Compost is a natural fertilizer that is manufactured from biodegradable material. This means that to be able to make compost you will always require to use organic matter elements. Making compost is not complicated but it does take time and also a dedicated space and proper facilities.
The composting process is supported by the action of microorganisms that act upon that organic matter, and what they do is transform this element into compost through a decomposition process. For those that do not know, organic matter is every product or element that has an organic source that comes from the remains of organisms.
What To Put in Compost?
Compost can be made with any organic matter, provided that it is not contaminated. The raw materials used usually are:
- The branches or trunks that come from pruning will be crushed to prevent the from taking a long time to decompose.
- Green manure, lawn mowing, every weed.
- Animal manure: excrements that come from farm animals like cows, horses or chickens.
- Algae: they have ideal antibacterial and antifungal agents to protect crops and vegetation.
- Urban wastes: it is understood as all organic matter that comes from kitchens and domestic use. What is commonly known as organic fraction and in its recycling process it is placed in the brown container.
- Mineral complements. Sometimes powdered crushed minerals are added to the compost with the objective to correct the deficiencies of specific soils. Some examples are; rocks that are rich in potassium, magnesium rocks, natural phosphates and siliceous rocks.
What Not to Put in Compost?
To be able to make good compost it is necessary to avoid all organic material that is contaminated with some element non biodegradable. It is not advised to use the following:
- Carbon ashes.
- Cigarette filters.
- Vacuum remains.
- Synthetic fabric.
- Organic waste with a very high heavy metal count.
Factors that May Condition Making Compost
Also, you must keep in mind certain parameters in order to make good compost, for this reason and to maintain a better control in the process, compost is manufactured in specific and prepared facilities. Factors that take action are:
- Keep the microbial population: composting, being a process of decomposition of organic matter, requires a wide range of populations of bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes.
- Temperature: the temperature must reach between 35ºC and 70ºC.
- Humidity: the amount of humidity has to go between 40-60%. Also, it depends on the type of raw material used.
- pH: it is important to maintain the pH in a margin between 5-8, this will keep microorganisms that produce compost from dying.
- Oxygen: it is essential for the composting process because it is aerobic, meaning, it needs air (oxygen) to function.
Balance Between Carbon (C) and Nitrogen (N): in theory, the ideal ratio of the C/N balance is 25-35%. But it can always vary in function of the organic matter used. A bad proportion can affect the biological process of the microorganisms. cloroplasto