Making an Organic Fertilizer: Compost

allorganic By allorganic, 8th Dec 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2bf-7h77/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Gardening>Organic

Make your compost at home and use it as an alternative to your fertilizer.

Steps in Composting

1. Chopping substrates helps hasten decomposition process through surface area increase for better aeration and microbial action. So, materials such as rice straw and grasses must be chopped. If large quantities are to be used, forage cutter or chopper will be a great help, although you can go with manual chopping if you are in a hurry.

2. Moisten all the substrates with water. Use sprinkler for moistening substrates in bulk. Otherwise, soaking is preferable because less water is used. For plant substrates, soak them in a big water container for 5 minutes.

3. Substrates that are carbonaceous are mixed with nitrogenous ones in a 2-6:1 ratio on a dry weight basis. It is important to take note that if ever, use grasses and weeds without flowers and seeds.

4. Provide the pile with better aeration by piling the substrates loosely in the compost pen. The platform must be raised 1 foot above the ground so as to provide good aeration at the bottom. Also, it is important to note that pens must be constructed and located in shady areas, away from your house.

5. Broadcast compost activator to the substrates during piling. Amount is usually 1% of the substrate’s total weight. By thoroughly mixing the activator with the substrates, the decomposition becomes faster.

6. Cover the pile except the bottom. This preserves the heat of decomposition, minimizes water evaporation thereby preserving moisture within the pile, and minimizes volatization of ammonia.

7. Read the temperature at least 3 times week. Usually, the compost pile heats up in 24-48 hours. Some weeds are rendered non-viable and disease microorganisms are killed by the heat that will be produced.

8. When 50°C or higher is maintained, turn over the pile every 5-7 days for the first 2 weeks and once every 2 weeks thereafter. This evens up decomposition of the pile while providing it with better aeration. The volume of the pile should be reduced to one third after first week and to one half of the original after two weeks.

9. Remember that a ripe compost does not have foul odor. It is dark brown to black in soil appearance, and substrates are not anymore recognizable. It can also be told that the compost is ripe if the temperature of the pile drops to 33-35°C.

10. If the pile temperature drops to 30°C, sun dry the compost for two days then place in sacks after to allow the decomposition to continue until substrates are finely fragmented. After such, sun dry it again until moisture is about 10-20%.

11. If needed in a hurry, sun dry the collected compost for one day then apply it as fertilizer. However, some fibers may be retained.

Tags

Compost, Composting, Organic Fertilizer

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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