A “Daily Dose” Of Compost
For garden enthusiasts, composting is a “must-do” to create healthy and productive soil, the foundation of successful cultivation. Beginners in horticulture frequently disregard the essentiality of soil nourishment, which in fact, is more important than crop management or location. The moment you start to grab the idea of composting as an important factor in gardening, the next hurdle or question you set for yourself as a beginner is: how does composting work? But before that, let’s try to dig deeper into the unknown archives of composting.
Even without any scientific study to rely on in the past, horticulturists stood confident in their beliefs in composting. For them, it’s not just about proofs or shreds of evidence; it’s also about making your own results. Besides, composting is nature’s best friend, as it not just helps plants propagate and provides the support our atmosphere needs (oxygen enhances the atmosphere by reducing the amount of sunlight that enters the earth’s surface) but also uses eco-friendly materials in the process, which are the brown and green wastes.
The brown wastes serve as the carbon source material that feeds the essential organisms and put them to work at your compost pile. Green wastes, on the other hand, are materials rich in nitrogen that accelerate the growth of composting process (often called compost accelerators, activators, and starters that are available in the market or found at home).
Composting has a long history of trials and changes long before you were born. There is no concrete evidence of how long composting was already existing and provided the necessities for the healthy growth of both your soil and crops, but one thing is for sure; the benefits and changes it brought into the world of agronomy will forever mark and be used as the primary option for crop production.
How Does Composting Work?
Every organic material breaks down eventually, which is simply the idea behind composting. All types of organic waste in composting are valuable materials, making it the most idealistic way of managing your wastes. Composting isn’t just about having plants thrive and cultivate in fields. A successful compost pile is actually home for microorganisms to exist. In extensive detail, the more you compost, the more you invite microorganisms to your lawn! Some people might find this nauseous; bacteria and other microorganisms are known to only harm humans (with exemptions to good bacteria inside our body). But in composting, it’s a different story. All organisms have their own good and bad side of existence.
Microorganisms Make Composting Work
There are two types of essential microorganisms in composting: aerobes and anaerobes. Aerobes require less oxygen to thrive and are the most significant and efficient composting microorganisms. The aerobes also decay organic waste and excrete substances like nitrogen, phosphorus, and magnesium, which are essential nutrients for plants. Bacteria that do not require oxygen are known as anaerobic microbes. In contrast with aerobes’ existence in composting, it doesn’t do any good to your compost pile. Anaeorbs create compounds that can be poisonous to plants on rare occasions. They stink up compost piles by releasing hydrogen sulfide, which smells like rotten eggs.
A successful compost necessitates a balance of greens and brown wastes. Greens, including grass clippings, fruit and vegetable waste, and coffee grounds, are high in nitrogen. On the other hand, Browns are the dead leaves, branches, or any wood.
Carbon and nitrogen are both consumed by microorganisms. The carbon provides energy to the bacteria, much of which is expelled as carbon dioxide and heat. At the same time, nitrogen offers more nutrients so that they can continue to grow and reproduce.
Decomposition occurs at a considerably slower rate when there is too much carbon in the compost pile because the microorganisms are unable to grow and reproduce as quickly, and hence are unable to break down the carbon as quickly. An oversupply of nitrogen, on the other hand, can cause an unpleasant ammonia odor and increase the acidity of the compost pile, which can be hazardous to some bacteria. Proper moisture is also vital for the health of microorganisms.
- Fruit and vegetable wastes
- Yard wastes such as fallen leaves, twigs, branches, etc.
- Paper (newspaper, used notebooks, etc.)
- Human Wastes
- Animal Wastes
- Dairy products
- Infected insects or plants
- Acidic food wastes
- Feminine hygiene products
- Any type of plastic
- Greasy foods
Although dairy products, eggs, meat products, and fats are normally not suggested for composting, many more prominent commercial composting facilities are well-equipped to handle the odors and germs that these goods may contain.
Composting can be done in a variety of ways. Leave it to your municipal garbage collection service if you don’t want to make your own compost at home. Check to see whether they have a compost bin; if they have, then it will be easier for you. All left now is to make sure you’ve correctly disposed of the relevant compostable things in your compost bin, and you’re good to go.
If you prefer a more hands-on approach to compost, you can start by making indoor or outdoor compost. An outdoor compost is simple and quick to make; but, people who do not have access to the yard area may not be able to do so. If you live in an apartment, composting indoors might be more convenient. Before you begin your compost, you must first understand the difference between brown and green components. Dark and green materials are essential for a compost pile: brown elements are high in carbon, while green materials add nitrogen to the compost. Brown items should also outnumber green materials in a compost pile. With appropriate materials and a proper mindset, you can make your composting work successful without any problem.