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Soil nourishes plants and thus mankind. While transforming dead into living, soil loses its original fertility and nutrients and it becomes necessary for us to manure and fertilize the soil in an effective manner. Compost is one easy way to replenish the soil and bring it to life again.

An Introductory Fact File
Compost constitutes of biologically decomposed remains of organic matter and is also known as brown manure. It is not a newly introduced phenomenon as ancient civilizations had a clear idea of composting and they had tried their hands on it as well. Its easy to understand the know how of composting and other aspects of it from the beginning to end and this easy approach towards it has made it such a welcomed idea by all. Composting not only helps the soil nourishment but also brings in great profits and yields of crops.

The activity of numerous tiny organisms that need carbon for energy and nitrogen for growth and reproduction. As the different organisms undergo different organic activity, most of the digestible material is consumed and transformed, resulting in the nourishment of the soil. Compost is an outstanding and valuable source of organic matter for almost any gardener.

Composting is not a discovery but it has always been an integral part of agriculture even in the ancient periods. The ancient Romans and Greeks deliberately piled animal manures and soil for decomposition. The Bible has relevant description of composting. Through the medieval periods, composting has continued through the Dark Ages, Renaissance and was re-introduced in the modern world by the native American tribes.


What is composting?
The phenomenon of transformation of organic plant or waste matter through decomposition into a soil like matter is known as composting.
Composting is worked out by numerous insects and earthworms along with micro organisms such as bacteria and fungi. These little organisms convert the solid waster material in broken and recycled form. And this phenomenon is an ever going process which is unstoppable and continuous in nature.

An excellent way to get rid of bio- degradable organic material and at the same time utilize it in some other transformed state. This also helps in avoiding chemical and other natural resources from being

wasted. This process has been appreciated since ages due to its unlimited benefits and advantages. Our ancestors had foreseen the uses of composting earlier and that is the reason why they promoted every aspect of composting.

Composting acts as a soil nutrient and fertilizer and therefore finds extensive opportunities in landscaping, horticulture and agricultural processes. Not only this it also helps in controlling soil erosion, wetland construction, landfill cover, etc.

Today the prime concern is to dispose the waste material in an appropriate form. Lack of land to be used as landfill further commensurate the need of an alternative which will help us all in the long run.

Decomposition is an ongoing process which helps in doing away with the bio-degradable waste material and this natural process has been going on for ages. However this makes one ponder that as many other natural processes why can't we modify it in our ways. This decomposition can be turned into well guided composting and various oriental methods have been taken account of by the scientists and nature preservers.


What turns into compost?
Every waste material is pushed into the landfills for decomposition, where it rots down into minimal organic matter as micro organisms and insects work on it. However if this bio-degradable waste is divided into multiple forms according to their decomposing strength and time then it can be turned into a good composted waste. Biodegradable waste, coffee grounds, cocoa shell, green waste, Human waste, leaf mold, manure, spent mushroom compost, tree bark, brown waste, fruits and vegetables, etc. constitutes compostable material.

For eg. certain materials require not so high temperatures to sullen down whereas many require high

extremes of temperature. Therefore the waste can be divided into these required portions and in the desired time and temperature composted matter can be prepared. Readily degradable matter is what is the need of the hour. Animal manure, kitchen and garden waste are make up for excellent raw material for home composting. On the basis of the type of bio-degradable waste the process of composting is divided as following:

Home composting
Industrial composting
This compost can be further utilized for the following purposes:

Compost warms up the soil in the spring, stimulating the little plants to grow sooner in the season, and cool the soil in the summer allowing for better performance in the summer heat. If the soil is well composted then there is no need to apply external fertilizers.

Composting helps in recycling of household and yard waste and manures it into an extremely useful humus-like, soil end-product called compost.

Compost is necessary to nourish soil in a natural and harmless manner. It also helps in various forms of agricultural processes like, transplanting, plasticulture, etc.

It also helps as a soil remedian. As a compost blanket, it helps in preventing soil erosion.
While planting bedding flowers, compost is well blended in the soil, clay or sands to promote fertility and enhance growth of the plant.

It increases yields of the crops by great margins.

Factors Affecting The Composting Process
Eventually all organic material will decompose. The speed of decomposition depends on the following factors:

  • Carbon to nitrogen ratio of the material
  • Amount of surface area exposed
  • Aeration
  • Moisture content
  • Temperatures reached in compost pile
  • External Temperatures

Composting is best defined as a process of nurturing and enriching the soil and at the same time recycling the wastes.

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