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FAQ Categories:Home Composting
The USCC does not provide any information directly on the use of Effective Microorganisms.
Here are a few links that will be helpful:
Using EM Bokashi in Composting from City Farmer
What is Bokashi from Living Soil
The only item in your list that should not be composted is charcoal ash. This might contain substances that would end up harming plants that the finished compost is used on. The rest of the items are compostable.
Organic matter is known as the soul of a healthy soil. Adding compost to your yard or garden will help your plants grow bigger and better. The organic matter in compost helps soil hold on to nutrients and water, benefiting your plants while reducing the risk of pollution.
Composting Saves You Money
Using compost as a soil conditioner or mulch reduces your need to purchase these lawn and garden products. Composting in your backyard may reduce your trash removal costs. Many sanitation companies charge customers by the bag. Your compost bin could decrease the number of bags your household generates.
Composting is practical and convenient
No need to bother bagging leaves and other garden/yard wastes. Simply add them to your backyard pile or bin and watch these items turn into rich dark humus.
Composting is a good alternative to landfilling or incinerating
Our yard and garden wastes account for almost 20% of the total amount of trash thrown away each year. Your choice to compost reduces the need to burn or bury organic material and increases the quality of our precious topsoil.
Composting is a natural process that turns organic material into a dark rich substance. This substance, called compost or humus, is a wonderful conditioner for your soil.
Federal regulation on use of the term “organic” only applies to food and fiber products and production systems, where it means grown or raised without the use of synthetic chemicals. All compost is “organic”, in that it is the process of cobtrolled decomposition of organic materials. In this case the term “organic” means “derived from once-living organisms”. So anyone can call their compost organic. However, to sell to certified organic farms your compost would have to be approved by the agency that certifies the farm or by an indepent organization such as OMRI, the Organic Materials Review Institute.
Any kind of paper may be composted. In a home composting situation you should shred or tear it first. Generally it is better to recycle paper if that is an option, as that is a reduces the need for producing virgin paper.
Research has shown that maintaining tempertures over 131 F for several weeks with multiple turnings during that time will eliminate almost all weeds (if you are handling feedstocks with human pathogen potential, like manure, post-consumer food scraps or biosolids, you are required to maintaing that temp for two weeks with 5 turnings duing that time). However, the only way to keep the compost weedfree is to cover the compost with a breathable fabric before it finished cooling off.
Using compost provides a balanced supply of slow-release nutrients when used as a component of a potting mix. It should not be sterilized as it is that defeats the part of the purpose in using compost in the first place–it is the microbes that put the “health” into “healthy soil”. Depending on the size of the pot, you should replace the soil every one to two years.
A good basic recipe for houseplants is to mix equal parts screened compost, peat moss, vermiculite and perlite. Add 1 tablespoon of lime or wood ash per five gallons to adjust the pH. Mix it all in a big tub, and water as you do to keep the dust down (and wearing a mask is not a bad idea)
There are many difference specifications for compost, depending on the intended use. The American Society of Landscape Architects has a set for a variety of applications, and many state Highway Departments do as well.