Best compost at home and Different ways for Composting
Composting is the only way to have 100% organic fruits and vegetables. Compost is a proof that there is life after death. It nourishes soil as well as plants. But buying it on the stores can cost lots of money. So, composting can be a great money savior for gardeners. Process for making it is also simple and easy. We can manage our house degradable waste by ourself too. In this article we will be learning about compost and different methods for easy composting.
What is compost?
Compost is the decomposed form of organic matters rich in nutrients which would be otherwise be considered as waste. Kitchen and garden wastes when decomposed can make great compost at home.
Basics for making compost
- Nitrogenous ( green) waste
- Carbon (brown) waste
Benefits of composting
- Using compost on crops reduces the need of chemical fertilizer.
- Adding compost on soil improves the texture of soil.
- Improves drainage of excessive water and retention of moisture.
- Provide wide range of nutrient to the plants.
- Using compost on soil also reduces the incidence of disease and pest on crops.
- Plays an important role on reducing the carbon emission on the environment, hence reducing your carbon footprint.
What should and shouldn’t be included on compost?
Should be included:
-Green waste: Fruit and vegetable scrapes, garden clippings, tea bags, coffee ground, egg shells, crop residue.
– Brown waste: Dry leaves, small braches and twigs, saw dust, shredded paper, cardboard, vacuum cleaner lint, ash.
Should not be included: Meat, fish, bones, milk and milk products, pet waste, charcoal ash, disease or insect ridden plants, pet waste, black walnut leaves or twigs.
How to make compost?
Compost can be made at home by different methods, some of them are explained below:
1.Digging a pit and covering with soil:
This method can be used when the waste for composting is small in amount. In this method,
Filling with decomposable stuffs
Cover with soil at the top
-Select a suitable place and dig a pit. Size of pit can be made according to the amount of waste you have for composting.
-Now collect the waste, kitchen waste and green garden waste are most suitable for this type of composting. Small amount of brown waste can also be added.
-Then keep all the collected waste inside the pit. Mixing of waste with soil or matured compost speeds up the composting process. Also addition of earthworms helps in faster decomposition.
– Now cover the pit with soil. Keeping the soil height about a feet above the waste protect it from pets or rodents digging up.
-Moistening the soil above the pit area once in a month helps in decomposition process.
Compost is ready to be used after 3-4 months.
Check the video to learn how we do it.
2.Piling the waste on open area:
This method of composting can be done if the waste is small to medium in amount. For this method,
-Select a suitable space on backyard for composting. This type of composting attracts insects, pest and also some odor is produced. So while selecting the space for composting it should be kept at least 20-30 meters away from home.
-Pile the waste. It is done simply by adding the waste on pile on regular basis.
-Add cow dung to enhance the process of composting.
-Turning the pile at least once in a month enhances the composting process and also produce better compost. Watering of pile is also necessary to keep it moist which is necessary for good composting.
-Compost is ready to be used after 3-4 months. In this method, compost is formed on the bottom of pile so it can be taken out and used while turning the pile.
- Keeping a roof above the pile helps to protect it from sun and rain which helps in preventing the loss of nutrients.
- Covering the pile with dry grass reduces odor.
3. Keeping the waste in trench on layers:
This method can be used if the waste is medium to large in amount. In this method,
-Dig a pit at least 3 feet depth (depth can be maintained according to the amount of waste).
-In this method different kinds of waste are separated and are kept in the trench in layers of about 15 cm height.
-At first put a layer of straw, dry leaves, twigs and small branches at the bottom.
-Now the next layer is green garden clippings and kitchen waste. The materials used in this layer should be well moistened before adding to the pile.
-Then add a thin layer, 3-4 cm of soil or finished compost.
-Now add next layer of straw or dry leaves. Saw dust can also be used in this layer but it should be not more than 5-6 cm in height.
-Again add a layer of green waste.
-Repeat the process till the top of the pit.
-Cover the pit with a thick layer of soil.
Compost is ready within 3-4 months by this method.
If the waste are not available in required amount, they can be collected for some time in different pit or bin which can be later used on pit for composting.
OR pit can be filled over time by adding the wastes gradually on the same fashion but it should not take too long to fill the pit.
This method of composting uses worms as composters. Red wigglers, white worms and earthworms are used for producing the end product known as vermicast. In this method,
-Buy a vermicomposting bin which can be easily found on gardening supplier stores. It can also be easily made at home by drilling holes on bottom, sides and lid on a container. At least 4-5 holes of 1/8 inch diameter should be drilled on each side.
-The bins should be placed above two blocks to keep them off the ground. Lay off a piece of plastic or a tray on the floor then place the blocks above it on which vermicomposting bin is placed. Excess moisture will flow down from the bin which should be collected and used as fertilizer as it is equally or even more nutritional.
-Now bedding should be made by soaking shredded papers and cardboard. They are kept at the bottom of container. The bedding should be made thick about 4- 8 inches. Colorful or shiny papers should not be used.
-Then a thin layer of soil should be kept above the bedding.
-After that waste should be placed evenly. Well chopped waste are better for vermicomposting.
-Leave the bin for a week by covering the lid.
-Then add the worms on the bin by making a hole at the middle and placing the worms inside it.
-Now finally you can add waste on the bin at an interval of a week as worms do not like much disturbance.
-Harvesting of the vermicast can be started after 5-6 months. Complete harvesting should be done after all the bedding is converted to compost.
EM stands for effective microorganisms. Addition of EM on compost pile help in faster decomposition of waste by making the environment suitable for decomposer micro organisms. EMs can be easily found on the gardening stores. This method of composting is very useful when large amount of garden waste are to be composted.
If outdoor space is not available for composting, it can be done indoor on compost bins. Such bins are easily available at hardware or gardening stores or can be made on your own. If done properly indoor composting produce no bad odor or attract insects and the results are faster as well. But special attention should be given on what you throw into your bin and how often you tend the compost (moisture and turning of waste).
Problem on composting
Smelly compost: It may be due to
- Too moist: It can be solved by adding dry waste.
- Wrong input: They can be meat, fish, egg, milk etc
- Anaerobic condition: Such condition may be as a result of too much water or compressed pile due to lack of time to time turning.
So finally, Why should you compost at all??
-You can use compost on plants in your garden, backyard farm or indoor and outdoor pots and make them happy and healthy.
-Compost is a must in organic farming. Also using compost along with chemical fertilizers adds micro nutrients to plants and tends soil.
-Buying compost costs alot of money, which can be saved by making use of wastes at your home.
-Composting decomposable waste at home reduces waste on landfill and their harmful gas emissions. Hence reducing your carbon footprint.
-Last but not the least, composting is very simple and easy. So, why not do it?
Any of the method can be used for making the compost. Let us know which way you would like the most and which compost do you think is best. Questions and comments are highly appreciated.