METHODS YOU SHOULD
AEROBIC OR ANAEROBIC COMPOSTIN
In aerobic composting, we’ll need microorganisms that thrive on air
and oxygen to break down organic material. Anaerobic composting, the
opposite of the aerobic process, makes do with microorganisms that
don’t need oxygen to survive.
keep in mind that the ideal ratio of organic materials for a useful,
mature compost is 8 parts “brown” matter, 3 parts “green” materials,
and 1 part soil. Of course, don’t leave out water, warmth and
depending on the type of organism, air and oxygen.
PLAIN VANILLA COMPOSTING
I call it plain vanilla composting because this is the straightforward
composting method that we all know. It involves designating a 25 sq. ft.
(or smaller) area in your garden for a compost pit. It shouldn’t get any
larger than that because then it’ll be difficult aerating the pile.
Layer organic material according to this order: the browns at the bottom,
followed by greens, then topped by soil. If you want to add calcium,
phosphate and potash to your compost, you can sprinkle limestone, granite
dust and greensand over the soil. And, if you’re in a bit of a hurry, you
can also add AgVerra’s professional-grade Compost Activator to speed up
Continue building these layers until you have a 5-foot-high pile. Make sure
that you moisten the heap every couple of layers or so.
During the first week, turn the pile every 2-3 days with a fork, then taper
off after the third week to once a month. You should be able to use your
homemade compost in 3-4 months (lesser, if you use Compost Activator).
I call this the “No Turn” composting method because you don’t need to turn
the organic material, at all. It may be the easiest though, but it also
takes the longest to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Follow the same layering in Plain Vanilla Composting but this time, just
keep on adding materials on a bin and when it’s full, fill up the next
and then the next. The 30:1 browns-to-greens ratio is a very important
component of this method as you could end up with a rotted, smelly pile
that’ll be useless in your garden.
By the way, this composting method takes about 3 years for compost to
mature because you’re not doing anything to help the decomposition along.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to wait 3 years (I, for one, don’t have
that much patience), you can try this quick composting method. Though it
brings the fastest results, it’s also the most labor intensive.
Use the same ratios of layering materials but before building your pile,
shred all organic materials into small pieces. Make sure that you also
turn the compost heap as regularly as twice a week so that it’s always hot,
speeding up the breakdown of materials. The secret in this composting method
is to keep the heap from cooling down, hence the need to aerate it often.
A no-sweat composting method, anaerobic organisms are necessary to break down
organic material. You won’t need to turn the pile but it won’t take 3 years to
get compost ready.
What you do is place your layers of browns, greens and soil in heavy-duty black
garbage bags, tied very tight, or well-sealed compost bins and let them sit in
a cool place in your garden. Leave alone for 6 months, which is the time it takes
for compost to mature.
As the name suggests, this composting method involves digging a trench about 3 ft
deep and burying kitchen scraps and vegetable waste in it.
Cover each new layer with soil. When the trench is full, wait a couple of months
before sowing or planting as you would in a regular garden bed.
You can start trench composting around fall to take advantage of the compost in
the spring planting season.
Otherwise known as vermicomposting, this composting method yields the most fertile
soil improver ever.
You can’t use your garden variety earthworm though. For worm composting, you’ll need
what you call red wiggler earthworms or redworms. They’re also called tiger worms.
They also often hide in mature compost heaps or manure piles but you can also order
them from the Internet.
The earthworms feed on vegetable wastes and other kitchen scraps like fruit peels,
shredded paper, cooked leftovers and coffee grounds then they transform this waste
material into highly fertile manure.
Keep in mind though that worms don’t have big appetites so feed them only with a
little food (about 4 quarts) at a time. If you give them large quantities of food,
you’ll only end up with rotting waste and dead worms.
Use boxes, plastic bins or crates to house your worms. Vegetables and similar kitchen
scraps come with a lot of moisture so make sure that your worm bins have adequate
drainage. If moisture collects, the worms can drown.
Lastly, keep the worm bin insulated, maintaining a 50-77şF temperature. These are
the ranges where the worms are at their decomposing peak.
There you have it, folks! The lowdown on the different types of composting methods.
6 Composting Methods You Should Know About
BACK TO TOP
The Plant Encyclopedia
BACK TO TOP