Composter is a design to obtain a natural fertilizer – compost. In the article, consider the device and princes of the work of different types of composters. And also understand the nuances of choosing ready-made devices and assembly secrets with your own hands.
What is and for what you need?
Compost – fertilizer to improve the quality of the soil, which is obtained by natural decomposition (biological oxidation) of organic waste, when the organic is divided into water and simpler substances (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium), which can easily be absorbed by plants. Raw materials for composting are any parts of plants, branches, sawdust, sometimes – manure and protein, “brown” waste. Raw materials are collected in the mass, and in it, due to the activities of certain types of microorganisms and fungi, the processing process is launched.
The resulting compost by weight is about 40-50% of the mass of raw materials, it looks like a loose substance of the brown shade (similar to peat) with the smell of the earth. The remaining 40-50% formed by-products of decomposition – Gases and water. Thanks to composting, organic waste is processed, and do not become the source of pollution of the medium. Useful organic and trace elements are returned to the soil.
Fucked soil becomes more porous, it is better to keep moisture, the roots of the plants are easier to breathe in it and eat. Obtaining such a valuable fertilizer practically does not require costs.
Conditions for the composting process are minimal, but still they are.
- Temperature. If at the main stage, the temperature inside the compost mass will not be higher than 50-60 degrees, the compost will not be able to “rush” (so raw materials are covered to keep heat). But if 75-80 degrees – useful bacteria will die, which “make” compost (therefore, the mass is stirred, water is added, water is added).
- Humidity. In a dry medium, biological oxidation will not begin. At the same time, if the excess water is not removed, the organic mass will begin to rot.
- Aeration (ventilation) – For life, bacteria needs oxygen, so there must be sufficient air intake not only to the edges, but also the main thing – to the center of the composting mass. Also ventilating helps adjust the temperature.
- Mixing – ensures uniform processing of compost, heat distribution, ventilation.
To comply with these conditions, special devices are applied – Composters. The easiest view of such a design is a compost pile (on large polygons – stacks, boots, rolls). This method of composting, although simple, has many drawbacks – the decomposition process in a pile is uneven, it is difficult to turn it, it is inconvenient to pick up the prepared compost, waste attracts pests, spread the smell.
A more advanced and eco-friendly method of obtaining an compost in everyday life – the use of special containers-composters, and in industry – reactors. Their use allows you to create more comfortable conditions for the life of aerobic bacteria, different mushrooms, worms. The process in such devices is faster than in a compost pile, fertilizer has a more uniform, high-quality structure.
Space containers for a garden or home can be made independently or buying ready.
Consider the general device of the composter for the cottage. The basis is a box that usually consists of four walls. The walls allow you to maintain inside the stable temperature, so composting is evenly (unlike a heap). The simplest garden container for composting consists only of walls, the bottom is completely absent. Therefore, water that is formed during composting is removed naturally, and rainworms can penetrate from the soil, which help composting. Some composters are equipped with a lattice-bottom – it does not interfere with water and worms, but protects against non-crushed guests – snakes, mice, various pests.
The upper cover is also not all composters, but its presence gives certain advantages – Protects fertilizer from excess rain moisture, rodents, helps maintain the desired temperature inside the container. Also, the lid allows to reduce the unpleasant odor, therefore, according to the standards, its presence is required when combating protein waste (food, manure).
Close the container from above is necessary if there are children and pets on the plot. The lid is made whole or signed.
Advanced embodiments of composters can be completely sealed, they do not miss the outside of the smell and other waste, and inward pests. Special systems serve to remove fluid and gases. Such containers are safe, but differ in high price. According to the standards, hermetical bottom must necessarily have large volume containers so that there are no groundwater pollution. Loading raw materials in the composter occurs through the top of the box, if it is open, or through the top cover, hatch. Take the raw material is more convenient not through the top hatch, but through a special door at the bottom of the box (the compost ripens downstairs).
Some models have several such unloading hatches – on each side. An alternative to the unloading hatch can be a retractable pallet or removable sections that allow you to unload the bottom layer of mass. If the walls are solid (made of metal sheet, plastic, wooden plate), the ventilation holes are made in them. Optimally, so that they are at several levels – this will ensure the uniform air intake to the entire volume of the tank. In hermetic gardening composters of large size and in industrial reactors for aeration, a system of ventilation tubes is used.
For additional convenience on the walls of the container, except for the loading and discharge opening, the hatches for mixing compost can be placed. In this process, special tools are used – aerators or their budget alternative – ordinary forks. The design of the box is collapsible or unintended. The walls of the collapsible design are connected using latches and grooves that allow you to quickly “fold” the box if you need to remove it in the barn for winter or transported by car.
