Friday, November 20, 2009

How to compost naturally?

As I have mentioned earlier, that my blog is not just to share recipes but also to create awareness on subjects which I am passionate about. Now-a- days most of the food we eat consist of traces of chemical fertilizers and pesticides which is very harmful for our health. It causes diseases like cancer and other chronic illness. It is difficult to source organic products and mostly the price is very high. If we have space, we can develop a small kitchen garden. Those who live in flats can use small pots/ to grow plants like mint, tomatoes, curry leaves etc. We can make our own organic manure for our plants by using the kitchen and garden waste available in our house. I have a small kitchen garden in my backyard where I use my own compost kitchen and garden waste for my plants.We can convert our biodegradable kitchen and garden waste into non toxic nutrient rich fertilizer which we can use for our plants. It also reduces the amount of garbage which cities find a huge problem to solve.If you notice, almost 80% of our garbage is bio-degradable which can be re-used and made into rich manure. I am going to share Simple Ways to do Natural Composing at home using our kitchen and garden waste. I have made it as simple as possible.

how to compost naturally
In Natural Composting, the waste decomposes with the aid of insects, tiny microbes and worms.It is done by billions of microbes (bacteria, fungi) that digest the kitchen waste and turn into compost. These microbes need air, water and food (kitchen and garden waste).

First you need a holding unit to store your garden and kitchen waste till they break down and become manure.Holding unit is the easiest way to compost (See pic). These can be bought from hardware stores. Make a bin of 1 meter diameter using wire mesh.The bin should be open ended,when place on the ground, it should come in contact with the soil (see picture below). Keep the bin/holding unit in a shady place in your garden.

composting bin
Composting Bin
Collect all your kitchen waste like vegetable and fruit peelings, leaves, egg shells, coffee grounds, cauliflower stems etc and garden waste like leaves, grass cuttings, flowers and put it in the holding unit.This is called pile. You should cover your pile with a layer of soil.


Microbes need air to do their work of composting. Without air, your garbage will stink. So you must see it that, there is enough aeration. For this you can turn the pile (mix it well) once in a week to get air into it.


The pile should be moist but not soggy. If the pile is dry, composting will slow down. If your pile is soggy, they tend to mat and exclude air thereby slowing the composting process. So keep it as moist as a wrong out sponge. You have to water your pile, if it is dry. You can cover your pile with a sheet to keep rain off during rainy season.


Microbes need 2 kinds of food to do their work. Browns and greens .
Browns are dry leaves, straw, wood chips etc.
Green are all our kitchen waste, green leaves etc
So there should be a good mix of greens and browns for the microbes to do their work. This also helps in aeration.

With Good aeration, proper moisture level and proper ingredient mix (ie good mix of greens and browns ) your pile will decompose within 4-5 months time.

Finished compost has an earthy smell.( pic 2)

You can used the finished compost for your garden and your plants will happily return you with toxic-free fruits. The custard apple below is harvested from my garden. I did not use any chemical fertilzers or pesticides, but only compost which I did following the above method. So let us not waste our kitchen/garden waste. Let us pave way for a healthy and happy life and make this earth a better place to live.

custard apple
Toxic Free custard apples
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  1. great post and good for you doing this it will inspire others thanks for stopping by my blog have a lovely saturday

  2. Lovely and useful information. Trying to develop the patience that's needed for this..:)

  3. What an inspiring post! I'm so impressed with your easy step-by-step composting instruction. I'll definitely give it a try as soon as I clean up my tiny garden. You've now inspired me to work on my garden that I've abandoned for quite a while. Check out my blog soon, I'll post about my garden in a couple of days:)

  4. I also wanted to congratulate you on all the awards you received, you really deserved them. It was so sweet of you to share with other bloggers:)

  5. Congrats on all ur award!!!Nice post & very informative..:)Thanks for sharing

  6. This is a very informative post Padhu. I'll come back to this when I move to my own little house :-)

  7. Very innovative & creative. Simple & easy method to convert garbage to compost. And thus protecting your family from toxic vegetables. Great Work.

  8. Hi,

    First of all I want to convey my appreciation on your impressive busy life.I wish many more modern young Indian ladies had such useful ideals like yours.
    I am amazed at how much work you do To grow plants, to compost, to have interest in health and beauty....

    How long did it take to get final compost ? Having a ground for installing the net basket is a very good idea and the end product will be top class.

    I use plastic net baskets on the terrace. It takes time to get the final product.

  9. hi padhu, its very nice to read ur recipes. its very useful. i want to grow spinach in my small pot garden (we stay in flats). can u guide me pls

  10. Hi I am Sridevi,
    Can i know what all u have in ur garden?

  11. Great one.. I was looking out for such a thing.. :)

  12. Pls do post if you do anything to save plants from pests and other small insects that ruins the garden..

  13. This is a very informative post Padhu, but when we use iron mesh it become rust after 4 to 5 months later. Any alternative?-UB

  14. Grt information, thank you for sharing this information,.U have innspired to to start my garden which I have benn longing for a long time!Thank u once again!

  15. Hey..thanks for that post..While i am seriously looking forward to try this..I want to know that before making the to collect enough kitchen waste? say if you want to start after collecting the kitchen waste say for a week/2 do you do that ? or can you go on adding it on a daily basis ?

  16. As air is required to circulate inside the bin there is no alternative but to paint it thickly periodically to ward off rust and decay of the bin. G.Jagannathan,July 22,2013.

  17. Hi Padhu

    this is the need of the hour but no one realise it. thanks and all the best

  18. Nice to see home grown fresh and healthy custard apples. Innformative post

  19. i really loved your post on composting. I wanted to do this from long time and now i have inspiration from you..:) thanks for sharing such valuable information.

  20. Gud one but wat abt cooked food waste

    1. You can add cooked food waste also. Make sure to turn the pile and also add dry leaves in between to prevent any bad smell.

  21. Very Grand post..very simple to use..will try this

  22. Thank you for the excellent post. I just through all kitchen and garden waste in a ditch in my garden. And after a year use them in my kitchen garden. Let me know if you have any suggestion to improve this method. Kindly advise me how to grow vindi/okra by organic method. I have a kitchen garden on the ground and I do not use tub/ pot. Thanking you...


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