Composting is a way that nature recycles. It is a process that is used to break up waste such as food, leaves and grass, manure, coffee grounds, worms and paper. Composting is beneficial for replenishing the soil, and using as fertilizer for your gardens or feeding houseplants. It can be done in a pile in your yard or simply in a storage bin.
Aerobic composting uses air to break down material. This type of compost consists of grass clippings or other green material from your yard that grows bacteria and will create a high temperature. Clippings can be put in a corner in your yard or inside a compost bin. It is important to frequently turn the compost pile to remove excess heat and circulate more oxygen. If you turn the pile every day for two weeks, the composting process will be complete. This type of composting also has no smell and breaks down quickly.
This type of composting is done without the use of air. Anaerobic composting requires less maintenance because it does not require having to turn the pile over. It consists of grass clippings and non fatty kitchen waste. Do not add other items such as sawdust or woody materials, as this can actually stop the process of anaerobic composting. The compost should actually be moist and have a slimy-like appearance. Types of organisms that live in this compost pile will consist of larvae, beetles and other kinds of scavenger organisms. It is important to water this compost pile once a month, and to not open the bin more than twice per week. Exposing the compost to oxygen will actually slow down the process.
Vermicomposting is the composting of food waste by using earthworms. To maintain this type of compost, you continue to add scraps of food to a bin along with the earthworms on a daily basis. The bin can be made of wood, plastic or metal, but make sure it is no more than 18 inches deep. Earthworms will eat on the bacteria and fungi that grows along with the food waste, turning it into compost. As the earthworm eats on the waste, it releases its castings (or droppings), which produce a natural fertilizer. It is important to keep the earthworms healthy so that you can have good results with your compost. Make sure that there is good bedding for your worms to live in. Try using broken-down egg cartons, shredded paper or dryer lint. Vermicomposting can also be done inside because the earthworms can be sensitive to extreme hot and cold temperatures. This type of composting is helpful for improving root structure, plant growth and the blooming of new flowers.