The Indore Composing Method is an ideal system Of preparing organic manure or compost which replaces chemical fertilizers and enhances the crop-yield, without any ill side-effects.
Stalks of cotton, maize, millet and the pulses. (Ideally they should be chopped to a particle size below 2 inches).
Start building the heaps by laying a lattice of old branches at the bottom. Divide the base area of the heap into a 6 (roughly equal) transverse sections, five of which are filled and one left vacant. Make each section of 7 layers (figure 1) of 9 inch thickness. In a 9 inch layer, have 4 inches of dry waste, 3 inches of green weeds and leaves, 2 inches of manure and a sprinkling of urine-earth-wood ash. (The layering process is illustrated in figure-2).
Make ventilation holes after completing two layers of a section. Take a 6-8 ft long pole with a 2 inch diameter and probe vertically through the working, gradually increasing the size of the hole to 4 inches by waggling the pole. See that the pole remains in its position and ensure that the air- vent continues to the top of the completed section. The first pole should be at a distance of not more than 2 feet from the heap, with a maximum distance of 4 feet between two successive holes.
Continue building of the section up to a height of 5 feet, after establishing the air vents. Build five sections in the similar manner, leaving the sixth one vacant (The sixth one is utilized while turning the heap). Water the heap, lightly, just after completion and again the next morning.
The central portion of the compost heap gets heated to its maximum temperature, within one week of its completion. The material in the cooler region composts slowly and the weeds, seeds and diseased material may not be completely decomposed. Hence, it is vital to turn the heap so that the cooler top, bottom and sides get mixed back into the middle of the new heap, once the temperature at the centre begins to drop. Turning also facilitates thorough mixing of the ingredients and their aeration.
Carry out the first turning two weeks after construction of the heap. Put the top 9 inches from section 5 into the floor of section 6, mixing it in the process. Cover it with the next 9 inch layer and water it. Re-establish the air vents before proceeding further. Switch section 4 to Section 5, once Section 5 is completely turned over into Section 6. Keep turning over each section into the next one, leaving Section - I blank (figure -4).
Carry out the second turning after 3 weeks. A third turning is realized only if the original materials are recognizable, after 9 weeks. It takes around 12 weeks for final composting, though a little longer during monsoons. The final product has a pliable texture, an earthy smell and is dark brown or grey in colour. This matured compost is half of its original volume as it simply shrinks due to the cooling process.
Centre of science for villages, Magan Sangrahalaya, Wardha- 442 001, Maharashtra