Composters can be both consisting of one section and multisective. Often they are supplied with additional devices:
- rotating axis to simplify mixing;
- thermometer – to track temperature.
In appearance, composters are open and closed.
Such a composter has no lid, bottom – mesh or completely absent. The advantages of the design:
- good contact with soil;
- ease of operation;
- You can do it yourself.
Disadvantages are that:
- can only be operated in the warm season;
- Composting is slower;
- Feels unpleasant odor;
- Not suitable for processing manure and food waste, since harmful decomposition products penetrate the soil.
The closed composter has a lid and bottom, special hatches or systems are provided for the leads to the removal of liquids and gases. This type includes, in particular, thermal components.
Closed design has many advantages:
- You can use year-round, including in winter;
- Fertilizer ripens faster than in the open drawer;
- There are no unpleasant odors and harmful discharge;
- can be used to process protein waste, manure;
- safe for children, animals.
Among the shortcomings:
- lack of contact with soil;
- Higher price compared to open.
Depending on the technology of processing raw materials, it is customary to allocate 3 types of garden composters – a box, thermo-component and vermicomposter. Box – the most simple on the device model, looks like a rectangular or cubic box. He is easy to use, you can collect it on your own. May be multisective, collapsible. Thermocomposter is a composter with a hermetic, compacted case, which allows you to hold heat inside the principle of thermos. Due to this, the process of compost maturation is faster, and the device can be operated in the cold season (there are models that are withstanding the temperature to -40 degrees). Usually has a barrel or cone shape.
Vermicomposter – a special kind of composter, where raw material processing occurs with the help of rainworms. Usually consists of several trays where worms live. Order and number of trays can be changed. Recycling of raw materials due to worms is carried out more slowly, but better.
If you need to speed up the process, increase the number of “residents”, but other enzymatic accelerators cannot be used.
In the form of composters can be a box of square or rectangular shape, cone, barrel. Sometimes the composter makes the corner – it is convenient and saves space. But you need to remember that according to the standards (SNiP 30-02-97) the composter cannot be placed closely with the fence, so as not to deliver the problems to neighbors. Therefore, to establish such a box is best in the backyard, but not back to the fence and residential buildings.
Plastic containers of natural shades will not spoil the appearance of the plot. And for the most demanding owners there are models of landscape composters, which are made in the form of decorative elements of the landscape (stones, pyramids, cones).
Composting containers can be performed from various materials. Finished composters are usually made of plastic or metal.
- Plastic containers are more practical – They are light, and even with large dimensions they are comfortable to rearrange from place to place. Plastic looks aesthetic, can have different colors, from it you can create structures that fit into any landscape.
- Metal containers heavyweight, They are more difficult to provide ventilation. But they are more durable. Well hold water and heat, so there is a wet fertilizer with a sufficiently dense consistency, which is well suited for improving depleted and loose, sandy soils. To solve the problem of ventilation, the walls of such containers are sometimes made from a solid sheet, but from a metal mesh.
- Wooden designs are available at the price, environmentally friendly. They can be found on sale or make himself.
The main thing – the tree must be protected from rotting and pests with special compositions (as a budget option – use impregnation with machine oil).
For the manufacture of a homemade container uses other materials that are at hand. For example, it can be done:
- From large pallets (transport pallet) – they have a suitable size, gaps between the planks, it remains only to be copper on the sides of self-draws or nails;
- From slate or from a professional flooring – it is necessary to keep in mind that dense monolithic sheets make it difficult to ventilate, so the compost has to mix more often;
- From brick – such a structure will be durable, you can envisage cells for ventilation.
As a container for compost, many dacms use a large metal barrel. Of course, according to functionality, it is inferior to more complex designs, but it is quick and cheap. Analog barrel – assembly of a tire composter. Usually 4-5 tires cut along the tread and put on each other. It turns out a “barrel” of rubber.
Among the ready-made models of quality leaders are Finnish composters produced by Kekilla, Biolan and others. These products are distinguished by an attractive design, suitable for year-round use, compost in them ripens faster due to a thoughtful design.
Best Models – Kekilla Global (product in the form of a stylized globe, volume – 310 l) and Biolan “Stone” (Design in the form of relief boulder, volume 450 l).
Also among leaders – German composters. They are distinguished by high quality, good technical characteristics, durability. Well showed themselves model firms Graf – graf eco-king (400 and 600 l) and graf termo-king (600, 900, 1000 l).
