Monday, May 11, 2020

Composting experiment - Using dry leaves and cut weeds/tree prunings

Trying out one more composting experiment in the farm. Employed a women laborer and collected lots of leaves (mango leaves,teak leaves etc...) and weeds and tree pruning. Planning to get some fresh cowdung so that enough slurry can be made and applied. This one also is in lines of Berkeley hot composting, but making the leaves to small pieces may not be possible.


One saree was folded and collected leaves in that, 9 such bundles were used. Green leaves were almost in same quantity, actually quantity should be double of dried leaves. Work got completed in 2 days, 1st day collecting green leaves and dried leaves. 2nd day, getting 5 basket of cowdung and actually making compost. Ideally a man also should be employed for half a day to prune the trees and collecting leaves. If we leave it for 2-3 days, all the leaves will fall down and can be collected.  Kattukonna (Also called as Manjakonna - Acacia Siamea) and Seema konna looks to be easily decaying type, also taking individual leaves are easy for these species.

Process goes like this - Spread dried leaves,spread green leaves,water it, then apply cowdung slurry and spread some soil. 2.5 wheel barrows of soil also was used. 

Size of the compost pile is 8ft x 5ft x 2ft (height),80 cft, 2264 litres.


Since pile is big, turned it only it looks inside it is decomposed well, would need one more turning


Finally it was put under coconuts...Under the base one small pit was made and filled two baskets and covered with soil. For first 8 trees, 2 baskets were added and for next 4 trees, 3 baskets were given, totally 28 baskets were there. Each basket was 75% of a 20L basket, 15 litres each, so tally 28*15 litres =  420 litres. When it was made, it was 2264 litres, it reduced to 18.55%.