Fertilizers are used because soil nutrients get depleted over time.  Here’s how to turn your garden or farm soil nutrient-rich.

What You Need

■  plant waste such as leaves, straw, rice hull, grass

■  fresh animal manure from carabao, cow, horse, chicken, etc.

■  kerosene can or basket

■  eight pieces of ipil-ipil post, about 2 inches to 3 inches in diameter, 5 feet in height

■  bamboo

■  shovel, garden fork, bolo 

What You Will Do

  1. Choose an elevated, dry, and shady place in your yard to work in.
  2. Using ipil-ipil posts or similar material, enclose the area.  Allow space for air at the bottom.
  3. Cut the farm waste into 3-inche shreds.  Soak these in water for 5 minutes.  Mix an equal amount of animal manure.
  4. On the second day, check if the pile is getting warmer.  Add dissolved fresh manure if the pile is not heating up.  The heat will neutralize microbes and the seeds of weeds and grasses.  It is important that the pile heats up within two days.
  5. On the third day, reverse the pile and check if the bottom layer is heating up.  It not, add more dissolved manure.  Keep the pile moist but not wet.
  6. On the seventh day, reverse the pile and maintain heat and moisture.
  7. On the 10th day, check if the pile is cooling.  If so, then the compost is done.
  8. On the 14th day or so, the resulting compost should look like dark, coarse, and powdered soil.  As necessary, the compost can be stored up to 18 days.

The resulting compost is an effective fertilizer that will help rejuvenate the soil.

Tips:  Pure plant matter will take longer to decompose.  Adding manure will speed up decomposition.


► Making Compost in 14 Days.  http://www.tirc.gov.ph