Vermicomposting, or composting with worms, is time-consuming since the worms must be fed and their livelihood must be maintained all year. It is feasible to compost without worms, and it is much easier if you can construct and use an outdoor compost container.
Composting, regardless of the method of Composting, necessitates a contained space, such as a part of yard or a compost container. You may make excellent compost that will supply high-quality nutrients for your garden and lawn by using this dedicated compost area and following a few simple instructions.
Composting Without Worms
The following are the processes involved in composting without worms:
- Outdoor compost bin (optional)
- Pitchfork or shovel
- Green waste
- Brown matter
- Finished compost or manure
- Balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer (optional)
- Long-stemmed thermometer
1) Pick a location
Place your compost bin or pile outside in a dry, partly shady region of your yard. According to the University of Minnesota Extension, although a direct sunlight site dries out the pile too rapidly, a low-sun location helps heat the pile.
You can choose to put the compost at a location that is hidden from view from your home. The compost area should typically be big enough to hold at least a cubic yard of compost.
2) Begin by aerating the layer
According to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, add a layer of branches and twigs to the compost pile’s bottom. As the materials decay, this permits air to flow beneath and up through the pile. Skip this step if you’re composting indoors without worms in a bin.
3) Apply Green waste
Compost your food leftovers and other “green” waste. All appropriate “greens” that offer nitrogen include raw or cooked fruits and veggies, coffee grounds, tea leaves, grain, fur, grass cuttings, and horse or cow manure. No fats, pet feces, or animal items like meat or dairy should be added to the pile.
4) Apply a brown layer
For the compost, use “brown” materials. Carbon is provided by “browns” such as wood shavings, shredded paper, old potting soil, wood ashes, hay, straw, paperboard, and dried leaves. In the compost pile, stay away from glass, metal, plastic, treated wood, and pesticide-treated plant materials.
5) Apply a Catalyst Layer
Cover the pile with a 1-inch layer of well-decomposed compost, manure, or garden soil. This “jump starts” the pile by adding helpful microbes. If you’re using soil, add 1/3 cup of bone meal or another nitrogen source to aid the bacteria’s decomposition of the layers.
6) Construct the Pile
Continue to layer green and brown materials until it hits a 3-by-3-foot or 5-by-5-foot size. If you’re composting without worms in an apartment, the pile can be smaller or contained, but the breakdown process will take longer.
7) Balance the Layers
As per the University of Illinois Extension, keep an equal mix of brown and green waste. If your pile contains more brown than green stuff, throw a handful of 10-10-10 fertilizer over it to speed up the composting process. Lubricate the pile with water between layers as well; a dry pile takes longer to decompose. Moisture should be present in the compost, but not too so.
8) Turn the Pile
With a shovel or pitchfork, stir the compost pile. Wait two weeks before starting to mix the compost every two weeks to enhance faster compost production by allowing oxygen to reach all regions of the decomposing wastes. To avoid harsh odors, turn moist compost more often.
9) Check the Temperature of the Compost
Keep an eye on the compost in the bin or pile’s temperature. To generate well-decomposed compost in six to eight weeks, keep the temperature between 130 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Dark and thoroughly textured, with an earthy smell, garden compost is suitable for use. In gardens or grass areas, distribute the new compost.
10) Sift for Materials That Are Larger
Restore any large bits of woody material to the compost pile after sifting it out of the new compost. These larger fragments will continue to decompose and become compostable in the future.