How to start composting in small spaces
Compost is an organic material which helps to grow your own plant at home. Most of the inquiries that we get at Eco-Sathi Instagram page are about waste management at home. My kitchen waste is about 60% of what i throw away in the dustbin. These can be composted and made the golden , organic food material for our home grown food, our plants and our garden to thrive. Also making compost keeps the kitchen waste out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas. SO, by composting you are saving the environment and also growing your own organic food at home.
What are the types of DiY compost kit at home?
1) That bucket you used for painting :
The white big buckets you used for painting your home or your parents used must be lying around for years . Its time to use them. Just stack two buckets on top of each other and drill few holes on the top bucket cover and the base. The liquid will then be transferred to the lower bucket and its know as compost tea which is very good for your plants at home. I have attached link at the end of this writing. Please watch it if you are making this type of compost bin.
2)Terracotta planter pot (Normal Gamala):
You can easily use the big gamala for composting. All you need is a terracotta planter pot and terracotta lid. This is stink proof and is easily accessible to start your compost today. Since its easily accessible you can start composting today itself.
3)Any type of storage bins:
If you have a large family size, yo can use larger bins or the unused drum or wooden boxes at the backyard. Simply make holes for air flow and stir occasionally. And you are ready to go with the composting journey. I have an old metal drum , that we use as a compost bin and the lid is a wooden lid to just cover it up.
4)Bokashi (Japanese Term Meaning “Fermented Organic Matter”)
I dont know if you can buy this in Nepal,if you can, please let us know. To readers reading from outside Nepal you can purchase from various online sites.
The Bokashi method is easy and composts everything—from kitchen scraps to meat and dairy. You mix an inoculated bran filled with microbes into the Bokashi bucket and tightly cover it. When the bucket is full, seal it shut and set it to the side for 10 to 12 days. Every other day, drain the bucket (which also makes a nice compost tea). You’ll have pre-compost, which can be put in worm bins or left for a month to break down further.
Where can you place the compost bin?
If you a small garden area: Place the compost bin at one corner of the garden where there is enough sunlight.
If you have to compost inside your home: Place it under the sink
Place it outside the kitchen window
Place it under the stove slab
Place it under the plant stand (if you have absolutely no space)
# What to put in compost:
So, now you know how to make diy compost bin, and where to place it, here are the list of things you have to put in your compost bin.
What Not to put in compost bin and why?
Meat, fish, egg or poultry scraps (odor problems and pests)
Dairy products (odor problems and pests)
Fats, grease, lard or oils (odor problems and pests)
Coal or charcoal ash (contains substances harmful to plants)
Diseased or insect-ridden plants (diseases or insects might spread)
Pet wastes (dog or cat feces, cat litter) (might contain parasites or germs)
Yard trimmings treated with pesticides (might kill composting organisms)
Black walnut tree leaves or twigs (substances harmful to plants)
Tips on How should to actually start it step by step:
-First separate or segregate your kitchen waste like greens and browns in a separate container
-Set up the compost bin
-place greens and browns in equal ratio
-it it starts stinking and is too watery then add browns
-if its too dry add a bit of water
-occasionally stir the compost from top to bottom .
Remember to mix both greens and browns equally to prevent odor and to avoid attracting the insects. The compost should be ready in 2-3 months or less depending upon the size of the waste you are composting. For fast and easy compost formation , please chop the kitchen waste finer or blending is also a good option for quick result.
How do i know that its ready to use?
It looks like dark, crumbly topsoil
It has a pleasant, earthy odor. It should not smell like ammonia
The original organic materials (with a few exceptions) should no longer be recognizable
The compost pile should have shrunk by half the size
Thank-you for reading. If you have any questions , feel free to comment. I am a also a beginner at composting and these were useful for me to start my own compost. Please let us know if this was helpful. I am posting some useful links about composting and diys. Also, happy composting :)
Image sources: google, unslplash, wixsite