The cornerstone of organic farming is making and using organic manure. It is a simple task, but if you do not know the tips towards making compost, the task can be quite grueling. All you need is provide the right material and follow some basic guidelines to come up with efficient results.
In most cases, you will just use your compost pail to store kitchen waste and any other organic waste and then transfer them to the compost heap. To help more on home composting, here are some notes you could put in mind.
Guidelines in Making Compost
1) Balance compost material
The right mixture of ingredients will give you the best results. This ensures that your compost heats and breaks down effectively.
- You will need to balance brown materials (carbon) with the green materials (nitrogenous).
- Adding too much of the brown materials will make the pile take too long to breakdown.
- Over-use of the green ones will give you a smelly and slimy compost pile.
- Microorganisms responsible for breaking down compost will need carbon and nitrogen to thrive. Carbon will give them energy while nitrogen will affect protein synthesis.
2) Turn it often
Turning your compost frequently adds oxygen to your pile and this helps in faster break down.
- Many of the bacterial micro-organisms will need oxygen to survive.
- The available bacteria will start dying off the soonest they exhaust the available air and the drop in their number will see the pile take too long to be ready.
3) Shred some of your ingredients
Shredding your compost material will give you results faster.
- Shredding will also provide an even distribution of essential things like air and moisture.
- If you finely shred the carbon ingredients, which include paper, cardboard, hay, straw, leaves etc, you will increase the surface area and give compost microbes ample space to work in.
- There is a need to shred the brown materials since they take longer to break down.
4) Check moisture level
Achieving the right moisture content is a very crucial point to consider.
- You should moisten your pile often without making it too damp and, or soggy.
- In case you make it over damp, add some more brown material to make it dry out.
- In case you live in areas of extremely dry climates, indenting the top to collect rain water would be helpful.
- Cover the top of the pile to prevent it from becoming too wet if you are in a rainy area.
5) Prepare a compost tumbler
A compost tumbler is ideal if you want to get results in a short time duration and with minimal effort.
- This tool will ease and make your compost-turning activities more convenient.
- Turning a huge compost heap manually can be quite demanding and you might find yourself discouraged to do it more often. A tumbler will aid in this although it might be limited to small scale compost makers.
6) Add a compost activator
Compost activators add nitrogen and protein to your compost heap.
- Again, these two ingredients help the organisms break down the organic material fast.
- There are numerous organic activators which will be of use to you. An example is the Alfafa meal.
In conclusion, there are several materials which you should not use as compost: fish, meat, coal, coke ash, cat litter, cooked food, dog feces, and disposable nappies