Important Guide on Composting for Organic Gardens

allorganic By allorganic, 5th Dec 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Gardening>Organic

There was a time when we spend money on buying some commercial fertilizers, then there comes compost.

Compost Activators

Compost activator consists of microorganisms that help increase rate of the decomposition process when mixed with the compost substrates. Commercial brands may be mixtures of different groups of bacteria. There are also mixtures of bacteria and fungi available. Both mixtures are effective activators. Applying these is considered an important tip in composting.

In the pile, microorganisms need enough amount of nitrogen in decomposing the materials or substrates. Most of the time, there is low nitrogen present making the composting process slow. Microorganisms present in the compost activator fix this by producing added nitrogen in the pile thus increases the rate of decomposition. 

In a case-to-case basis, the amount of compost activator to be mixed in the pile depends on the recommendation of the manufacturer of the product. This has to be followed accordingly.

How to compost kitchen left-overs and refuse

Finding for materials to compost for small-scale use is never hard for everyone. Almost all waste that are biodegradable can be used as substrates. And just as you might think, kitchen left-overs and other refuse can be composted. The following are the steps in composting kitchen refuse.

1. Choose a site where you will make the compost. It should be an area away from your main house, that is shady and easily drained. There you will construct at least 3 small pens.

2. Collect all the kitchen refuse in a container. Do not include materials that do not decompose such as plastic. Kitchen refuse may be unedible parts of fruits and vegetables, peelings, shrimp head, fish bones, rotten fruits and vegetables, newspaper and other left-overs.

3. Pile the kitchen refuse into the first compost pen for the next 7 days, and make sure to always keep it moist. If available, you may mix compost activators to speed up the decomposition process. After piling, cover the pile using a big plastic sheet or sack. Do not disturb for the next 7 days.

4. Start filling the next compost pen on the second week in the same manner stated in steps 1 and 2.

5. When it reaches 14 days, turn over the kitchen refuse in the first compost pen such that the bottom layer will be at the top.

6. On the third week, turn over the pile in the second compost pen. This will be the first turning. Turn over the first compost pile as well. This will be its second turning. By this time, the volume of the first and second pile should have been reduced by half and by one-third, respectively. Mix the two piles such that the second is at the bottom layer. Turn this over every two weeks until completely decomposed.

7. On the fourth week, start a new pile in the third compost pen and repeat the process above.

8. As soon as the decomposition for both mixed piles evens up, remove the substrates from the compost pen and place them in sacks or sun dry them.

9. Use the resulting compost to raise vegetables or ornamental plants.

Important Composting tips

1. Do not let the substrates dry up. Sufficient moisture must always be maintain in order to keep the composting rate right. If substrates dry up, the composting process will be slow, even if all recommended steps in making a compost are followed.

2. Do not include woody materials if you desire a fast composting process. Because of high lignin content, substrates that are of woody material decompose very slowly, such as sawdust and coconut coir, compared to plant materials like rice straw.

3. Never apply insecticides on your pile. They may harm other decomposer microorganism. Most often, mites are present in the compost pile. This is normal as for the composition process. In fact, they particularly inhabit substrates that are rain-soaked and have been left in the field. If numerous mites are present, do not touch the pile, for it can be very itchy to do so. Instead, wait for 7-10 days, when their population decreases to an almost insignificant level. By then, you can already turnover the pile.

4. Apply compost activator, if available. Compost activator speeds up decomposition rate. Its amount is directly proportional to the rate of decomposition. It means that the more activator you apply, the faster the decomposition rate will be.


Compost, Composting, Organic Gardens

Meet the author

author avatar allorganic
I am an agriculture student. I'm fond of gardening and other stuff related to it such as animal husbandry. I love pets as well. I'm fond of reading novels, watching movies and listening to music.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
6th Dec 2013 (#)

Composting is a good way to get rid of kitchen waste and improve our gardens.

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author avatar Jhon Marshall
6th Dec 2013 (#)

nice post

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