Home composting A step toward organic kitchen gardening


Compost is a bio-fertilizer that feeds the soil first, by replenishing and invigorating the soil food


web. Actually composting is organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as


a fertilizer and soil amendment.


It is a key ingredient for plant growth especially in organic farming. Well-made compost is nutrient rich naturally balanced source of nitrogen, phosphorous


and potassium (N-P- K) and a host of beneficial microorganisms. Its incorporation means you are


“growing the soil” without artificial inputs such as synthetic fertilizers. The unavailability, high


cost and environmental concerns of inorganic fertilizers have limited their use for crop


production among the peasant farmers. Therefore the use of organic waste is increasing day by


day. Chemical changes attained by using organic amendments are slow but sustainable as it takes


about 6 years to reclaim the soil according to existing investigations. It reduces plant pathogen


and a best means for the restoration of fertility status and makes the farmers able to avoid debt


which they have to pay for mineral fertilizer.


Poor farmers cannot afford mineral fertilizers due to high rate so; higher benefit cost ratio was


also observed. Compost is considered a soil conditioner rather than a fertilizer. However, it plays


an important role in soil structure by improving microbial activity. It attracts beneficial insects


such as earthworms, which can suppress several soil borne diseases and holds its nutrients in


organic or slow release form, allowing for availability throughout the growing season. Organic


gardens use compost, instead of man-made chemical fertilizers, to get more vegetables from their


plants.


Home grown organic vegetables are consider very important for health and to reduce the cost for


vegetables. Recently efforts have been made to motivate the kitchen gardening in many counties


of world including Pakistan. Thus to grow organic vegetables, a compost pile will be one of the


most important tools in your kitchen garden. To prepare the compost, start composting on bare


earth. First lay twigs and straw a few inches deep that will help to aerate the pile. Add compost


material in layers alternating moist and dry. Moist ingredients are food scraps (kitchen waste) tea


bags etc. (Banana peels, peach peels and orange rinds may contain pesticide residue, and should


be kept out of the compost). Dry materials are straw, leaves etc. Add green manure (clover,


buckwheat, wheatgrass, grass clippings) or any nitrogen source. This activates the compost pile


and speeds the process along. Must keep the compost moist by watering occasionally, or let rain


do the job. Cover with anything you have – wood, plastic sheeting, carpet scraps. Covering helps


retain moisture and heat, two essentials for compost. Covering also prevents the compost from


being over-watered by rain. The compost should be moist, but not soaked and sodden.


After every few weeks, give the pile a quick turn with a pitch fork or shovel. This aerates the


pile. Oxygen is required for the process to work, and turning andquot;addsandquot; oxygen. You can skip this


step if you have a ready supply of coarse material, like straw. Once your compost pile is


established, add new materials by mixing them in, rather than by adding them in layers. Mixing,


or turning, the compost pile is key to aerating the composting materials and speeding the process


to completion. After the successful preparation of compost apply it to your lawn. The best ways


to use compost is to spread it around plants that are already growing or work the compost into


the ground before you plant.


In addition to nutrient importance of compost, composting of kitchen (vegetable and fruit) and


lawn, waste the waste stream out of your home can lessen by as much as 35% just Thatand#39;s a good


deal if youand#39;re paying for that extra refuse bin to throw compostable organic material away at the


street. Now this is a BIG issue these days. Numerous municipalities are trying hard to educate


the public about how to compost and recycle effectively so that landfills do not become mere


dumping grounds for laziness, ignorance, or over-consumption. A healthy organic soil makes for


more nutritional vegetables. So, stop buying those expensive synthetic fertilizers that destroy


your soil and wind-up in the waste stream through run-off. Seasonal additions of compost (for


example, Spring and Fall) protects exposed soils from drying out. The soil retains moisture


beneath top-dressings of compost and this means less watering. The soil retains moisture beneath


top-dressings of compost and this means less watering. With a small investment in time, you can


contribute to the solution to a community problem, while at the same time enriching the soil and


improving the health of the plants on your property.

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