Certain terms and cultures are common among gardeners and farmers all over the world, and one of such is compost.
Compost or composting is much more important to organic farmers. Most farmers are aware of the value of compost and as such, a lot of farmers make this available for their farms.
One reason we believe so is that we know every farmer wants what’s best for their farm and its produce, and composting is one of the many things a farmer can do to give her farm the best. A common question most farmers, especially new farmers ask is about the types of composting methods there are and can be used.
If this is you, we have all the information you need concerning composting.
What Is Compost/Composting?
Compost is decomposed organic materials such as kitchen waste, leaves, vegetables, eggshells, coffee grinds, etc. Composting, on the other hand, is the process of turning this organic matter back into the soil. It is safe to say that all food can be considered organic matter and can be used as compost, however, this is excluding animal-based food.
Compost is rich and is used for soil amendments, improving the soil and creating a healthy environment for plants. It is regarded as one of nature’s best ways of amending the soil. Compost helps correct the soil structure to be able to hold the right amount of moisture and nutrients.
Compost also improves the texture of the soil. the process of composting requires certain elements and they are; air, water, vegetable matter, worms, carbon-nitrogen mix, and bacteria (EMO, soldier flies, and other beneficial bugs).
Main Methods Of Composting You Should Know
The methods of composting are ways by which these organic matters can be turned back into the soil. Right here, we will be listing and explaining ten that you can make use of.
1. Open Air Composting
This is a traditional method of composting. The open-air method makes use of naturally occurring microbes, they feed on the waste and by doing so, break down the materials and turn them into compost. This method requires a combination of carbon, nitrogen, air, and water.
This can be done with a bin, turned upside down with aeration holes by the side. Open-air composting can be a little challenging as it requires proper monitoring, watering, and constant spreading. Worms are naturally attracted to the compost, however, if the condition isn’t ideal, they may not stay for long.
The temperature has to be perfect or it might turn into a mess or will not decompose. The open-air composting method may take a long time, sometimes months, and can smell if filled with the wrong materials.
2. Direct Composting
Direct composting requires the following composting elements to properly compost; water, worms, vegetable matter, and bacteria.
The process of direct composting involves digging a hole, pit, or trench, dumping your organic matters in it, and covering it up. The direct method is best for gardeners who know the part of the soil they’ll like to grow in. Although direct composting may take a long time to compost, it is regarded as the most inexpensive way to make your compost.
You will be required to dig to an extent, to prevent small animals from digging it up, it does not allow a refill until all the materials in it decompose. Food such as dairy, eggs, meat, or bones will attract rats, mice, cats, and other small animals, you might want to do away with them. the best way to get your products to decompose faster is to cut everything into bits.
This method is the most preferred for a lot of people, especially those who have small gardens, this is because of its ability to grow worms, and keep rats out of the compost.
In comparison to other composting procedures, worms generate castings that are concentrated with nutrients that are lower in nitrogen. The worm box can either be built or be purchased, requires small space, and can be placed indoors.
4. Mechanical Composting
The mechanical composting method is a great way to decompose your organic matter, however, it makes use of electricity to create the heat required and to rotate the content to produce an almost compost in 24 hours. The process requires air, water, organic matter, and electricity to create compost.
The composter comes in different sizes and shapes suitable for both home and commercial use. We will recommend this system to restaurants, hospitals, schools, motels, and other institutions that take in waste from a large number of people.
The process requires monitoring, emptying, spreading, storing, etc., and all these can be stressful for some people and easy for others. They are fast and efficient, will require a large space, electricity, and a well-ventilated area. The mechanical composting method is expensive and can be hard to maintain.
5. Commercial Composting
The commercial composting method makes use of air, water, bacteria, biodegradable matter, and chemical to complete its process Commercial composting is carried out on a large scale to dispose of materials that are difficult to dispose of in a council waste and can be created quickly for commercial use.
Different materials are also used by different organizations to complete the process. It requires a large area and costly machinery.
6. Bacteria Composting
The bacteria composting method is created to be used indoors. Also known as EMO, the most common product for this method is the Bokashi.
The method of composting requires just one element to complete its process. The method can be a bit tiring as you regularly have to monitor, empty, bury and dispose of bones, water, juice, oil cannot be decomposed, hence should not be added. This process can be slow to decompose and cannot decompose all kitchen waste.
7. Tumbler Composting
The tumbler method is an excellent choice for people who live in places with little or no yard. It is an ingenious design that makes the process of composting an easy one. It involves purchasing a tumbler, disposing of your waste in it, and turning it in every day or every few days.
The tumbler method can be stressful for older people; however, it is easier for young ones. It comes in different sizes, from small to big.
It requires a combination of carbon and nitrogen, air, water, and vegetable scraps to decompose properly. It can be hard to get the compost out once the process is done, it also cannot decompose meat and dairy products.
8. Combination Composting
This method is a combination of four other methods; open-air, direct, bacteria (EMO), and vermicomposting. This method makes use of all elements to decompose, it also allows you to decompose all kitchen waste and not some.
You dig a hole first, then place your pot in it, fill in your kitchen waste, and cover up. It is safer for people who have children around, faster, and requires less work, when compared to other methods.
9. Three Bin Composting
Although the three-bin composting method requires effort, it is one of the most loved and efficient methods of composting. It requires three bins, where the first bin is for the free organic matter. It is where you dump your waste to begin the process of composting.
Once the bin heats up to about 160 degrees, you can transfer it to the second bin. Start the cycle afresh in the now-empty first bin, moving and stirring the compost until it finishes “cooking” in the third bin. This method is easily accessible, allows easy harvest, and is also easy to maintain after purchase.
Requires space and cannot compost meat or dairy products.
10. Food Recyclers
Food recycler is a modern version of the traditional method of composting. It ensures that your waste is decomposed in 24 hours or less.
It can compost dairy, meat, bones, and processed food, it gives no noise and allows no pests. It is portable, easy to use, and breaks food down. It also requires small space and can be placed indoor
There is the perfect method of composting for you, regardless of what purpose you need it for.
While some methods are expensive, most are inexpensive and can be done in your garden or home. Making your compost is, however, advisable as this helps put your waste to use as well as nourish your soil.