Composting in the Tropics

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If you live in a tropical area, you know that gardeners in the tropics deal with extreme levels of heat and humidity, not to mention lots and lots of bugs. Gardeners looking to make compost in the tropics thus have lots of challenges when it comes to making high quality compost.

Therefore, I did some research to try and find sources of information on composting in the tropics to help make the process a little easier. I found a pretty well-written site on composting in hot moist areas from Peace Corps volunteers at Michigan Tech University. The website has a number of links to other websites dealing with composting in the tropics, plus email addresses of people you can write for advice and more information. Having never made compost in the tropics myself, I can’t vouch for these techniques. However, I would think that if resources allow, a tumbling compost bin would be an excellent option to keep pests out and maintain a good amount of oxygen in the mix. Please leave a comment if you have any other ideas or experiences making compost in tropical areas








Anonymous March 4, 2010 at 11:37 am

I live in Isla de Margarita Venezuela and am starting up a compost project here using vegetable wastes produced by the tourism industry (hotels, posadas (bed and breakfast) and restaurants)…as well as dabbling with seaweed and cow manure. The bugs definitely are a problem and chicken and meat waste always seems to find its way into my compost, which results in lots of maggots. I was worried at first, but then just turned my compost pile and placed the maggot infested areas into the center to make cooked maggots for all my plants. It worked great and my compost pile is mostly pest free (besides an occasional dog) and does not smell. It seems to compost pretty fast too. Also, keep a tarp over it to retain moisture and place it in the shade. The sun is really powerful here so I have to keep a close watch on that.

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