Archive for the ‘Recycling’ Category
Have you ever heard of worm composting? I know about composting. I have a small composting pile brewing in my backyard. However, the first time I’ve heard of worm composting, I have to ask (embarrassingly I might add) twice if the person was not joking. When I got home, I searched the web and found out that those wriggly friends do help make compost. The process is interestingly different from the regular composting procedure.
Work composting or vermiculture is easy, affordable, and low-maintenance way of creating compost. It has a lot of advantages. Definitely it requires less work, just let the worms eat up all your scraps and in two months you’ll have rich compost at your disposal.
The worms used in composting are the brown-nose worms or red worms. They work best in containers and on moistened bedding. Those night crawlers or large, soil-burrowing worms are not good for composting purposes. Just stick with the red worms and things will work out well. All you need to do is add food waste to the container and soon enough the worms will eat them up and convert compost together with the bedding.
Before placing your red worms inside containers, place a nice layer of paper to serve as bedding for the worms. Any kind of paper will do, but it has been observed that the worms will consume newspapers, card boards, paper towels and other coarse papers faster. The worms will eat this layer of bedding together with the scraps of food to convert them in compost. You can also add a bit soil on top of the paper and a few pieces of leaves. If your red worm container is located outside the house, try considering adding livestock manure on it. Red worms love them.
Fruits, grain, or vegetables are great for worm composting. The red worms can even eat egg shells, coffee grounds, and even tea bags. Avoid giving them meat, fish, oil, and other animal products. Like the traditional composting, these materials only attract pests to the composting bin and also produce bad smell.
The proportion of worms to food scraps will be based on how much scrap you like to be composted in a week. For example, if you want 1 pound of food scrap to be composted a week, all you need is also a pound of red worms. You don’t need to add red worms into the container unless you want to increase the amount of food scraps you intend to compost in a weekly basis.
For containers, keep it well ventilated to let the air in and let the excess moisture out. You can use plastic bins, and even wooden boxes for worm composting.
The time to harvest would be when the container is full. Scoop out the undigested food scraps as well as the works which are usually on the top few inches of the material. The remaining material inside the container is your compost. To remove the remaining worms from compost, you can spread the compost under the sunlight.
Leave a few small mounds of compost. As the heat dries the compost, the worms will gather in the mounds. Just be careful not to leave the compost under the sun that long or the worms will die.
Afterwards, you can place the worms in the container again and repeat the process all over. You see, this is how our wriggly friends help make compost and for those who don not mind the feeling of worms in their hands, this might be a good and easy way to make compost.
If you’re into organic gardening you probably know by know about compost and how it works wonders to your garden patch. But for the first timers, creating a compost pile is not really on the top of their to-do-list. The question of is composting worthwhile usually comes up and not knowing enough they usually arrive at the easiest answer and course of action. And that’s a nope, I don’t have time for making my own compost. I will settle with the commercially available organic fertilizers and stuff. First things first, composting is the process of decomposing organic wastes, which can be household wastes or plant remains or a mixture of both, and making them into a dark, earthy, and loose or crumbly substance. Because compost is rich in minerals which most plants need, compost can be made to replace your garden soil. Most often, however, gardeners use compost to enrich their garden soil. When compost is added the soil, the overall structure of the soil improved allowing it to hold more water and letting air circulate within the soil. Contrary to some of your perceptions, compost is quite easy to make and is especially easy to use. There are several methods that could be used when creating compost. The following guide shows how easy it is to create it on your own backyard. I would suggest making your own compost bin to make everything confined to one place. You will avoid making a mess in your backyard if you do so. Plus, temperature and moisture can also be regulated if you construct a compost bin but allow the organic materials to be composted touch the soil. You need to allow your earthworm buddies and other organic microbes help out in the decomposing process. Although, almost all organic materials could go into your compost pile, a good combination of “greens” and “browns” would be better. The “greens” refer to nitrogen-rich organic matter like fresh grass, leaves, and your scraps in your kitchen. The “browns”, on the other hand refer to organic matter tat contains a lot of carbon such as those dried leaves on your backyard, straw and, of course, wood chips or shavings. A good combination of “greens” and “browns” can dictate how fast you will have a finished compost. Admittedly, you will have an edge in this area if you have piled up your experience in compost making. Why? Well, for starters you would probably have timed how fast the final compost is created from the different proportions of “greens” and “browns”. Some, however, would suggest that the best proportion would be 25 percent of your compost pile is made of “browns” and 1 percent is made of “greens.” Take note that if you have a large part made up of “browns” the compost pile will decompose rather slowly. On the other hand, having too much “greens” on the pile could cause some serious smell. Other elements that you should always consider when making compost are the air and the amount of water your pile will need. It is best to keep your compost pile damp. This will help in the decomposing process. Air is also needed so make sure your pile is properly aerated. If you do observe that no air is coming in, just turn over your pile. Observe and continuously aerate your pile every until you can already “harvest” the fruits of your labor. It takes some effort in creating compost, that part I have to agree. But the results of composting are really worthwhile.
Some of us may be hesitant in making and using compost. They find the task of making one troublesome and time consuming. Or they might have false perceptions of smelly compost piles and having such a messy process right in their backyards. While others would prefer buying their fertilizers, soil amendments or conditioners, and mulch from their garden stores to avoid all the hassle of reading about compost and actually making one.
Here are my top personal reasons for composting. I only hope that you move your butt out of that chair and begin your own compost pile before you reach number ten.
The first reason I find composting highly worthwhile is the fact that the materials used are absolutely free and are readily available. Compare that with the ever rising costs of commercial fertilizers and other gardening products in the market today. All you need is a little extra effort to find the best materials for your compost pile, but otherwise, everything’s for free.
The second one is that compost provides more nutrients and minerals needed by my plants than commercial organic or synthetic fertilizers. The overall effect of compost is also longer than commercially available fertilizers. It’s free and it works better, who wouldn’t want that? Plus, if you organize your ingredients just right, you can provide a whole lot more range of nutrients.
Another good reason would be the benefits of compost to the soil structure. When applied to the soil, compost can help the soil be more resistant to erosion, improve its retention of water, and in some types of soil (like clay) it can reduce the chance the soil becomes compact. This is also important for farmers since compost can make the soil easier to till conserving time and fuel needed to operate the machines.
With the right composting technique, the process can kill those troublesome weeds as well as pests and disease-causing organisms present in the materials being composted. High temperature composting is the technique I am talking about. Although, this technique is not the backyard variety but rather a more laboratory or industrial type variety, I still find it a good reason why we should make composts.
There have been studies which indicate that using compost can suppress the growth of diseases in crops. Other studies also show that crops grown over compost rich soils can resist better pest or insect attacks. Likewise, some news and observations in the field also shows that crops grown using compost bear produce that can be stored longer. If that’s not reason enough, I don’t know what else you are looking for.
For the environmentalists and conservationists, compost has something for them as well. Using compost together with the soil can build soil carbon which can eventually reduce the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It may take a lot of compost to have a positive effect on the greenhouse gases but that fact is quite useful as well.
It is also found out that compost works well as an antidote for soils that are toxic with agricultural chemicals. Compost can balance the levels of soil acidity, and helps farmers to go organic after years of using synthetic agricultural products.
These are my top reason for composting. Some of it may not directly benefit my personal needs but having those reasons to cling onto is a good thing to motivate the use of compost.