Clicky

A Guide to Household Composting

What is composting?

Composting is a process wherein various organic materials such as waste products and food scraps are recycled into a form of fertilizer or compost. This process involves the breaking down of the materials into humus over a period of time. This procedure is often controlled by factors that can speed it up such as worms, microbes, fungi, and bacteria.

Composting Systems

There are two types of composting systems in the current compost industry. These are:

  1. Aerobic Composting System, and
  2. Anaerobic Composting System

Needless to say, these systems differ in nature. For starter, aerobic composting involves the utilization of organism that needs atmospheric oxygen to thrive. You can buy ready made best worm compost 2019 This is done by applying water in the organic materials such as yard waste and food scraps and occasionally aerating the mixture using a pitchfork. The goal of this system is to prevent compaction in the pile for oxygen to freely flow through it. Effortlessly, the moist and aerated condition of the pile will invite aerobic microorganisms in it, breaking down the materials a lot faster.

On the other hand, anaerobic composting pertains to the use of organisms like bacteria that can live and thrive even with the absence of atmospheric oxygen. This is where compost bins come in the picture. These bins allow fermentation to take place in it, utilizing anaerobic bacteria and organism to influence the decomposition of the organic pile.

Household Composting Method

Household Composting is a method that utilizes holding units in various makes and forms. Despite its similarity to anaerobic composting, it is actually a process that encourages aerobic composting. And since most holding units are characterized as sealed containers, ventilation and aeration are encouraged by poking or drilling holes in them.

Oftentimes, organisms are intentionally and deliberately applied such as compost worms, leading to worm composting or vermicomposting, to speed up the breaking down of the organic matter.

Holding Units

Holding units also referred to as compost bins, are containers that hold and store yard waste and kitchen scraps until the composting process is completed. In general, these units require little maintenance. Some models are even used by a lot of apartment dwellers for indoor composting.

In the current market, there are approximately 3 types of holding units available. These are enclosed bins, tumblers, and worm bins.

Types of Holding Units

Enclosed Bins

Enclosed bins are a type of holding unit best used in areas with limited space. This, however, can only house a limited amount of organic materials. Oftentimes, enclosed bins are used for anaerobic composting. This results in a slow decomposition process for piles in an enclosed bin. As a means to hasten this process, more and more people are opting to aerate their enclosed bins by drilling and puncturing holes on them or adding ventilation stacks.

These holding units, even when aerated, require little maintenance. However, this also means that the decomposition process takes a long time, regardless if it’s ventilated. Composting can take 6 months up to 1 year to finish even under an ideal condition.

Tumblers

Tumblers are a type of rolling bin which, as the name implies, is used to hold organic materials for decomposition and aerates it by simply rolling the container. A routine tumbling done once or twice a day eliminates the need for aerating tools to loosen up the pile. This type of unit maximizes heat retention due to its spherical shape. It also encourages faster composting because of the easy aeration system.

Worm Bins

Worm bins, as the name suggests, are a type of holding unit that houses compost worms such as red wigglers and European nightcrawlers. These bins encourage faster breaking down of organic materials by letting compost works do most of the job. These bins are utilized mainly to recreate the ideal living environment for worms. These units are mainly used for vermicomposting or worm composting. And instead of letting organic materials decompose, they are fed to compost worms to be broken down into compost.

Can you put worms in a compost bin?

Logically speaking, worm bins are, in a way, a type of compost bins. Hence, this means that you can, technically, put worms in your compost bin. However, we strongly believe that the success of vermicomposting relies on the simulated environment of the holding unit.

Strictly speaking, unaerated enclosed bins are not capable of recreating a friendly environment for compost worms to survive. This is due to the lack of atmospheric oxygen, which worms need in order to survive. However, an aerated enclosed bin might be able to house worms, if you are willing to add an ample supply of bedding materials to regulate the moisture level of the environment.

On the other hand, rolling bins like tumblers are not good containers for compost worms. This is due to the need for most of these bins to be rolled and tumbled often. If worms are applied in this type of unit, they are more likely to be stressed due to the unstable environment. After all, worms like it best when they are left alone.

Other Composting Methods

Over the years, the composting process has improved dramatically with the help of the discovery of various factors that affect the procedure. Aside from the regular composting method, other types of composting is now being done worldwide.

 

Pit Composting

This method is done by using shallow pits dug in the ground to store and decompose organic materials. This process involves digging a pit with a depth of 3 feet to serve as a compost pit. It is highly recommended to aerate the pile as often as possible to prevent anaerobic conditions from occurring. It is also advisable to cover the layer of organic matter with dried leaves, especially if a new layer is added, to allow air into the pile and to prevent the pit from emitting a bad odor.

Sheet Composting

This method disregards the need for building a composting file, unlike other composting methods. Ultimately, the process is done by spreading a thin layer of organic materials on the soil. These materials require to be tilled with a hoe, garden fork, spade, or rotary tiller. Prior to layering, materials are recommended to be reduced or shredded to smaller pieces to hasten the decomposition process. Sheet composting is best done during fall for it usually utilizes the soil’s nitrogen reserve, which is essential to plant growth.

You may also enjoy Everything You Need To Know About Feeding Compost Worms

Leave a Comment