I am often asked what is the secret behind my clean and perfect home composting. I have tried to collect every trick and innovations I did and put it in 3 simple points. I may not have scientific explanation for all of them or there may be counter explanations but this worked for me and hope it works for you too.
My three S’s are
1) Sahaj ( Simple)- “Keep it simple”. As simple as possible with nothing more than uncovered old bucket, barrel or flower pot with a plate underneath. No expensive specialised equipment is needed. Nature decomposes on its own.
2) Sukha (Dry)- “Keep it completely dry”. You may get detailed analysis on how much moisture should be there for nice compost and how much water or curd you should put. My observation is all the moisture needed is already there. Putting more water will increase leachate and nourishment will be lost. More water will decrease oxygen in soil and Methane ,a worse GHG, will start generating. To keep it dry compost should be loosely packed with some twigs or leaves or coconut shell pieces. This is the problem of landfills which generate lots of methane due to dense packing. Always have two composting pots and put waste alternatively.
3) Surya (Sun)- “keep it sunny”. Indians worship Sun and for good reasons too. Sun dries up the waste quickly. Keep the pot open in the sunniest part of your home. It should get at least 6-8 hours of sun. Sun kills all the harmful germs and fruit flies in the composting bin.
Some additional tricks –
Store lemon rinds and orange peels. Blend in blender and add to compost to avoid many insects which can harm plants later.
Use coconut flakes after taking out the milk as a protein supplement in a compost.
Used tea leaves are the best compost. Used spices like cardamom peel, cinnamon stick added can ward of insects. Used Marigold flowers is a must for every compost if you don’t want mosquitoes.
Spray some citronella oil on the rim of pot. Have a potted spider plant/ marigold/aloevera near the compost pot.
Here is my open compost and vegetables grown in them. Organic produce need not look limply, discoloured, crooked with insect holes. Done properly composting gives all that is needed for plant to give beautiful produce.