Compost is an organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment.
• Compost is a key ingredient in organic farming.
• The process of composting simply requires making a heap of wetted organic matter.
• They include leaves, “green” food waste.
• The materials are to break down into humus after a period of weeks or months.
• Modern, methodical composting is a multi-step, closely monitored process.
• They need measured inputs of water, air and carbon- and nitrogen-rich materials.
• The decomposition process is aided by shredding the plant matter, adding water and ensuring proper aeration.
• It needs regularly turning of the mixture.
• Worms and fungi further break up the material.
• Aerobic bacteria manage the chemical process by converting the inputs into heat, carbon dioxide and ammonium.
• The ammonium is further converted by bacteria into plant-nourishing nitrites and nitrates which is done through the process of nitrification.
• Compost can be rich in nutrients.
1. Compost tea
• Compost tea is a liquid extract or a dissolved solution but not simply a suspension of compost.
• It is made by steeping compost in water for 3–7 days.
• It was discovered in Germany and became a practice to suppress foliar fungal diseases by nature of the bacterial competition, suppression, antibiosis on the leaf surface (phyllosphere).
• Other salts present in the tea solution are sodium, chlorides and sulfates.
• The extract is applied as a spray to non-edible plant parts such as seedlings, or as a soil-drench (root dip).
• The practice of making raised garden beds filled with rotting wood.
• It is in effect creating a nurse log, however, covered with dirt.
• Benefits of hugelkultur garden beds include water retention and warming of soil.
• Buried wood becomes like a sponge as it decomposes, able to capture water and store it for later
• “Humanure” is a portmanteau neologism designating human excrement (feces and urine) that is recycled via composting for agricultural or other purposes.
• Humanure is not sewage that has been processed by waste-treatment facilities.
• It is the combination of feces and urine with paper and additional carbon material (such as sawdust).
• A humanure system, such as a compost toilet, does not require water or electricity.
• A compost toilet collects human excrement which is then added to a hot compost heap together with sawdust and straw or other carbon rich materials.
• Here, pathogens are destroyed.
• Human fecal matter and urine have high percentages of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, carbon, and calcium.
• Vermicompost is the product of composting utilizing various species of worms, usually red wigglers, white worms, and earthworms to create a heterogeneous mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste.
• Vermicast, also known as worm castings, worm humus or worm manure, is the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter by species of earthworm.
• The earthworm species (or composting worms) most often used are red wigglers (Eisenia fetida or Eisenia andrei), though European nightcrawlers (Eisenia hortensis or Dendrobaena Veneta) could also be used.
• Alternative to land-filling
• Industrial systems
Uses of Compost
• Additive to soil
• Other matrices such as coir and peat
• As a tilth improver
• Supplier humus and nutrients
• It provides a rich growing medium
• It provides a porous, absorbent material that holds moisture and soluble minerals
• Provides the support and nutrients in which plants can flourish
It is primarily mixed with:
- Bark chips
- Clay granules
• This is to produce loam.
• Destroying pathogens, seeds, or unwanted plants.
• Composting can destroy pathogens or unwanted seeds.
• Unwanted living plants (or weeds) can be discouraged by covering with mulch/compost.
The “microbial pesticides” in compost may include:
• Black soldier fly larvae