Compost, the best for Reduce-Recycle-Reuse-Circular agriculture

The best way to take care of our planet is to work in a sustainable and ecological way using our own resources such as compost. We explain everything you need to know.

What is compost?

Compost is the result of the process that causes biodegradable matter to be decomposed by microorganisms, fungi, bacteria and other living organisms, turning it into a nutrient for the soil that we also call mulch.

Compost comes from the Latin word composĭtus 'composite' and means: "Humus obtained artificially by hot biochemical decomposition of organic waste".

Humus «superficial layer of the soil, constituted by the decomposition of animal and vegetable materials».

RAE (Royal Spanish Academy)

The manufacturing process is known as composting.

Factors influencing compost formation

Sondas en compost

Making compost is one of the oldest techniques that allow crops to be nourished. Basically it consisted of piling the waste or mixing organics with straw with the result of manure and in this way transforming them to use as fertilizer.

Currently we can do it in the traditional way or in composting plants, especially if we have large amounts of organic matter such as pruning from large city parks or intensive crops.

The factors that influence composting are:

  • The waste must be shredded. It influences the time it takes to compost.
  • The pH of organic matter that activates fungi and bacteria. It varies throughout the process.
  • The proportion of carbon and nitrogen in the waste that influences its quality. It is convenient to mix different types of waste to achieve a balance.
  • Presence of oxygen, for this reason it is advisable to turn the waste from time to time. The action of microbes is activated. We also get by turning it that the matter becomes more homogeneous.
  • The temperature influences the formation of fungi and bacteria. The best thing is that it oscillates between 35ºC and 50ºC. Extreme temperatures harm the process.
  • Humidity influences microorganisms and oxygen retention, therefore it has to be at a medium level.

Los parámetros de temperatura y humedad se pueden controlar con sensores Plantae, y monitorizar en tiempo real todo el proceso, para detectar posibles anomalías.

What do we need to compost?

To make compost we need:

  • Any organic remains: food scraps, stubble, crop residues such as tubers, garden pruning, grass, leaves, animal droppings and even coffee grounds.
  • El lugar en donde vamos a convertir los restos orgánicos en compost y puede ser de dos tipos:
    • Compostaje aeróbico. cómo indica su nombre lo dejamos al aire. Si está esparcido se seca fácilmente. Si está amontonado se. fermenta debido a las bacterias, la temperatura, el pH y la humedad que descomponen los desechos. La temperatura aumenta y puede desprender un olor desagradable. Si lo volteamos se seca y se evita la fermentación, a la vez que bajamos la temperatura.
    • Anaeróbico: es lo contrario del anterior. Necesitamos un depósito en donde depositar los desechos y dejarlo que fermente durante un año entero. Lo más incómodo es el desagradable olor que desprende. Similar a los vertederos.
    • Puede ser enterrado: hacer un agujero lo suficientemente grande para que podamos introducir los residuos. Mezclar los residuos orgánicos con tierra y proporcionar humedad y tiempo, unas 6 semanas como mínimo. La humedad y el oxígeno convierten los residuos en compost. Este proceso es el menos laborioso y más cómodo en huertos y fincas de cultivo que tengan restos de cosechas. En vez de un solo agujero podemos hacer surcos que facilitan la dispersión del compost.
    • Recipiente de madera en el que podemos introducir los residuos como podemos observar en el esquema siguiente. Las herramientas nos permiten voltear la mezcla.
Elaboración de compost
1-Waste. 2-Container. 3-Elaboration. 4-Compost

Composting phases

  • Mesophilic: it is the first phase of the process or beginning of fermentation. The temperature begins to rise and microorganisms multiply.
  • Thermophilic: the second phase of composting where the temperature rises to around 40ºC and the bacteria activate the process and reduce the fungi.
  • Cooling: the temperature drops below 40ºC again and the fungi reappear.
  • Maturation: rest for months at medium temperature that ends in the decomposition of the materials.

Fertilize with compost

The most ecological way to fertilize the soil and improve its structure is to use compost. In turn, we recycle organic waste and favor the environment.

Compost provides the soil with plant nutrients that considerably improve production

The soil acquires:

  • Porosity.
  • Permeability.
  • Increases the ability to retain water.
  • Provides nitrogen, carbon and potassium.
  • Microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi increase.

Sources:

La Composta, su composición y beneficio

Plantae AGRO

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