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Materials in a compost pile Food scraps compost heap Composting is an aerobic method meaning that it requires the presence of air of decomposing organic solid wastes. The process involves decomposition of organic material into a humus -like material, known as compost, which is a good fertilizer for plants.
Composting requires the following three components: Composting organisms require four equally important ingredients to work effectively: Carbon — for energy; the microbial oxidation of carbon produces the heat, if included at suggested levels.
Nitrogen — to grow and reproduce more organisms to oxidize the carbon. High nitrogen materials tend to be green or colorful, such as fruits and vegetables and wet. Oxygen — for oxidizing the carbon, the decomposition process.
Water — in the right amounts to maintain activity Compost pit causing anaerobic conditions. Active management of the pile e.
Above 30 the substrate is nitrogen starved, below 15 it is likely to outgas a portion of nitrogen as ammonia.
Mixing equal parts by volume approximates the ideal C: Few individual situations will provide the ideal mix of materials at any point. Observation of amounts, and consideration of different materials as a pile is built over time, can quickly achieve a workable technique for the individual situation.
Microorganisms[ edit ] With the proper mixture of water, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen, micro-organisms are able to break down organic matter to produce compost. There are many types of microorganisms found in active compost of which the most common are: Depending on the phase of composting, mesophilic or thermophilic bacteria may predominate.
Actinobacteria - Necessary for breaking down paper products such as newspaper, barketc. Fungi - molds and yeast help break down materials that bacteria cannot, especially lignin in woody material.
Protozoa - Help consume bacteria, fungi and micro organic particulates. Rotifers - Rotifers help control populations of bacteria and small protozoans. In addition, earthworms not only ingest partly composted material, but also continually re-create aeration and drainage tunnels as they move through the compost.
Phases of composting[ edit ] Under ideal conditions, composting proceeds through three major phases: As the temperature rises, a second, thermophilic phase starts, in which the decomposition is carried out by various thermophilic bacteria under high temperatures.
As the supply of high-energy compounds dwindles, the temperature starts to decrease, and the mesophiles once again predominate in the maturation phase. Slow and rapid composting[ edit ] This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. April Learn how and when to remove this template message There are many proponents of rapid composting that attempt to correct some of the perceived problems associated with traditional, slow composting.
Many advocate that compost can be made in 2 to 3 weeks. N at 30 to 1 or less, and monitoring the moisture level more carefully. However, none of these parameters differ significantly from the early writings of compost researchers, suggesting that in fact modern composting has not made significant advances over the traditional methods that take a few months to work.
For this reason and others, many scientists who deal with carbon transformations are sceptical that there is a "super-charged" way to get nature to make compost rapidly.
The bacterial activity in rapid high heat methods breaks down the material to the extent that pathogens and seeds are destroyed, and the original feedstock is unrecognizable. At this stage, the compost can be used to prepare fields or other planting areas.
However, most professionals recommend that the compost be given time to cure before using in a nursery for starting seeds or growing young plants. The curing time allows fungi to continue the decomposition process and eliminating phytotoxic substances.
April Composting can destroy pathogens or unwanted seeds. The " microbial pesticides " in compost may include thermophiles and mesophiles. Thermophilic high-temperature composting is well known to destroy many seeds and nearly all types of pathogens exceptions may include prions.Before turning compost from a pit that is a month old is mixed with water and sprinkled into a loosened top layer of the pit.
The material is then divided in half lengthwise and the material from one side of the pit is piled on top of an undisturbed other side of the pit. By Cathy Cromell, The National Gardening Association. If you live in a place where digging holes in the ground is no big deal, you can make a pit compost.
The following info helps you add anaerobic composting to your repertoire. Pit composting suits no-fuss gardeners Photo/Illustration: Danielle Sherry. For pit composting, holes or trenches are dug to bury your waste. After that, you sit back and forget about it, while the organic materials gradually break down over a period of six months to a year.
Composting is an aerobic method (meaning that it requires the presence of air) of decomposing organic solid wastes. It can therefore be used to recycle organic material. The process involves decomposition of organic material into a humus-like material, known as compost, which is a good fertilizer for plants.
Composting requires the following . If you live in a place where digging holes in the ground is no big deal, you can make a pit compost. The following info helps you add anaerobic composting to your repertoire.
Good choices for your pit compost include areas where you want to add a future garden bed or between rows of existing [ ]. C ompost is the decomposed organic matter that can be used as fertilizer, soil amendment, soil conditioner and as a natural pesticide for the soil.
Composting is a process which coverts organic matter into compost. Though there are different ways of making compost, but a simple pit or trench composting is free and highly effective as compared to purchasing or building a compost bin.