Compost is beautiful

compost hands


It’s getting to be compost time!  This is the time you can get out there and add a  lovely layer of life giving nutrition to your gardens and lawns.  Actually any time is a good time to add compost except for when there is snow cover so wait for that to disappear.  There is no good rule of thumb for adding compost to garden beds and it is hard to over do it.  A good inch is wonderful and an inch or two is fantastic.  Sometimes it’s hard to get enough to do all this (especially if you make your own) so you may need to just do as much as you can.  If you are very limited add it to areas surrounding your plants or in the planting holes for now.  Any that you can do is better than nothing.

When composting a lawn I like to make small piles dotted all around the lawn and rake them evenly into the lawn with a hard rake.  It’s okay if you see some compost when you are done  as the rain will help wash it down into the tiny spaces between the grass blades where it will work.  After composting a lawn I like to add grass seed over it.  The young seeds will root in this fertile layer and give your lawn a lush new green coating of grass. If your lawn is in very poor shape do this spring and fall.

Adding compost to your garden is the single best thing you can do for it.  Compost by definition is organic matter that has decomposed.  This decomposition takes raw material and breaks it down by bacterial activity into humus.  Humus is the finished product after decomposition takes place.  Compost is beneficial in many ways.  First it covers the soil like a blanket helping to retain moisture and keep weed growth down. It can help with soil erosion from heavy storms as well.  It is a soil conditioner making heavy or clay soils softer and making it easier for plants to get their roots in and it gives loose sandy soil more structure and strength.

The best thing it does is to add nutrition your garden soil.  These raw materials are transformed by soil bacteria and fungi into the nutrients plants need for growth.  Compost adds material to the soil the same way nature does.  Nature deposits leaves and other plant material to the surface of the soil to protect it and to be used by the plants as food. Most gardeners remove these materials from their beds for aesthetic purposes.  Compost is your way of putting it back in a more aesthetically pleasing form.

Compost is also a great way to recuce your trash bill.  You will be amazed at how much less trash you  have by composting all your kitchen waste.  Remember not to add any meat or dairy but just about anything else will compost well.  The more variety the more nutritious your compost.  I find it pleasing when the material I take from the lawn or garden gets composted and returned to it.  It closes the loop just as nature does.

More on how and what to compost soon….






tags: , , | March 18th, 2013

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