Trying home composting? A quick guide that can help you get started!
August 23, 2021
Home composting is a great way of turning the green waste in your kitchen into a useful source of plant nutrition. Plants require a sufficient amount of nutrients that can only be completed with fertilizers. When it comes to home gardening, many enthusiasts prefer sticking to natural fertilizers. The differences between chemical & natural fertilizers are evident in terms of the taste, shelf life, cooking time, and even the look & feel of plants or vegetables that you are growing. So, if you are someone who grows plants or vegetables at your home, then this article can help you get started with composting. You may wonder whether home composting is even worth it or not. So, we will try to throw some light on this topic. Let’s see how it can help you!
Why Should You Prepare Compost at Your Home?
If you have plants at your home, then it’s likely that you are aware of the most common problem of any plant – the dried leaves. Most people throw these leaves. If you are living in the countryside, then you might have seen people burning these leaves as well. Dried plant leaves are a great source of carbon that can be easily converted into fertilizer. This prevents the degradable leaves from going into the garbage. Home composting is a natural way of converting everyday green waste into compost. This compost is rich in micronutrients and aids in plant growth when given periodically to plants.
This fertilizer is free from all sorts of artificial chemical components like urea, sulfates, etc. So, it prevents the plant soil from turning saline and serves as a natural source of nutrients. So making compost at your home is a great way of upcycling the green waste at your home.
Let’s see how you can go about composting at your home.
Also Read: How to Keep Wildlife Out of Your Home
Know the Right Material
Understanding the right compost material is important. You should know that not everything that is degradable is a good fit for the home composting process. You can compost things like your leftover food to eggshells. Crushing eggshells and making their fine powders can result in better decomposition. You can put dried leaves inside your compost pit every day. Materials like paper, meat are biodegradable, but not ideal for your home composting as they may result in a foul smell.
Get a Home Compost Bin or Do It Yourself
At home, you will most likely be using a compost pit or a setup made up of plastic or terracotta pots. These pots have holes on the sides that allow aeration. This way, the microbes inside the pots get a consistent air supply & they can break down the material forming compost. There are three layers of compost pots that are arranged vertically. Holes at the bottom allow the water/fluid to secrete down. Remember to keep a plate below the pot that is at the bottom. This fluid is also rich in nutrients and you can collect it and turn it into liquid fertilizer.
You can create a compost pit for your home composting project, using empty plastic buckets. There are plenty of videos available on YouTube that you can refer to & create one for yourself.
That Little Secret
It takes around 60 to 90 days for a compost preparation cycle. This time frame varies as per your local climatic conditions. Warm temperature is favorable for the process of composting. Do remember that you have to mix your compost mixture from each pit every day for at least five minutes. This way you can be sure that the mixture is mixed well. If you live in India, then we recommend getting a bottle of Waste Decomposer from the National Center of Organic Farming, Ghaziabad. With this, you can break down the compost faster. This product is a rich collection of helpful bacteria that can help in improving the microbe count of your compost. So, when you mix your compost, it can help in bringing life to your plant soil. More microbe count means better conditions for the growth of your plants.
Placing Your Compost Bins
Many of our readers belong to urban locations living in apartments. So, if this is the case, then the best option to keep your compost bin is in the gallery. This is for two reasons; the air is always circulating in the gallery. Secondly, if there is any smell because of some reason, it won’t disturb you inside your home. Some friendly insects are always there in your compost bin. So, keeping this bin in a gallery can help to keep them away. You should also make sure that there are no entryways for any kind of rodents at this place. Also, sometimes, these pits attract cockroaches. So, you can do some basic treatment to avoid this problem.
How to Use the Compost
To check if your compost is ready, observe if the mixture has turned brown completely. You can then take this mixture out & dry it in the shade (not in direct sunlight). You can also store this, but we recommend you to use it for your plants as early as possible. In the initial days, the microbe count of your fertilizer will be high. If you have a surplus, how about distributing some to your other plant enthusiast friends? Well, think of it. All it takes to spread smiles is thought & we believe you will make the right choice with it.
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