Composting is Recycling
black soldier fly
A black soldier fly
People have been growing potted plants without buying potting mix. Good soil can be made from composting.

Dedicate a few pots to make potting mix. Just accumulate the suitable things in the pots daily for them to biodegrade. A better way is to get a fairly large bin with a lid and turn it into a compost bin. Put a sheet of material (e.g. styrofoam) inside the bin near the bottom to create a compartment at the bottom to collect compost tea. Then install a small faucet at the side near the bottom to release compost tea.

Composting demonstrates unwasteful behaviour. A lot of things that are considered garbage by others are actually useful.
- bagasse (sugar cane pulp).
- charcoal.
- coir (coconut husk fibre, preferably soaked in water overnight to reduce salt content).
- crushed egg shells.
- dry leaves.
- empty corn cob. - groundnut shell.
- hair.
- paper without ink.
- rice husk.
- sawdust from untreated wood. Collect them when there is tree cutting around the neighbourhood.
- sunflower seed husk.
- twigs, crushed with hammer if desired.
- used coffee ground.
- used tea leaves.

No fertilizer needs to be added in the compost. Materials that can putrefy, such as shrimp shell, fishbone, watermelon skin can be added if foul smell can be tolerated. Black soldier flies will come to lay eggs. The larvae will help a lot in speeding up the composting. If the compost look dry, spray some water mist on it to assist in biodegradation.

After around three months, check the compost. If it has aged properly, it should have a pleasant smell. Foul smell indicates that the composting is not completed yet and such soil will harm the root of plants if used.

The product should be fluffy. Further amend the mix with fibrous material if it is not fluffy. Water should not puddle up when watering. Another way of testing is to clench the soil in hand and if the soil clumps up, it is not fluffy. It is even worse if the soil can be made into a clay ball. Soil compaction may contain too much moisture. Rooting will not develop without aeration in the soil. Ants may build their hive too in this type of soil.

Posted: 2016-12-19 by Ong Seng Aun.
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