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Organic Composting for Urban Gardening

Organic composting steps, process, and method

Today, we discuss the topic of Organic Composting for Urban, Outdoor and Home Gardening. What is compost manure? Compost manure is a mixture of decaying organic matter used to fertilize the soil. Compost is generally made from gathering plant material, such as leaves, grass clippings, and vegetable peels, into a pile or bin and letting it rot. Manure and other substances are often added to improve the mixture or to speed its decomposition. In a nutshell, compost manure is decomposed organic matter. Composting is a natural method of recycling organic material such as leaves and vegetable scraps into a rich soil amendment that gardeners have fondly nickname black gold.

Compost is decomposed organic material that is formed when bacteria in the soil break down garbage and biodegradable trash, resulting in a product rich in minerals that is an ideal garden or landscaping amendment. In fact, its nature’s an ideal amendment and can be added to the soil any time of year without the fear of burning plants or polluting water.

Organic compost manure is rotten plant and animal waste. Composting produces an organic fertilizer high in plant nutrients which develop soil physical characteristics, reduces organic waste on the farm and eliminates pathogens.

Accumulation of Cow Dung.
Accumulation of Cow Dung.

Easy steps to organic composting:

Choose your type of backyard compost bin:

Use either an open pile or a compost bin. Bins have the advantage of being neat, maintaining animals out and preserving heat. You can purchase compost bins from a selection of garden and home stores, or you can build your own compost bin. The size and type of bin you purchase or build will depend on how much compostable material generates.

Choose your composter location:

You must choose a location which is flat, well-drained and sunny. Most importantly, you must find a convenient location.

Alternate layers:

Start with a layer of materials like twigs to allow for drainage and aeration. Cover this material layer with leaves. Then basically alternate between layers of green materials (nitrogen-rich material) and browns (carbon-rich material).

Add kitchen and yard waste as they accumulate:

Collect kitchen compostables in a container in your kitchen. Find a handy position to store this container on the counter, under the sink or in the freezer. When the container is full, empty its contents into the compost bin.

Whenever add food scraps or yard waste, be sure to top it with a layer of browns. If you do not add browns, compost will be wet and break down more slowly. If possible, assemble and store dry leaves in old garbage in the fall so can use them in your compost year round. Depending on the form of compost bin or pile you have chosen there can be specific ways of adding and maintaining compost.

Add layers until your bin is full:

The bin contents or pile will shrink as it begins to decompose.

Maintain your compost bin:

To get finished compost quickly, check your compost bin and make sure the following conditions are met:

  • When you add fresh material, be sure to combine it in with the lower layers.
  • Materials must be as wet as a rung-out sponge. Add dry materials or water, whichever is needed to make this moisture level.
  • Mix or turn the compost once a week to help the breakdown procedure and eliminate odor.
Harvest your compost:

Completed composts will be dark, crumbly and smell like earth. You must be able to have finished compost within four to six months of starting your bin.

The completed compost will end up at the top of the bin or compost pile. Remove all the finished compost from the bin, leaving unfinished materials in the bin to maintain decomposing. Be sure the decomposition procedure is complete before you use your compost; or else, microbes in the compost can take nitrogen from the soil and harm plant growth.

Read: How To Grow Brinjal in Pots.

How to make compost manure:

Compost manure can be prepared from any waste material, but the duration varies with the nature and type of the ingredients used in its preparation. The duration of compost manure is dependent on the nature of the ingredients used in the process; some compost takes about four months or more, but the one am about to share with you takes just four days and you have your compost ready to boost the productivity of your soil.

The ingredients needed for compost manure preparation:

You need these below ingredients to prepare your compost. These materials are:

  • 1 part Poultry manure
  • 2 parts of Spent mushroom compost
  • 1 Charcoal
  • 2 liters of Molasses or sugar or honey
  • Half part of Effective Microorganisms
  • 2 parts of Clean Soil
  • 20 liters of water

Also, you require a compost bin or a compost pit. Compost pit importance is the same as a compost bin because they serve the same function; they serve as the site of operation, where you prepare compost. Compost pit is a permanent arrangement; it looks like a pit where prepare the compost; while the compost bin is mobile and durable but limited in the amount of compost it can accommodate.

The poultry manure is the waste material gotten for poultry birds. Spent mushroom compost is the second material; it can’t get spent mushroom compost, I mean the spent substrate of mushroom farming, then restore with 1 part rice bran and 1 part wood shavings. Also, you can replace the molasses with sugar or honey, but of course those are expensive.

Organic composting process for home gardening

Composting is nature’s system of recycling. Composting system biodegrades organic waste. That is food waste, manure, leaves, grass trimmings, paper, wood, feathers, crop residue, etc., and turns it into an important organic fertilizer.

