Humus is nature's strategy to recycle and take advantage of organic matter; composting is the method that humans have to create that humus.
Therefore, compost is the most appropriate way to take advantage of organic matter, to carry out a balanced restoration of nutrients and, in addition, a method that provides a large number of macro and microorganisms that balance and diversify life on earth.
On the contrary, an application of manure that has not been properly composted promotes the appearance of weeds and nutritional imbalances that attract various pests and diseases.
Bocashi: corresponds to a very accelerated aerobic fermentation process, and is achieved from varied and small raw materials (with a large contact surface) such as wheat bran, shredded straw, manure (hen, sheep, goat, cow), rock ash or meal, crushed coal, yeast, molasses or sugar and water. This process requires 1 to 2 turns daily for a period of 7 to 14 days. The end result is a semi-finished product that finishes maturing once applied. Being a very fast process, this type of composting should not be applied directly in contact with the roots of the plants or with the seeds.
Download PDF: Instructions for making Bocashi
Traditional composting: from a balanced proportion of raw materials in relation to materials rich in carbon (straw, shredded wood ... brown matter), nitrogen (green matter and manure), minerals (ash or rock meal), organic matter and the The land of the farm itself produces an aerobic fermentation process, with adequate control of temperature and humidity in which a certain number of turns is carried out for adequate oxygenation and temperature control. With the same type of initial raw materials, this process can take between 4 months (6 turns) and a year (one turn). The shape of the pile is also very important to take advantage of the weather conditions that we have: in humid situations, triangular shape; in dry situations, rectangular.
Compost proportions should be no more than 2-3m wide by 2-3m high and as long as we like. The orientation should be East-West to facilitate that the entire pile receives the same insolation. We must take special care to monitor the temperatures that the compost heap reaches (it must reach 60-65ºC to eliminate seeds and pathogens).
Biodynamic Composting: corresponds to composting carried out in a traditional way to which, once the pile is shaped, some preparations made in a special way are added that enhance a very particular and powerful type of microbiology. Any type of manure can be used, although the most suitable one depends on the situation in which we find ourselves (type of land, orography, type of crop ...). The biodynamic compost must be made in a specific place on the farm and elaborated in a particular way, if possible with materials from the farm itself. It should also be covered with a breathable material made of leather. In dry climates it should be dirt (2-4 cm around the heap) and in humid climates it may be straw.
Amount to apply
Depending on the type of horticultural crops that we make, the application of the compost must be more or less abundant in quantity and more or less mature. Leafy plants will need a more mature compost and a smaller quantity in relation to a fruit compost, which will need a greater quantity and not so mature, all also related to the type of soil (if it is a cold, warm, sandy, clay soil).
Depending on the type of cultivation land, there are other types of amendments that can be applied both to improve its structure and to mobilize the nutrients blocked by pH.
In general, the compost heap is a first digestion of the matter, the first stomach of our farm, therefore all the amendments that our land needs should be made through the compost. Any amendment applied directly can cause "indigestion" and lead to consequences on the health of our crops.