How to Make Your Own Bio Fertilizer
Bio fertilizers can be used instead of harmful chemical fertilizers and improve soil fertility, which ultimately leads to better quality crops or plants. The most common type of bio fertilizer is compost, and it is composed from things you typically discard in the trash, including fruit and vegetable peels, some types of paper and dry leaves. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create your own bio fertilizer in your backyard.
Step 1 - Choosing a Compost Bin
Depending on your situation, you can begin composting in your backyard in a bin that you make yourself or one that you purchase form a manufacturer. Alternatively, you can simply have a pile that is open.
A homemade bin can be created out of wood pallets from a grocery or hardware store (often times stores will give them away or sell them for very cheap), chicken wire, or old trash cans. If you decide to use a trash can, puncture it with holes in the bottom and on the sides to allow air into the pile. Manufactured bins come in many varieties such as hoops, turning units and stacking bin units. You can purchase a compost bin from a garden store or online. Make sure that you consider each option and select the bin that is most suited to your needs.
Step 2 - Choose a Site
Ideally the pile should rest on open soil. However, if you need to put the bin on cement or a patio for example, be sure to lay existing compost or a few pieces of paper on the bottom. Select a location for your bin that makes it easy for you to discard items into it.
Step 3 - Add the Right Ingredients
The most effective and rapid composting will occur when the pile contains about 25 to 30 times as much carbon as nitrogen. Carbon items can be identified as brown items, such as dry autumn leaves, sawdust, and egg boxes. Green items such as fruit and vegetable trimmings, used coffee grounds and green plant material contain high nitrogen levels.
Since greens rot quickly and can become compacted, it is essential to mix in browns, which give the compost texture and allow air through the pile. This prevents the compost from becoming smelly and slimy. Additionally, before adding more ingredients, always check to see that the compost is not too wet or too dry. If it's too dry, add some water, and if it's soggy, mix in browns. There are also some items that should never go in your pile, such as meat, dairy products and pet waste.
Step 4 - Wait
It will take about 9 months to a year before your compost is suitable to be used as bio fertilizer, so be patient and allow nature to take it's course. Continue to add browns and greens and use a garden fork to periodically mix the compost so that air can get in.
Step 5 - Use Your Compost
Once the compost is ready to be used, it will appear as a dark, crumbly material. It will also have an earthy soil aroma to it. Remove the compost with your garden fork and go ahead and use it. Good luck and happy gardening!