In this article, we will show you how to make compost at home in 7 easy steps in a traditional Indian way. Every Indian home generates a lot of organic waste comprising of foliage, unused parts of vegetables and fruits, leftovers, and lots of other organic matter. This valuable organic matter is inadvertently passed over to the garbage bin in several kilos per month.
If this organic matter is used appropriately it can do wonders for mother earth, this organic matter if composted properly can produce are rich topsoil layer. And this layer provides the best possible soil conditions for the growth of various kinds of fauna. But unfortunately, most of this valuable organic matter is going to waste at present in our country.
Composting in most simple terms means breaking down or decaying organic matter with the help of microorganisms and micro insects to produce a heap of rich matter that makes the soil very fertile and full of nutrition for growing crops, plants, and trees.
There is actually not a lot for you to do in the composting process, the majority of the work is done by the microorganisms. All you need to do is provide them the right conditions, and these microorganisms make use of the carbon from the organic matter, nitrogen from the kitchen waste, oxygen from the air, and water to produce the wonderful compost.
In order to do our share of the good deed in managing solid waste in an appropriate way, we can follow these simple and easy 7 steps elaborating on how to to make compost at home in India or anywhere else.
Step 1 – Making The Basic Setup
For starting the composting process you can take any kind of container, pot, or bucket, preferably an earthen pot or a terracotta pot. You can select the size according to your requirement depending on the kitchen waste that gets generated from your kitchen.
If you use a plastic bucket then there will be more chances of bad smell and improper composting, as such, you should prefer using a terracotta pot. Make 4 to 5 small holes in this pot with the help of a drill to allow more aeration and proper drainage.
Step 2 – Accumulation Of Organic Matter and Kitchen Waste
For initiating the composting process you would require both organic matter and kitchen waste in appropriate quantities, as such you should start collecting them in a separate bin so that you sufficient quantity to start with.
The kitchen waste would include things like vegetable peels, fruit peels, food leftovers, unprocessed food items, etc, and dry organic matter would include things like dried leaves, sawdust, newspapers, papers, etc.
Step 3 – The First Layer
The first layer for starting the composting process will be soil or already bought compost. You have to fill the compost or soil at the bottom of the pot up to a height of one to two inches. This layer adds beneficial composting micro-organism that enables decomposition at a good pace.
Before you fill the pot with the first layer of soil or compost make sure to check the drainage hole of the pot. The hole should be of decent size, cover it with some pebble so that it does not choke. Proper drainage ensures that the material inside the pot does not get soggy.
Step 4 – The Second Layer
The second layer will comprise dry organic matter, you can use things like newspaper, dried leaves, or dry grass. If you have a garden then these things will be easily available, else you can newspaper.
This layer provides a substratum for the growth of microorganisms and it also keeps the mix appropriately moist. This encourages the healthy growth of the decomposing microorganisms by providing them a favorable environment.
Step 5 – The Third Layer
The third layer will comprise raw and moist things like kitchen waste, garden green clippings, etc. For maintaining favorable composting conditions in the pot you need to keep about 2 to 3 inches height of both dry and wet ingredients.
This layer will add most of the nutrients in the compost, as such, it should be filled with proper waste. Make sure that you do not add any non-vegetarian leftovers, bakery products, etc.
Step 6 – Repeat Second And Third Layers Alternately
Now for filling the pot, you do not have to make thick layers of the dry and wet stuff, make sure that you make multiple layers with 2 to 3 inch height, repeat dry and wet layer for 3 to 4 times each alternately.
After repeating these layers and reaching the required height in the pot, you need to add a 1 to 2 inch layer of already bought compost or partially decomposed compost, for fast composting.
Step 7 – Cover The Lid
After filling the top layer with the compost you can sprinkle a little bit of water on the top to maintain the moisture in the pot, do not add a lot of water as it will make the materials soggy, which is not good.
Keep this compost container covered with a lid, you can use a terracotta lid if you have one. You can keep this unit at any location as per your preference. You can keep it in your garden, terrace area, or any other open space of your choice.
Time For Completion Of Composting Process
The composting time will depend upon the season and the climatic conditions in which the composting is being done. In the rainy season and in the summer season the compost gets ready quickly, while in the winter season compost may take a lot more time.
The amount of time also depends on the quantity of the compost and also on how well you do the composting process.
Important Tips – How To Make Compost At Home
- As the material at the bottom part of the pot keeps on decomposing, the volume of the material decreases, and the pot gets empty at the top. This means that you will keep on getting more space for putting in new material.
- Adding a layer of compost or partially decomposed compost material on the top of the pot will help you to fasten the composting process and it will also help to suppress the bad smell from the bad.
- You should not add cooked items, non-vegetarian items, sugary items, excreta, and bakery products to the pot. These products contain different types of micro-organism which can hamper the growth of favorable micro-organism in the composter.
- Whenever you want to add more material you can just take off the lid and add the dry and wet material in layers. After a few days’ time, you should mix the compost with the help of a rod to provide proper aeration. If the mixture looks dry, sprinkle some water so that it remains moist.
- Within a time span of 30 to 50 days depending on the climatic conditions, your pot’s content will start forming compost which will look dry, dark brown in color, and will have an earthly smell.