Monday, April 18, 2011

Homemade Compost for Terrace gardening

Preparing compost require sufficient amount of vegetable wastes, dry leaves and other  waste materials from plants. Vegetable waste collected in a month from my kitchen will fill maximum a 10 liter container. Since I have almost 50 sacks on my roof top, this processing and the cycle time for compost generation only from vegetable waste is not sufficient. Soil used in first and second batch of plantation was not 100 percent compost, of course 30% of compost and used hydroponics but not to the level of what is required, also used dry leaves and other  parts of plants.

This time for preparing compost used wood chips since I read that wood chips could produce more earth worms while processing it for compost preparation.

Step 1 : Collect dry leaves from your yard and either crush it with hands or else use a cutter to chop into pieces.
Chopped dry leaves of Teak
Dry chopped Coconut leaves.

In India, Kerala state is rich in coconut plantation. These leaves were also chopped into pieces.

Step 2 : If you have harvested any plant from your garden, then make use of those for composting.
Chop those plant leaves and its stem into smaller pieces. Make sure that the plant is free from pest or worms. Ideal way to process this would be, once the plant is plucked out from the container, cut the plant leaves and stem into pieces and leave it under sunlight for 2-3 days so that if there are any worms or insects that may not reproduce or will be killed.

Step 3 : Wood chips if available make use of it, since this is  a high carbon source and would increase the moisture content within in the compost processing container. 

The air within the pile moves more easily through the composting materials. Therefore, during the active composting period, the temperature inside the pile does not fall even without frequent turning or aeration.

Wood chips
Wood chips

Step 4 : Collect vegetable waste from kitchen everyday. Store it in a separate container and make use of it once ready to prepare the compost.
Chop vegetable waste into smaller pieces so that the decomposition process will take lesser time.Collected vegetable waste which will be used for preparing compost this needs to get decayed. So it is suggested to cut an chop those into pieces. Better to add wood chips and some manure, so that the decaying process will be fast.Proper ventilation is required in compost pit.
Vegetable Waste

Step 5 : Mix chopped dry leaves, plant parts, wood chips and vegetable waste in a container that will be used for composting, container should have the provision for air circulation with in it and also suggested for continuous mixing 

Turn the compost at least 3 times in a week, exposed parts of the compost towards the middle of the container. This will expose the compost to oxygen which essential to break it down. Doing this will also accelerate the decomposition process. 

The clay pot filled with coconut husk, coconut fiber, and vegetable waste, and soil is also used but only 30%
Processing compost in a clay pot.

The image shows the black colored compost mixed with soil. This was processed in previous months.
This compost used 40 % of vegetable waste and other plant parts.


1 comment:

  1. Good read brother :) Have you tried using a micro organism to speed up the composting process?


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