Composting is a natural process of converting yard waste or kitchen waste into useful natural fertilizer. It is always economic to make your own compost than purchasing a readymade one from the market. Read further to learn how to make one.
Home composting is an economic and smart way to use the household wastage for making organic fertilizers. It is a very simple process and does not require special skills. Using compost not only aids in healthy growth of plants but also helps in improving the quality of soil.
There are various methods of making it at home, and you can opt for the one that is convenient for you. Here are some simple steps for the same:
You can either go for conventional composting, or for the one using compost bins. The conventional method is nothing but preparing it by digging ground and adding suitable ingredients into the pit.
However, this method makes it difficult to keep rodents and pests away from the compost, and can cause destruction of its pile. Thus, these days people prefer using the latter, since they are easy to maintain and avoid stinking problem.
Selecting the Compost Bin
Before you start making it, you first need to decide the type of bin you will be using. It does require enough space to hold the bin. So, if you have a large backyard, you can consider a large and immobile bin, and in case you have no space, you can go for a small and portable one. Mentioned further are some of the basic types:
Wooden Compost Bin
It is nothing but a large wooden square-shaped box. Such bins are suitable for worm composting, where you get useful compost with the help of worms like the red worms. They also help in protecting it from rodents and climate changes. They are large in size and suit for larger areas.
These are rotating mobile bins with typical design, and go well for small spaces. You can make one or purchase it. These help in easy mixing of ingredients, and help in easy addition and removal of compost. They have no empty bottoms, as in other bins.
Wire-mesh Compost Bin
It consists of a round-shaped or quadrilateral-shaped structure made up of wires. These bins are very economic and can be easily prepared at home.
Snow fence bin, block bin, turning bin, etc., are some other types. Once you have decided the type, build one of them or purchase a readymade one.
Collecting the Ingredients
When you are ready with the bin, you can start collecting the material for making compost at home. You cannot add anything to this bin. Preparing it is like cooking a recipe, which will taste good only when you add specific ingredients in proper quantity.
So, there are some things that you should keep in mind while adding the material. You should use egg shells, tea bags, coffee dregs, vegetable and fruit leftover, leftover food, newspaper, garden waste like grass, etc.
Never use meat, fish, milk products, or any poultry or pet waste. These are some of the main ingredients that you will require for composting. The next important thing is the soil and some organic manure for catalyzing the process.
Arranging the Compost Layers
Once you have all the required material and equipment for preparing it, you can start arranging the layers.
Before arranging them, decide the place where you will be placing the bin; its location should be such that it has good drainage and is partially shady. So, locate the area and then loosen the soil over it. Loosening the soil will help the microorganisms in it to mix up with the pile. Here are different layers:
Layer 1: The first layer is of dry leaves or twigs; you can also add shredded paper instead. This layer should measure an height of 4 inches.
Layer 2: Now, add garden trimmings, grass clippings, and kitchen scraps. The layer should measure 8 inches. This layer should be sponge damp, so moisten the ingredients with some water.
Layer 3: Add soil over the second layer, which adds microorganisms to the compost.
Layer 4: Spread a layer of organic manure over the third layer, which supplies the nutrients to microorganisms. This layer is optional, and can be skipped. If using this layer, sprinkle some lime to reduce acidity of the contents. Sprinkle some water if the manure is dry.
Continue making these layers in the same order until the bin is full. Once it is full, mix the material with the help of some turning tool or garden fork. Mix them properly and then check the moisture content of the compost. The mixture should neither be too wet nor too dry. If it's too wet, then add some dry material to soak the excess water.
Now, turn the compost pile after 3 - 4 weeks, and add some water if the mixture has become dry. Your compost is ready when it turns brown and smells like soil. Leave it to mature for some months, and then you can use it for your garden plants. If you are using a tumbler, then you need not prepare layers; simply add the material and rotate the tumbler to mix.
These are some basic steps that will help you to make it. To prepare a good one, you will require a good experience at composting, and you will eventually learn the tips and tricks. Thus, follow the aforementioned steps and make natural organic manure by yourself.