Composting


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By Aparajita Ramesh

Composting

Composting transforms garden and other vegetable waste in to a dark, rich, productive soil combination that gardeners call Black Gold.

WHAT  IS  COMPOSTING

ž Composting  is  nature’s  process  of  recycling  decomposed  organic  materials  into  a  rich  soil  known  as  compost. Anything  that  was  once  living  will  decompose. By  composting  your  organic  waste,  you  are  returning  nutrients  back  into  the  soil  in  order  to  save  the  “MOTHER  EARTH’’

ž Composting is a simple way to add nutrient-rich humus which fuels plant growth and restores vitality to depleted soil. It’s also free, easy to make and good for the environment            

BENEFITS

ž Soil conditioner: With compost, you are creating rich humus for lawn and garden. This adds nutrients to your plants and helps retain moisture in the soil.

ž Recycles kitchen and yard waste: Composting can divert as much as 30% of household waste away from the garbage can.

ž Good for the environment: Composting offers a natural alternative   to   chemical   fertilizers.

ž Compost not only adds nutrients to the soil – it also increases the ground’s ability to hold water.

Finished compost can be classified as a 100% organic fertilizer containing primary nutrients. Compost improves soil porosity, drainage and aeration and moisture holding capacity.  Compost can retain up to ten times its weight in water.

In addition, compost helps buffer against extreme chemical imbalances; aids in unlocking soil minerals; promotes the development of healthy root zones; suppresses diseases associated with certain fungi; and helps plants tolerate drought conditions.

THINGS  TO  COMPOST

ž fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells,  leaves,  garden plants, lawn and garden weeds, straw or hay  flowers, cuttings, coffee grounds, tea leaves, newspaper, shredded paper,  cardboard.

ž You can also add garden soil to your compost.

ž Do not compost meat, bones or fish scraps (they will attract pests), or diseased plants.

ž Leaves and grass clippings are also excellent for compost, but should be sprinkled into the bin with other materials, or put on in thin layers. Otherwise they will mat together and take longer to compost.

A healthy compost pile should have much more carbon than nitrogen. A simple rule is to use one-third green and two-thirds brown materials. Green stuff (high in nitrogen) to activate the heat process in your compost. Brown stuff (high in carbon) to serve as the "fiber" for your compost.

METHODS OF COMPOSTING

ž Compost bins make composting easier. 

ž You can start with a small amount of compost and a handful of soil (or compost starter). Then, as you get extra ingredients, just add them to the mix.

ž The compost will blend together — fresh ingredients will blend with more mature compost that’s at an advanced stage of decomposition

ž How quickly compost breaks down depends on four thing – moisture, oxygen content, temperature, and a good mix of ingredients.

Nature creates compost all the time without human intervention. But we can step in and speed up the composting process by creating the optimal conditions for decomposition.

Don’t Dispose….. Compost!!   Turn kitchen scraps in to super-fertile soil! 

REPORT

Recently I brought together few friends and made a power point presentation on Composting. The presentation covered many aspects of composting, there was a special mention about Home Composting and urged all the participants to intiate the efforts of home composting and make a vow to plant atleast a tree in their life time.

Finally to encourage the participants to take the message forward, I distributed saplings to each one of them. I have been doing this exercise regularly as I strongly believe that Home Composting is the “Need of the Hour” to address our environmental concerns.  

 

 

By Aparajita Ramesh, Grade7,

The Indian High School, Dubai, UAE

 

 

Comments on this Article
Michael Sequeira, Pamboor/Nairobi Mon, November-18-2013, 4:59
What a great message.This is being practiced in the villages by our fore-fathers.But,today are we ready for this to make a difference to our environment and soil.The community should come together and and educate and enlighten people on this issue for a cleaner and better tomorrow.
Philip Mudartha, Navi Mumbai Sun, November-17-2013, 9:15
This young girl s experiments with composting should be emulated at schools, panchayat garbage mounds, prayer houses and even individual hamlets in a cooperative community activity basis in our semi-rural areas such as Belle.
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