HELEX (Israel) offers devices that look like multicolored rotating cubes mounted on a metal stand (legs). Sections are produced by a volume of 180 and 105 liters, but they seem to have toy and weightless. Such a design will not spoil the appearance of the site, but on the contrary, it will be its “highlight”.
Russian daches have the most in demand by domestic composters from frost-resistant plastic. They differ from foreign analogues more affordable price with comparable characteristics.
The most popular models are a spacious Box-composter “Vintage” at 800 liters, the precast container “Wave” by 1000 l, The wavy surface of which allows you to better distribute the compost mass.
Surveral models of garden composters make it possible to produce fertilizer all year round. Along with them, miniature homemade devices are in demand – EM containers. They look like a bucket with a hermetic lid and a crane, where kitchen waste by fermentation by EM-bacteria turn into an organic fertilizer. Such a bucket can be used in an urban apartment, it does not extend the smell, safely.
And the resulting nutrient mixture is used to feed indoor plants or landings on the country. This allows not only to receive useful fertilizer, but also contribute to the preservation of the environment. Available EM containers usually from 4 to 20 liters.
How to choose?
Select ready or design homemade container must be based on the purposes for which it will be used. It depends on what type of container and what volume will be required.
- If the goal is to prepare fertilizers for the garden and the processing of green waste, then the volume of the container is calculated based on the fact that for every 3 weaves it requires one container in 200 liters volume. That is, for a plot of 6 acres, you need a container at least 400-500 liters.
- For year-round use is not suitable for each composter, and it is better to acquire ready-made models of thermal components. If it is planned for seasonal use – you can restrict ourselves to the purchase or homemade drawer of the desired volume.
- If you need to recycle only kitchen waste, it makes no sense to buy a large tank, it is enough to buy an em-container for home. It can be used in the premises, but the main condition – it must be completely sealed.
- If not only green, but food, protein waste is put in the composter, it must have a cover, but ideally – to be sealed, so as not to distribute the unpleasant smell and not contaminate the groundwater.
- If there are children, pets, the model must be completely safe for them – do not have sharp corners, reliably close.
- The composter must be convenient to operate – have a wide input and output hatch to be able to load and unload without problems with the help of Sovic. Fastening of sash should not be opened with wind gusts.
So that the fertilizer was qualitative, not “burned”, the correct aeration system is necessary.
How to make yourself?
There are many options for making compost capacity. First you need to determine the material material, and then – prepare a drawing that will help correctly calculate the size and amount of material. The simplest compost box with dimensions of 1m × 1m × 1m can be collected from wooden bars and boards according to the following scheme.
- From the bar 50 mm thick make 4 columns, which will be located at the corners of the composter (that is, at a distance of 1 m × 1m). They are bought into the ground to the depth of 30 cm. Height – equal to the height of the drawer plus an additional 30 cm (in our case 130 cm). For the reliability of the columns can be fixed with cement mortar.
- Horizontal boards with a thickness of 25 mm on a self-tapping screw or nails are fixed to BROs. Boards customize not tight, and so that 20-50 mm gaps remain for venting. Also necessary indent 30-50 mm from the surface of the earth.
- Lower strips can be made removable to make more convenient fertilizer
- For the box it is worth making a lid from the board. An even simple version of the lid – frame from wooden boards, to which the film is attached.
If desired, the number of sections can be increased. If you plan to make walls from heavier materials than boards or grid (for example, from slate, professional flooring), it is better to collect a composter on a metal frame. In this case, instead of the reference bars uses rack metal for drywall. Top to the supports are welded or screwed the frame from such a metal profile. Next, the box is trimmed with the selected material (slate, professional flooring or any other).
In order for the use of a garden composter to be safe, and fertilizer is high-quality, it is necessary to follow several ordinary tips:
- The container is installed in a slightly shaded place on a natural surface (land, lawn), but not on asphalt or concrete;
- The composter should be at a distance of at least 8 m from residential buildings, wells and water bodies (SNiP 30-02-97);
- The plants affected by viruses or fungi cannot be put in the composter, they are burned;
- protein waste, manure require special composting conditions and can be processed only in closed containers;
- To improve the quality of compost, its layers sprinkle peat, ash, mineral and enzymatic additives can be used;
- Boxes need to be protected from precipitation, for the winter they are especially thoroughly covered or disassembled if the design allows;
- Thermocompostle at the occurrence of cold weather is transferred to the winter mode, it is desirable to additionally cover them with a film;
- Compost must be stirred regularly, maintain the humidity and temperature level.
How to make a budget composter with your own hands, look in the following video.