Making the Soil Richer

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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.

Compost: Natural Fertilizer

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fertilizerWhat you need:

Composing materials (plant residues, animal manure)

Compost fungus activator, CFA (Trichoderma harzanium)

1 kilogram CFA per 100 kilogram composting materials

1.5 meters bamboo (with pierced internodes)

Sieve (2.5 centimeters in diameter, opening size)

Plastic bags for packaging


What you will do:

  1. Identify a sloping, shaded site for composting.  Create a ditch around the site to avoid waterlogged condition.
  2. Set up the organic materials in layers.  Pile the plant residue (such as rice straw or sawdust) and animal (chicken or goat) manure at a ratio of 3:1.  Spread the CFA on the pile.  Repeat the layers until the pile reaches a height of 1` meter.  Install the bamboo breather at the center of the pile.
  3. Water the pile to enhance the growth of Trichoderma and lower the temperature during decomposition.  Cover the pile with sack (or plastic).
  4. After two weeks, turn the pile to even up the decomposition.  The materials on top should be place at the bottom and vice versa.  Successive turning is done every week afterwards.
  5. After two to three months, whe the pile has finally become black or brown in color and the original materials are no longer recognizable, the compost is ready for harvesting.
  6. Sun-dry the compost for two days to kill the pathogenic microorganisms and to lower the moisture content.  After drying, pass the compost through the sieve to remove extraneous materials.
  7. Pack the compost in plastic bags.

Source:  Carl B. Monterey. 

Photo courtesy: ggpht