EM Composting

Effective micro-organisms (EM) consist of aerobic and anaerobic micro-organisms like photosynthetic bacteria, lactobacillus, streptomyces, actinomycetes, yeast, etc. EM solution can be applied to the compost heap to reduce troublesome odours and flies as well as to enhance the composting process. Preferably spray it using a hand sprayer to prevent over wetting the compost heap and periodically add fresh materials if possible.

One litre of ‘instant solution’ can made by mixing 10 ml of EM, 40 ml of molasses and 950 ml of water and leaving it for five to seven days, depending on temperature. The solution is then added to 1 litre of molasses and 98 litres of water to obtain 100 litres of ready-to-use EM solution. This amount is enough for three pits. The EM solution function as an accelerator and this reduces the composting period from three months to one month.

Inoculation of a compost pile with EM needs to be done once or twice, i.e. at the beginning and once again during the process, best during turning of the pile. EM application on the compost might have to be done more frequently, depending on the type and the size of raw materials used.

The materials to be composted can be heaped in huge piles, i.e. up to 3-4 m high, and 4-5 m wide, and at any length. Inoculation of a new compost heap with mature compost is always recommended. If there is limited time, it is recommended to mix the new materials with quantity of mature compost; in this way compost will be ready after two weeks.