Monday, 21 October 2013

Compost in a Bottle {Science Experiment}

With Fall  on it's way for my friends in the northern hemisphere and spring down here I thought I would share this easy experiment any one can do any time of the year. Earlier this year Sir N and I spent a delightful day out at Barwon Waste Management Education Centre where we helped in an experiment called Compost in a Bottle.  This is a wonderful experiment you can do at home and watch over the year to see what happens.

You will Need
  1. Strips of news paper
  2. Blood & Bone (garden fertilizer)
  3. Bread
  4. Grated Carrot
  5. Grated Potato
  6. Soil
  7. Two or Three 2.25 Lt cold drink bottles (we used Coke bottles)
Method
  • Clean the plastic bottles well. Cut the bottle around the top leaving a small part to act as a hinge.
  • You will need fruit, vegetables, soil, paper and fertilizer.  In order to make all the bottles identical I chose to grate carrots and vegetables and use a cup measure when placing into the bottles.
  • Follow the recipe (a picture recipe)
  • Layer soil, vegetables, fertilizer (only a tablespoon per layer) and paper. Each bottle needs to be identical.
  • Spray each layer with a little bit of water.  Do NOT soak.  Only a fine mist spray.
  • The original experiment required two identical bottles. We made a third bottle without fertilizer because we wanted to know how well compost worms work in comparison to fertilizer in a compost bin.
  • When the bottles are full tape them shut.
  • Mark the side of the bottle with a permanent pen showing the different layers.
  • Place one bottle on the windowsill, and one in a dark cupboard.  We placed the one with the worms in the dark cupboard as well.
Seven Months Later ...

Left - Windowsill bottle
Middle - Dark Cupboard with worms
Right - Dark Cupboard.
What experiments have you done with your families recently ?
Blessings
Chareen

This post is part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew Fall into Nature Blog Cruise. (Goes up on Tuesday 22 October)

27 comments:

  1. That's a cool experiment. thanks for sharing it. :)

    Annette @ A net in time
    http://anetintimeschooling.weebly.com/a-net-in-time-blog.html

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  2. ya ok, great, but I still don't get the reason of this, what did you discover from it? I would really like to know...

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    Replies
    1. The purpose was to see how well worms make compost versus not having worms. You can also see the difference between dark and light and the effect that has on how well microbes etc work on rotting the food.

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  3. I would like to know if you actually got good compost.

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  4. I actually came across this while looking for how to make compost at home for my plants! I wonder which of the three compost bottles were the best? Also, did you have any bug problems? Thanks!

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  5. We had no bug problems. All three were good. Although the worm bottle worked quicker

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  6. Hmmm. I think my daughter would really love this. We're supposed to be making a biome but it's so wet and rainy we're not inspired.

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    Replies
    1. We found this one particularly interesting :)

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  7. How many worms did you put in the worm bottle?

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  8. Where did you get the worms?

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  9. Cool! Any trouble with odor doing it this way? thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. No odor at all. We taped the bottle shut with wide tape.

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  10. Hi
    I do teacher training workshops. I am writing to ask permission to use the photo of the compost bottle rendering in a Power Point Presentation. I will credit your site and provide your URL.
    Please respond to: epostman3@cox.net

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Evening Diane
      Please check your inbox :)

      Delete
  11. So you did you cut the bottles open to remove the compost?

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  12. was the fertilizer inorganic, and was it used in conjunction with the worms?

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    Replies
    1. No I did not use it with the worms.

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  13. was the fertilizer inorganic and was it used with the worms?

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  14. Replies
    1. ?? No and yes to the same question? Blood and bones surely is organic fertilizer :)

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    2. I did not add in any blood and bone to the earthworm bottle. The point of the exercise for us was to see the difference between how earthworms process food scraps versus Blood and Bone {Fertilizer}

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    3. I got that. Just didn't understand why you answered yes to the question :)

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  15. In the bottle with the worms, did you add some air holes to allow the worms to breathe? Love the bottle graphic!

    ReplyDelete

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