed) then take it right back into the soil profile, poop it out...aerating and mixing organic matter into ANY SOIL...this is the only way to improve ANY SOIL.
    – stormy
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 20:47
  • @stormy does this mean that ripe humus is a homogenous composition!? Or tha whatever I have ready can be trrown directly to dirt to be fertilised? This may actually be good news. I thought I needed to separate. Perhaps this main question above is not correctly phrased... maybe I need to correct it or remove it ...
    – nilon
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 22:44

1 Answer 1


You don't need to do anything fancy at all unless you want to. (Some people compost quite successfully by throwing the scraps into a pit right in the garden, for example). Screening / filtering is optional unless the seedlings are tiny. Short of serious chemical contamination, any humus is good humus. Homogeneous doesn't need even to be a goal. Go ahead and use it. Congratulations for becoming a composter!

  • so rests of food still decomposing is ok to throw at plants? will it not rotten and emanate bad odor?
    – nilon
    Commented Jul 2, 2017 at 13:28
  • 1
    It’s OK for the plants. As for being OK for you and your neighbors, it’s possible the remaining food will create a little smell especially if you live in a wet climate. It will be no more smell, and likely less, than the same material would if you left it in the compost. If you pull out by hand the big chunks of un-decomposed food, the ones the size of whole tangerines, it should all be fine. If your compost is big, you can use a garden fork or shovel to set aside the top couple undecomposed inches. Put the rest on the garden, then return the freshest material to the bin.
    – InColorado
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 15:44

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