You can make compost manure using organic matter such as grass, leaves and kitchen waste. These can be put in a pile or bin, where different bacteria and fungi will gradually break them down.
To get good manure, mix approximately equal proportions of green and brown matter. Remember to perforate the bottom of the bin and protect it from hot sun and heavy rain to prevent excess drying or moisture.
Care should be taken to ensure that the decomposing mixture does not become waterlogged in order to avoid stinking and attracting flies.
In case the manure becomes water logged, add absorbent materials such as sawdust, newspaper or dry manure to control the moisture.
When using a bin, the top needs a tight fitting cover and the bottom (which is perforated) should be placed in contact with the soil to allow earthworms to enter.
It is important that you turn the decomposing materials regularly. The more frequently the material is turned, the faster it will decompose.
The manure is ready for use when it produces a powdery appearance and when original matter cannot be identified. The manure may be ready for use in about a month.
Shredded organic waste: Shredding, chopping or bruising organic materials hastens decay. It takes at least 34 cubic feet of shredded material to form a compost pile.
Good location: The compost pile should be located in a warm area and protected from overexposure to wind and direct sunlight. While heat and air facilitate composting, overexposure dries the materials.
Nitrogen: Nitrogen accelerates composting. Good sources include fresh grass clippings, manure, blood meal and nitrogenous fertiliser. Lime should be used sparingly if at all. It enhances decomposition, but too much causes nitrogen loss and it usually isnâ€™t necessary unless the pile contains large amounts of pine and spruce needles or fruit wastes.
Air: The compost pile and its enclosure should be well ventilated. Some decay will occur without oxygen, but the process is slow.
Water: Materials in the compost pile should be kept as moist as a squeezed sponge. Too little or too much water retards decomposition. Over watering causes loss of nutrients.
Compiled by Godwin Ayesiga
Making compost manure