First of all, what is compost manure? Compost manure is an organic fertilizer added to the soil which adds nutrients to the soil and also helps in maintaining the soil structure.
Adding compost manure to the soil helps both the soil life and plant growth. Not only that, it helps to prevent erosion, increases the water retention capacity of sandy soils, amongst other benefits. There are ways by which you can make compost manure one of which is explained below:
Dig a Pit
Dig a pit of a depth of 45 cm and place the soil on one side. Put four poles having a length of 2m each one for each corner of the pit. Chop your materials into small pieces and put the first layer.
Materials used in this step include rice and sorghum straws, finger millet, potato or banana peels, animal wastes, kitchen wastes, e.t.c. After piling up to 45cm, sprinkle ten litres of water. Proceed to add a second layer of cuttings to about 20cm and then, sprinkle some water again.
Start adding Animal Waste as 1st Layer
Have a third layer of animal, poultry waste, or perhaps, slurry placed on it. This will help provide certain microorganisms needed for decomposition. Afterwards, you can sprinkle ash as ash is known to contain essential minerals.
Add Plant Materials ad 2nd Layer
Move on to the next stage which involves adding the fourth layer consisting of green materials from leguminous plants e.g Leucaena, Tithonia or Calliandra and sprinkling a thin layer of topsoil up to 5cm thick.
Add water Gently
Ensure to always sprinkle water on each layer. The final pile should have a height of 1.5m – 2m with vertical sides and a flat top. Afterwards, cover with a thick layer of topsoil which should be about 10cm.
Cover The Pit
Ensure the compost pile is covered with dry vegetation to reduce the rate of moisture loss. An example of dry vegetation to use is banana leaves.
Another way by which you can make compost manure is explained below:
Second Method of Making Compost Manure
First of all, dig four pits or you can peg out four areas. Add in your wastes. Wastes added should be those which rot easily such as yam peelings, orange skin, rotten fruits, to mention a few.
When the above step is carried out, add cutnnus, hedge trimmings, vegetable wastes to the desired height and repeat the process until the pit is full or the desired height attained for the heap method.
Cover the top with soil so as to prevent flies from swarming the area and entering the pit/heap.
Using a stick, insert at one end or perhaps, the centre if it’s the pit method. This is referred to as a tester and it helps in detecting if decomposition is actually taking place or not. If decomposition is taking place, the stick will be hot after about 5 days. If otherwise, it will be cold.
After two weeks, turn the content of the first pit or heap into another pit or heap and refill the first pit/heap. Repeat this step until you reach the fourth heap and the desired quantity is gotten.
Using suitable materials, cover the final products until it is set for use to prevent the loss of essential nutrients.
Advantages of Compost Manure
- Addition of nutrients to the soil which increases crop yield
- Conservation of soil moisture and maintenance of equal amounts of acid
- Source of food to living organisms in the soil such as termites, earthworms.
Below are the disadvantages of compost manure:
- It is labour-intensive
- It consumes time
- It may introduce disease causing agents and could result into scorching if applied when not fully ready for usage.
FAQs: What Are the Materials Used to Make Compost Manure?
Compost manure is a valuable organic fertilizer that enriches soil and promotes plant growth. It’s made from a mix of organic materials. Here are some common materials used:
Green Materials: These are nitrogen-rich materials that provide moisture and help break down the compost. Examples include kitchen scraps, grass clippings, and fresh leaves.
Brown Materials: Carbon-rich materials add structure to the compost and balance the nitrogen. These include dried leaves, straw, and paper.
Manure: Animal manure, like cow, horse, or poultry manure, adds nutrients and accelerates decomposition.
Aeration Ingredients: Materials like wood chips or straw ensure airflow within the compost pile, aiding in the decomposition process.
Microorganisms: Naturally occurring microorganisms break down the organic matter. These are already present in the materials or can be introduced using compost starter.
Water: Adequate moisture is crucial for microbial activity. Maintain the right level of dampness in the compost pile.
What Are the Methods of Preparing Compost Manure?
There are several methods to prepare compost manure, each with its benefits. Here are a few:
Backyard Composting: Create a pile or use a compost bin in your backyard. Alternate layers of green and brown materials, turning the pile occasionally to aerate and mix the contents.
Vermicomposting: Utilize worms (red wigglers) to break down organic matter. Set up a worm bin indoors or outdoors, feeding them kitchen scraps and bedding materials like shredded newspaper.
Trench Composting: Dig trenches in your garden, add compostable materials, and cover them with soil. Over time, the materials decompose, enriching the soil.
Bokashi Composting: Ferment kitchen waste using specialized bokashi bran. This anaerobic process produces pre-compost, which can later be buried or added to a traditional compost pile.
Tumbler Composting: Use a compost tumbler that you can rotate easily. This speeds up the composting process and requires less manual turning.
What Is the Fastest Way to Compost Manure?
Composting speed can vary, but these tips can help accelerate the process:
Size Matters: Chop materials into small pieces to increase the surface area for decomposition.
Balanced Ratio: Maintain a balanced ratio of green to brown materials for optimal decomposition.
Aeration: Turn the compost pile regularly to introduce oxygen, which fuels microbial activity.
Moisture Control: Keep the pile moist like a wrung-out sponge. Too much water can slow decomposition, while too little can hinder microbial activity.
Hot Composting: Aim for a hot composting process by creating a larger pile with the right mix of materials. This generates higher temperatures that break down materials faster.
Compost Activators: Use compost starter or existing compost to introduce beneficial microorganisms to the pile.
Avoid: Avoid adding meat, dairy, and oily foods to the compost pile, as they can attract pests and slow down decomposition.
By following these tips, you can achieve faster composting and obtain nutrient-rich compost manure for your garden.
Decomposition of your compost manure is expected to start three days after the piling is done. Your compost should be ready after 6 – 9 weeks depending on the type of material used for the compost.