Chopping and shredding: The first thing to remember is to chop the ingredients into finer pieces. The finer the materials easier it is to decompose. Chopping and shredding increase the surface area of the pile and makes the microbes work faster than in normal condition.
Use a Proper mix of Brown and green materials: We have discussed various composting ingredient in our earlier article. It is essential that you choose your ingredients wisely. Ingredients such as dry leaves saw dust, wooden chips etc are generally rich in carbon (C). They are also called the brown ingredients. On the other hand kitchen scraps, grass clippings, fresh cow dung etc is rich in Nitrogen (N). A proper mix of Carbon and nitrogen in the pile is a prerequisite which will increase the speed of decomposition.
Moisture: Moisture is crucial for the smooth decomposition of the pile. But while adding water you need to be careful not to exceed the limit. Too much or too little moisture will dampen the whole process. Generally, if your pile contains more than 60% water it will result in stinky anaerobic oxidation whereas less than 35% water means it will not decompose properly as the microbes will not be able to continue their metabolism process. Though it is not possible to measure the moisture to such an accuracy the thumb rule of moisture is that you make sure that your pile has water contents that of a “wrung sponge”.
Keep them moving: It is one of the keys to proper decomposition. Remember cooking? You just cannot leave the vegetables on an oven with keep stirring. The same logic applies here. If you do not stir them frequently most of the pile will not get decomposed. The best principle is to turn the pile every 3 days. Take the material from the center of the pile and replace the center with lesser composted materials on the other sides of the pile. Moving the pile helps in better air circulation and proper distribution of the microbes throughout the pile which results in faster decomposition.
Add microbes: Microbes are the main cause for decomposing your pile. If you make a new pile and perform the above actions properly you will get microbes inside the pile within few days. You can definitely fasten the process by adding a bit of decomposed material from your earlier compost. It will provide the pile with instant microbes which will proliferate much more quickly and also make the decomposition faster.
So do you follow these steps? If not, try applying them to your pile and see the result. Share your experience in composting with us.
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