If you are also the one who is seeking to have some compost ready as early as possible, then here is some good news for you. Now, you can even make your own compost within just two weeks. It is not a complex process at all if you simply learn about a few factors that can make the process of composting faster and more efficient. You only require modifying the traditional method that makes compost ready in about a year. Let us see how this is done.
Berkeley method of fast composting
With this quick composting method, you can have your compost ready within two to three weeks. Usually, composting is done by making a pile of materials that are rich in nitrogen and carbon. These materials are set in layers and left to stand. When we talk about the Berkeley method, the same pile is just turned every week or so. This is what leads to faster composting. Thus, you get the same compost with high quality and in less time. Since the nutrients do not leach much, the content of nutrients is also high in this compost. While you may need to make extra efforts and large quantities of materials together to develop fast compost, you will receive fewer weeds.
Steps to making fast compost
Step 1 – Material shredding
If you really want high-quality DIY compost, then start by shredding your materials finely. Your carbon-rich ingredients may include fallen leaves, dried grass, paper, cardboard, vegetable scrap, hay, and straw. When you do fine shredding, you actually increase the layer’s surface area. Thus, microbes get more chances of action.
Even the moisture and air are properly distributed in an increased area. You should also shred nitrogen-rich materials in the same way. Use a shredder, chipper or pruning shears to shred your materials. Half to an inch pieces are perfect for this work.
Step 2 – Balance it right
For efficient break down, it is important that the materials be balanced rightly in the layers. Thus, you need to have both carbon- and nitrogen-rich materials for creating this balance. You can approximately keep this ratio of nitrogen-rich to carbon-rich materials as 1:30.
Thus, for one unit of nitrogen, you will require 30 units of carbon. This is usually the ratio in which these materials are consumed by bacteria for working efficiently on the mixture.
Step 3 – Making a pile
The next step of developing DIY compost is to make a good pile of materials. For this purpose, you can mix both carbon and nitrogen materials and then make layers of them. However, you can also create their separate layers without mixing both, if that is more comfortable for you.
To be quick, you can probably choose to go with the mixture of both types of materials. Spread these layer by layer and keep making a big pile that measures around 3-5 feet in both width and height. If you feel that there is less moisture in your pile, then you can also add some while mixing the materials thoroughly.
When your pile is ready, put a plastic of carpet piece on top of it. This will keep the generated heat inside. Heat generation usually starts within a day, and after two days, you should be able to turn it. Take materials from the outer layer and put them in the middle. Keep turning it after every two-three days. If all is done efficiently, your compost should be ready to use within two weeks.
The quick rule to make fast compost is to move around your materials in the pile frequently and shred your materials finely. If you create a good balance of moisture, temperature, oxygen and ingredients, then your compost can be developed within a fortnight.