Composting for Beginners: Start with Waste Management
A jumpstart to waste management is through composting. This Composting for Beginners’ article will give a step-by-step process to start. Let’s move forward! Large volumes of organic waste come up due to the high consumption of goods and services originating from agriculture, factories, industries, and households. In fact, a healthy environment needs the proper disposal of waste products. These products could also recycle and put to practical use. Indeed, wastes and products not disposed of could cause environmental hazards.
Thus, An excellent way to transform the waste product into a better product is by a process known as composting. Moreover, this process involves monitoring and managing waste materials as they decompose into nutrient-rich compost. Farmers can also use it for agricultural purposes. This is vital to composting for beginners. Rather than chemical fertilizers, a natural product could be made with household wastes after they undergo decomposition over a few months. This is what is known as composting.
Types Of Composting
- Aerobic Composting
Aerobic composting uses air to help speed up the breakdown of materials. The compost materials will have to undergo turning to allow the passage of air. At the same time, a pitchfork or shovel is used to turn the contents in your bin or pile. Although there are several bin designs, an example of this is a tumbler with a handle. You can rotate the bin without opening it. This helps keep the container aerated.
The microbes eat through scraps and break down the materials. The compost pile temperature also increases to speed the process. Although adding water to the pile could make it smell when it becomes too moist, it shouldn’t be left dry, as noted. Also, Avoid adding too much water to the pile.
- Anaerobic Composting
Anaerobic composting is simply the opposite of aerobic composting. Hence, Anaerobic composting can take place without oxygen. Therefore, You do not need to go through the stress of turning your pile; materials added to your stack and left to decompose. In this method, the rise usually tends to smell bad because there is no airflow within. One disadvantage is that anaerobic takes a longer time to complete.
Vermicomposting is the process of using worms for composting. Worms do most of the work by breaking down organic matter. It produces little or no odor at all. The worm pile doesn’t need to go off frequently. At the same time, worm bins can stay indoors or outdoors.
Stages In Composting
- Mesophilic Phase
Compost bacteria combine carbon with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and energy. Some microorganisms use energy for reproduction and growth. The rest goes out as heat. The mesophilic phase is when a pile of organic refuses to undergo the composting process mesophilic bacteria reproduce. This thereby increases the temperature of the composting heap above 40°C. This is the first stage of the composting process.
- Thermophilic Phase
During the thermophilic phase, high temperatures accelerate the breakdown of proteins, fats, and complex carbohydrates such as cellulose and hemicellulose, the most important structural molecules in plants.
- Cooling Phase
Then comes the third stage of composting, the cooling stage. At this stage, microorganisms are away from thermophiles. They then migrate back into the compost and start over to digest the stronger particles.
- Curing Phase
The final stage of composting is curing. This is the aging or maturation stage. This stage is the composting stage and is the last stage before the composting process is complete.
How to Start Composting for Beginners? The Do’s And Don’ts
The kind of stuff that goes into your pile matters a lot. It will contribute to a large extent to the balance between nitrogen and carbon in your pile and also the rate of decomposition. Materials containing carbon are usually dry and brown materials, while that nitrogen is green materials. Materials include; fruit peels, eggshells, newspaper, hay, straw, dry leaves, vegetables, wood chips, yard trimmings, hair, grass clippings, sawdust, etc.
Furthermore, some materials could cause the pile to smell and could contain harmful and toxic substances. It is important to note the avoidance of particular materials when making compost. These include; tea, coffee bags, citrus peels, onions, fish, meat scraps, seaweed, and chicken feathers. Also, peanut shells, hair clippings, coated paper, sticky labels on fruits and vegetable packaging, coal fire ash, and sawdust from chemically treated wood are avoidance items.
What Kind Of Container You Can Use?
Composting can come in a variety of containers with different shapes and sizes. They could be shopped at a store or made. You could decide to use wooden bins, plastic bins, or metallic bins. There should be holes around your trunk for ventilation.
How To Start Composting? Beginners Guide
1. All you need to do is gather kitchen scraps and other wastes. Then, add your materials into your bin. You Ensure there is the right mix of greens and browns; farmers can add some garden soil to your pile.
2. Always ensure that your pile turns frequently; However, this allows air to circulate through the bank and provides an even mixture of materials because some could compost faster than others.
3. You can Water your pile if you notice your bank is getting dry.
4. Then Ensure the temperature of your pile is not too hot. The farmer can use a thermometer to measure the temp from time to time.
Factors To Consider When Composting
- Particle Size: Larger particles take a longer time to decay. Therefore, it is advisable to cut particles and materials into smaller sizes.
- Mixing: As compost gets mixed thoroughly, it aids its decaying process.
- Aeration: Oxygen is vital to the microorganisms that help break down compost materials.
- Temperature: In as much as the compost needs sunlight, it shouldn’t be overheated. Aerobic microorganisms produce heat as they feed. Also, the green materials that contain high nitrogen content provide nutritious food that encourages heat generation within a small space.
Composting for gardening is just as popular today as it was decades ago. However, what if you’re just starting out? As for beginners, the first concern is how to start composting. Although composting instructions can vary, most follow the same fundamental ideas. It is an important part of waste management since food and other compostable materials make up about 20% of waste in landfills. These materials take longer to biodegrade in landfills.
Composting is a fantastic technique to get rid of organic food waste and turn it into something useful that will benefit plants. It is an efficient and environmentally beneficial method. Your compost has enough nutrients for your garden plants, which considerably eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers. You can continue to compost in a bin in your backyard or home. The farmer only needs a few months or weeks to produce good compost.