Composting is a natural biological procedure, carried out under controlled aerobic conditions (requires oxygen). In this procedure, various microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi, break down organic matter into simpler substances. The effectiveness of the composting procedure is dependent upon the environmental conditions present within the composting structure, i.e. oxygen, temperature, moisture, material disturbance, organic matter and the size and action of microbial populations.

Composting is not a mysterious or complicated procedure. Natural recycling (composting) occurs on a continuous source in the natural environment. Organic matter is metabolized by microorganisms and extreme by invertebrates. The resulting nutrients are returned to the soil to maintain plant growth.

Organic composting is very easy to manage and can be carried out on a wide range of scales in almost any indoor or outdoor environment and in almost any geographic position. It has the potential to control most of the organic material in the waste stream, including restaurant waste, leaves and yard wastes, farm waste, animal manure, animal carcasses, paper goods, sewage sludge, wood, etc. and can be simply incorporated into any waste management plan.

Since approximately 45 to 55% of the waste stream is organic matter, composting can play a significant role in diverting waste from landfills thereby conserving landfill space and dropping the production of leachate and methane gas. An efficient composting program can produce a high-quality soil amendment with a variety of end users.

The essential elements necessary by the composting microorganisms are carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and moisture. If any of these elements are lacking, or if they are not present in the proper proportion, the microorganisms will not flourish and will not present adequate heat. A composting procedure that operates at optimum performance will convert organic matter into stable compost that is odor and pathogen free, and a poor breeding substrate for flies and other insects. It will considerably reduce the volume and weight of organic waste as the composting procedure converts much of the biodegradable component to gaseous carbon dioxide.

The composting procedure is carried out by three classes of microbes –

  • Psychrophiles – low-temperature microbes
  • Mesophiles -medium temperature microbes
  • Thermophiles – high-temperature microbes

Read: How To Grow Palakura In Pots.

Tips and techniques of organic composting

Here are a few more tips for organic compost making;

  • Help start a new compost pile with blood meal, cottonseed meal, well-aged manure or by compost starter. They are rich in nitrogen and help “fire-up” the microbes dependable for breaking down organic matter into compost.
  • Chop or shred materials before putting them in the compost pile or compost bin. The lesser it is, the faster it will break down.
  • Use a kitchen compost pail for storing food scraps. It will reduce the number of trips you create to the compost pile.
  • Plants that have been treated with pesticides and herbicides like weeds and lawn clippings should be avoided.
  • Add a lot to your pile at once, rather than in small doses to support the pile to heat up.
  • Turning composts will introduce oxygen and speed up the composting procedure.
  • Keep your compost pile or bin in the sun. Microbes are more active when warm conditions.
  • Activators can obtain a slow compost heap sped up.
  • Finished compost is generally less than half the volume of the materials you started with, but it’s much denser.
  • Apply finished compost to your garden about 2 to 4 weeks before you plant, giving the compost time to integrate and stabilize within the soil.

Benefits of organic composting for home gardening:

Many benefits of organic compost are given below;

Organic compost energizes the soil food web, which is made up of microscopic bacteria and fungi, along with earthworms, crickets, and several other life forms. Many fungi form symbiotic, or mutually rewarding, partnerships with plant roots, production it possible for vegetables to feed themselves more efficiently. Compost enhances the ability of tomatoes and other vegetables to stand up to common diseases and can improve their flavor and nutrition, too. Compost helps the soil retain moisture. Through composting, you enhance the garden’s ability to grow healthy plants while reducing your volume of trash.

  • Compost maintains soil fertility level.
  • Increases the nutrient level of the soil or develop the soil’s physical condition by improving soil structure and aeration.
  • Compost increases the infiltration capacity of the soil, thus reducing surface runoff.
  • It helps to retain plant nutrients and moisture.
  • Well-decomposed compost buffers soil response and control soil temperature.
  • Increases soil microbial action which helps mineralization of applied chemical fertilizers, making them more obtainable to crops.

How to apply compost manure to the soil of the garden?

Compost manure is best applied using the topdressing process of fertilizer application. You can as well apply the compost as mulch on the plant. Or you plough into the soil through land preparation.

The compost supplies nitrogen into the soil and other essential nutrients required for plant growth. Aside from replenishing the soil nutrient, the compost manure helps to improve the soil structure, hence, providing an enabling and good environment for the soil organisms to thrive.

Organic compost manure is highly recommended for sustainable agricultural practice and organic farming. It is a cheap method of improving the soil quality and conversely increasing crop yield.

Read: Process of Palmarosa Oil Extraction.


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