Practical home composting guide

For those who like to grow vegetables on the balcony, if you use chemical fertilizers directly, it will easily cause soil compaction and the taste of the vegetables will also be greatly affected. In fact, the acquisition of organic fertilizers can completely use the resources around them. Today we will share with you a few methods of using food waste and other materials for household composting. Those who are qualified and interested may wish to try it. Studies have shown that tomatoes grown with organic fertilizer produced by composting methods can increase their sweetness by 50% or more, which greatly improves their taste.

What is compost?

Compost is a mixture of a variety of organic materials, which can be used for planting fertilizer after a fermentation process of 2-18 months. The length of the fermentation time depends on the method used, the ingredients, the season, and the frequency of turning the compost. Composting materials can use kitchen waste (vegetable leaves, peels, but not suitable for meat)

Composting process

The composting process is a process that imitates the material cycle in nature. Composting requires the correct composition of ingredients and enough time for each substance to be fully “cooked”, that is, to be fully decomposed before the compost is made. It is especially important to remind everyone that substances that are not fully decomposed can cause harm to plant life. The common fertilizer pond behind the pigsty in rural areas is actually just a raw fertilizer, which has not undergone a complete fermentation process. Therefore, the crops grown from this fertilizer cannot reach the perfect state, which will affect the sweetness of the crops.

Benefits of composting

  1. Composting will produce beneficial humus and reduce the harmful effects of organic waste in landfills;
  2. Composting can reduce the demand for chemical fertilizers in vegetable gardens/gardens;
  3. Composting can reduce the cost of garbage recycling, reduce the space required for landfilling garbage, and better realize the environmentally friendly use of materials;

Composting method

1 Correct location: An ideal composting site should be warm, covered, your compost pile or compost bucket away from neighbors and any place that may cause offense.

2 To fully decompose the compost, the length, width and height of the compost pile must be at least one meter.

3 Put a layer of broken coarse fiber material on bare soil or grass to facilitate drainage.

4 The second layer is placed with nitrogen-rich green materials and carbon-rich brown materials. The thickness of this layer is preferably between 5-10 cm.

5 If you don’t have time to consider stratification, you only need to ensure that the green and brown materials in the compost are mixed.

6 Don’t use cat and dog feces, no meat or fish. Bones, oil and exotic weeds.

7 The smaller the material used for composting, the less time it takes. Therefore, in order to complete the compost quickly, the fibrous material should not be greater than the thickness of your finger (2 cm).

8 The compost pile should be covered, such as with a plastic cover, carpet pad, or tarpaulin.

9 Be aware that rodent control can be difficult if you use a compost pile.

10 Cut a small perforated wire net larger than the bottom of the compost bucket and place it under the bucket. Fold the edge of the net 10 cm higher than the edge of the bucket to prevent rodents from entering the compost.

11 When adding food waste, you can add an equal amount of brown material, such as dried leaves, to reduce the odor.

12 Add composting catalysts or accelerators to the compost pile. They contain natural nitrogen and bacterial enzymes, which can speed up this natural decomposition process. These catalysts and accelerators are available in most garden centers

13 Lime and unprocessed wood ash can balance the pH value and reduce peculiar smell/odor.

14 The compost pile should be kept moist, like a sponge that can squeeze out water. So add water when necessary.

15 Cover the compost pile to prevent excess moisture from entering.

16 To achieve the desired effect, the temperature of the compost pile must reach 30-60 degrees Celsius. From time to time, check whether the center of the compost pile is hot. The entire compost pile should be warm.

17 Composting also needs air. Turn and mix the compost pile to promote air circulation and accelerate decomposition.

18 You can use a new compost bucket to make a new compost, or you can use the original compost bucket and cover the original compost pile with carpet pads, tarpaulins or other similar things.

19 When the compost pile becomes odorless, black loose material, and the original material cannot be identified, the composting is complete.

20 If you keep it well and turn the compost pile frequently, the compost can be completed in 6-8 weeks. If you never turn it, it will take 12-18 months to complete.

21 After the compost is completed, you can spread it on the soil or bury it in the garden/vegetable garden. You can also use it for potted plants and seedlings.

