I am planning to go for organic farming and I would like to utilize available weeds as fertilizers with either anaerobic or aerobic digestion. I understand that during the aerobic process (composting), nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium contained within the feed-stock may be converted to nitrate, phosphate and sulfate. I wanted to know what happens to these three components during the anaerobic process? Which process is better in the farming domain, ignoring methane gas availability in the case of anaerobic process.


You're the man who grows coconuts and had a small problem with mimosa plants which you now intend to compost. Don't forget that coconut fronds blown down by the wind and any other waste products from the palms can all go into your compost. In England, earthworms are highly valued in the compost heap, as they help the vegetation break down more efficiently, but I'm not sure how available worms are in Mangalore. If you have a machine that can chop your mimosa cuttings into tiny pieces, that will also help them to compost. Some of the nitrate produced by their roots will find its way to your coconut palms if they are nearby.

Yes, there will be nitrate, phosphate and sulphate in your compost, especially nitrate manufactured by the roots of your mimosa plants. Anaerobic composting still leaves nitrates, phosphates etc in the final product, but also creates methane, which is a very potent greenhouse gas best not released into the atmosphere. The compost also requires an airtight container, so your worms would be suffocated. If your compost is of sufficient quantity to make it worth while, you could tap off the methane and use it as a fuel for cooking.

I think the aerobic process would be best suited to your needs, therefore your compost heap will need to be well aerated. Make a bed of twigs to build your compost heap on, and that will let air in underneath. You will also need to turn the compost over occasionally to let more air in. Aerobic composting does not produce methane. If you see a thriving population of worms in your compost, things are going well.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, we do have earthworms here. But the main problem is wild boars and they get attracted to these earth worms and dig the earth. Secondly, for aerobic, we may not need to cover the waste I guess. This could be completely in open field I am hoping. Government of India also brought waste decomposer and I could just spray the solution over the weeds in such case. They will increase the micro biological decomposition process. (ncof.dacnet.nic.in/Training_manuals/Training_manuals_in_English/…) $\endgroup$
    – Rajesh
    Nov 19 '19 at 0:48
  • $\begingroup$ Wild boars are very good to eat, so perhaps you should get a gun and shoot them. We have lots of worm-eating birds and animals in England, but as they can only get at the top layer they don't create much of a problem. We also have wild boars, but not very many. Your anaerobic compost will have to be sealed in an airtight container, but with the aerobic method it is important for air to get in. Your compost should always be moist. Make sure this waste decomposer is harmless before you use it. For your thornless mimosa, why not get goats to graze it? Goats eat almost anything. $\endgroup$ Nov 19 '19 at 10:41
  • $\begingroup$ Goat idea is good and even its manure is very good I read. But none of my inter crops will come up if goats are there!! In India shooting wild boars not allowed and we have to live with lot os peacocks, boars and sometimes monkeys in some area. $\endgroup$
    – Rajesh
    Nov 19 '19 at 13:17
  • $\begingroup$ If there are any crops you want to protect, provided they are confined to a specific area you could protect them with an electric fence. Electric fences are easily moved from one place to another and work off a battery. They are much used in Europe, and don't cost a lot.. Cabbage leaves are very good for composting and the outer leaves are usually discarded as waste. Of course, they would need to be protected from pigs and goats by an electric fence. Electric fences are better than barbed wire, as they are easily moved.We aren't allowed to shoot wild boar in England either,but some people do. $\endgroup$ Nov 19 '19 at 13:39
  • $\begingroup$ I guess Aerobic process may leave behind some unwanted seeds of weeds if any. This may lead to unwanted weed growth. I experienced this earlier. Any solution to this? $\endgroup$
    – Rajesh
    Jan 7 '20 at 1:20

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