Composting is the natural process by which organic material is broken down in order to be consumed by plants. It is a great way to add nutritional value back to soil and is better for plants instead of traditional fertilizers. Farms, houses, restaurants, schools, offices and places of business all produce compostable material every day of the week. Materials like food scraps, grass shavings, dead leaves, coffee grounds etc. can all be composted.
Primarily, there are three kinds of composting: aerobic, anaerobic and vermicomposting. Each one has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
In aerobic composting, air is introduced into the mix to help break down the compostable material faster. In this process, the compost pile will need to be turned every two or three days. People who opt for this type of composting usually use a ‘tumble style’ composter to make their work easier. Green matter like grass clippings are rich in nitrogen and can also be added to speed up the process.
As the bacteria breaks down the materials rich in nitrogen, the temperature of the compost pile will get higher. Also, moisture may need to be added from a hose or a watering can. It is important to turn and moisturise the compost pile regularly or else the compost may give off a bad smell.
In case the compost pile is slowly shrinking, the aerobicizers can be energized by providing the pile with more oxygen. Simply turn the pile once every day for a week or more. In case the pile is in a tumbler, give it a spin.
Compared to aerobic, anaerobic composting takes little to no effort to do. Simply toss scraps into a compost pile or composter and leave it alone for a year or longer. Here, the majority of the chemical energy contained in the organic material is released by bacteria in the form of methane.
This process is characterized by very strong smells. Because there is only a small amount of heat generated, it takes very long for the compost pile to become hot enough to kill plant pathogens, weeds and seeds. External heat is normally added to help overcome these limitations.
Vermicomposting uses worms, moisture and oxygen to safely break down organic material with only a few odours. Here, the worms and the bacteria work together to help breakdown the organic waste. Red worms are particularly useful for this type of composting. Compared to aerobic and anaerobic, vermicomposting is more preferable.
Composting worms love eating non-acidic vegetables and fruit scraps left over from the kitchen or garden. They also enjoy eating grains like rice, bread, oats and pasta. Just remember not to include any oily food, meat or dairy products for vermicomposting.
Manure from cows, horses and rabbits that’s been aged a few days can also help the composting process. Additionally, eggshells can be used to balance the bin’s PH levels. Fallen leaves and grass clippings in small quantities also help speed the process along.
Biochest uses the aerobic composting process to provide nutrient-rich compost for plants, without any of the odours that normally come from this method. What’s more is that any kind of organic material can be added and the result will be the same.
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