Substances that can be used in compost

Food waste (removal of meat, fish, bones, oil) manure, fresh chopped grass, stumps cut from trees, seedless weeds, dried leaves, bark and unprocessed sawdust, seaweed, ash, tea leaves and tea bags, twigs and trees Stem coffee grounds and crushed eggshell

The following are several specific composting methods, you can choose the method you like and try.

How to make food waste compost in a compost bucket

  1. Find a big bucket, of course the bigger the better. Generally, families who cook their own meals will soon fill up the bucket. Preparation materials: one big bucket; one electric drill, with a drill bit; one faucet, just buy the cheapest one
  2. First use an electric drill to drill a hole on the side of the plastic bucket near the bottom; visually check it first, after installing it, the faucet cannot touch the ground. After drilling a hole, use the side of the drill bit to enlarge the diameter of the hole. Drill carefully until the diameter of the hole is about smaller than the pipe diameter on the side of the faucet with the thread, but cannot exceed it, then you can stop.
  3. Then turn the faucet into the hole of the plastic bucket. This is done. Under normal circumstances, it will not be very tight. You must use hot melt glue or Sulikang to stick it so that the kitchen waste liquid will not drip from the interface.
  4. Put bricks on the bottom of the bucket, so that the moisture in the kitchen waste and the compost on the upper layer will not touch and soak together, and the moisture is easier to drain through the faucet.
  5. Put some small stones on the faucet or leave it on.
  6. Spread on the bricks with gauze to filter out the moisture in the kitchen waste in the future.
  7. Sprinkle a layer of compost on the bottom layer (not too thick, just a thin layer)
  8. Put in kitchen waste (“raw” materials such as vegetable leaves, fruit peels, etc.). As for leftover bones, fish bones, or leftovers with oil and salt, it is recommended not to put them in.
  9. The big family waits for about a day or two. The small family may need to collect the leftovers for several days and put them in, then sprinkle a thin layer of compost on it. Covered, almost no thickness. If the food waste material contains a lot of water, sprinkle more compost to avoid too much water to affect fermentation. Repeat this…until the bucket is full, stop. Sprinkle more compost on the top. After storing for a few days, you will find that the bottom food waste begins to decompose and the food waste will drop. At this time, you can also put in some food waste, and then compost, so that you can put in the food waste for a few more days. (Usually the lid must be closed) The data indicates that after about 3 months of storage, the composting is complete. In fact, it still depends on whether the materials inside are decomposed. If you want to shorten the ripening time, you can pour out the whole bucket every week. But it is not recommended, the taste is not very good.
  10. Turn on the faucet every day to see if compost liquid is produced. After collecting the compost liquid in a bottle, let it stand for about 2 weeks (you can add some brown sugar to help ferment) and dilute it by 100 times, and you can water the flowers and organically cultivated vegetables. Or pour it into the water pipe through the water pipe (in fact, it is enzyme).
  11. White hyphae are often seen under the inner side of the barrel and on the surface of the food waste, which will become flakes. this is normal. The food waste inside is decomposed by these heroes.
  12. The compost after ripening is granular, soft and dark brown in color. There is almost no smell or earthy fragrance.

Substances not suitable for composting

Although theoretically any organic material can be used for composting, there are some materials that are best not to be used when composting at home.

Cat and dog excrement can cause disease

Meat, fish, oil, bones and fat attract rats

Non-organic substances, such as tin cans, glass, and plastics will not decompose

Wooden materials larger than your finger’s diameter decompose too slowly

Diseased plants, such as fusarium wilt, disease may spread

Bamboo leaves, flax leaves, and cabbage leaves are not suitable for composting

Earthworm compost

Earthworm compost is to use earthworms to make compost, so that the earthworms eat the substances in the compost, and what is discharged is nutrient-rich fertilizer. Compared with ordinary soil, they are rich in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK). Therefore, they are of great value to the growth of the leaves, the strength of the rhizomes, the flowering and fruiting of the plants.

The benefits of earthworm compost

If most of your waste is food waste, and your home has little or no outdoor space, then earthworm composting is a good choice.

Earthworm compost preparation

1 Choose a place with shade, rain and no ventilation. Carports or covered corridors are ideal.

2 First prepare a layer of underlay, such as hay, coconut shell fiber, and shredded cardboard.

3 The bottom of the pad should be moist and porous and breathable.

4 To put the earthworms, 1,000 (250g) are fine, but 2,000 are better.

5 Then put the food waste. You can cover the kitchen waste with damp newspaper or cardboard to prevent the breeding of flies and reduce odors.

