With spring on the way, many people have turned their attention outside and are wondering how to tackle the garden.

Very often, just the thought of the task at hand is enough to make you break out in a cold sweat. But the good news is that everyone with a garden possesses a multitude of effective, talented and free gardeners!

Do you have grand designs on your garden this year? By reusing organic waste from your house and garden, you can make a good compost, which can be used to great effect in your garden. And the best bit? In a good compost, bacteria and fungi do the work for you.

“Bacteria and fungi do the work by converting your garbage into compost. The most common bacteria found in the compost heap use oxygen, so-called aerobic bacteria” explains Jan Vester, who is a scientist at Novozymes where he is an expert in bacteria.

Bacteria are the most numerous organisms on earth, and Jan Vester looks for bacteria, which, among other things, can be used to produce enzymes or sustainable green manure.

In a good compost heap, you should be able to find snails, mites, spiders and many other organisms, but the main ingredient is bacteria. In fact, there can be several million in just one gram of soil. You would have to lay 10,000 bacteria side by side to measure just 1 cm. And if you have ever wondered why compost heaps steam after heavy showers, the answer lies in the activity from bacteria and fungi, which creates heat in the pile.

“I love to sit on a chair and enjoy spring while looking at my compost heap. It’s great to know that bacteria are doing all the hard work turning my household waste into compost”, says Jan Vester.

What are microorganisms and bacteria?

Microorganisms and bacteria are microscopic living organisms. The study of microorganisms is called microbiology and it is a subject that started with the discovery of microorganisms back in 1674 by Aton van Leeuwenhoek.

In ecosystems, microorganisms are crucial as they help maintain life and decompose materials such as plants. Bacteria are the most numerous and common organisms on earth. But due to their wide distribution and microscopic size, it is impossible to count them all.