6 Earthworms can eat food equivalent to their body weight every day, but don’t give them too much food at the beginning (for example, 250 grams of earthworms can be given to 200 grams of food)

7 Earthworms need air, but they don’t need light (earthworms are misogynistic)

How to compost earthworms

1 Make sure their environment is humid and add water when necessary

2 If it is too wet, add some dry leaves or shredded paper-the earthworm working layer should be as wet as a sponge that can squeeze out water

3 Add food waste regularly

4 The smaller the material (not more than 2 cm), the faster the earthworms will eat, and it can also prevent peculiar smells

5 Earthworms cannot tolerate too cold or too hot environments (10-30 degrees Celsius is most suitable)

6 If there are small flies, white earthworms and bed bugs, it means that the compost is too acidic. At this time, some lime water should be added to balance the pH value.

7 Earthworms are omnivores, they can eat almost everything. But some things are best not to be eaten by insects (cooked food, rice, bread, meat, cat feces, bones, plastic)

8 If you eat too much food for earthworms at one time, the leftover food will rot.

Earthworm compost bin making

  1. Prepare a foam box. If you want to drill a hole underneath, find a thick branch and poke a few holes in the foam box to facilitate drainage.
  2. Use decomposed compost as the bottom soil, and put it into the box 1/5 of the height.
  3. To put the earthworms, 1,000 pieces (250g) are fine, but 2,000 pieces are better, and you can buy them from a fishing store. Put the earthworms on it, and wait a few days, you can pile up the leftover vegetable leaves and peels of the family on the soil, etc. Always cover the lid. Maintaining proper and stable humidity will make earthworms happier and work more efficiently.
  4. The remaining vegetable leaves and peels, etc. It is recommended to use a bucket to collect it.. Wait until a certain amount is poured into the earthworms at a time to eat. After the whole layer is eaten, it will climb up to a new layer to eat the ingredients, and wait until the box When the results of the work of the inner earthworms are almost full, remove the uppermost earthworms first. The great earthworm feces pellets below can be taken out and used.

Method of composting fallen leaves

Fallen leaves are high-carbon materials. If you want to make compost, you must mix and accumulate materials with higher nitrogen content to effectively and quickly decompose fallen leaves.

Poultry manure is a high-nitrogen material, but considering the peculiar smell, it is best not to use it. It is recommended to choose the peanut bran, sesame bran, bean cake and the like left after the oil is pressed.

You can also mix in some compost soil to increase the number of microorganisms. You can use the kitchen waste compost made before. There are rich microorganisms in it. There is no need to spend extra money to buy bacteria.

  1. Prepare the fallen leaves. You can go to the nearby park to collect. Collect with the children, there will be unexpected fun.
  2. Smash the purchased cake fertilizer (peanut bran, sesame bran, bean cake, rape bran) into a powder, or add some fully cooked compost.
  3. Choose a suitable container, use a large plastic bucket, or a plastic bag. The black plastic bag can increase the temperature of the compost.
  4. Sprinkle the fallen leaves with water. Normally, the fallen leaves are stacked 15 cm in one layer, and the cake fertilizer is 3 cm in one layer. So pile up.
  5. The white hyphae are actinomycetes that help decompose compost. During the stacking process, remember to occasionally check the moisture status of the entire deciduous pile. Don’t let the fallen leaves get too dry

The materials used in composting must be properly matched with wet and dry materials. If there are too many wet materials, the compost will be sparse, airtight, and easy to smell; if there are too many dry materials, the compost will not rot and become compost.

Some thick materials should be placed at the bottom of the fat pit to make the bottom of the pile ventilate (I placed sunflower rods):

When stacking materials, put a layer of dry materials, such as straw, wood chips, egg shells, coffee grounds, tea, broken branches, dried branches and vines, etc.; then put a layer of wet materials, such as vegetable peels, fruit peels, green plants, etc. Broken grass, chicken dung, horse dung, cow dung, etc. cut from the grass:

Pile up layer by layer in this way, and cover it with (for example, black plastic cloth) after the pile is full. The pile will heat up very quickly. After the heat is over, the pile will sink, and then it can be turned over. The more turns, the faster the compost matures. The general maturity period ranges from 6-12 months. I usually flip it 1-2 times by myself.

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