Compost

Compost is decomposed organic matter. It is what nature does naturally. Soil in a forest is very rich in organic matter because of the plant and animal life that has returned to the soil.
Compost is fantastic for soil improvement – adding organic matter, nutrients, and microorganisms to your soil.  I know of nothing better for soil improvement whether your soil is clay, sandy, or lacking in nutrients.

Soil microorganisms help plants get the nutrients and water they need.  Another benefit to composting – Significantly reduce the amount of garbage you will need to dispose of.

A variety of items can be added to your compost pile including: spoiled vegetables and fruits and vegetable and fruit peelings, plant debris, prunings, straw, leaves, bedding from vegetarian pets, eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags, cotton fabric, cardboard and paper – not slick – although it may be better to recycle paper in another way. You can also add manures from rabbits, cows, horses, goats, poultry, or sheep.
Ideal proportions would be 2/3 brown or dry (dried leaves, straw, etc) to 1/3 wet or green (vegetable peelings, spoiled fruit). If you compost pile is smelly it is because the proportions are wrong, your pile is too wet, or you have added things that should not be in a compost pile.
There are some items that should not be put into a compost pile: meat, bones, fat, dairy, manures or litter from carnivores including dogs and cats. Ammonium sulfate is not needed for the composting process and I feel defeats the purpose because of the harm it can cause to microorganisms.For more information and ideas about composting visit my website blog.

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About Beuna, Garden Inspire

As a garden coach, Beuna Tomalino has had the opportunity to help others grow their own food organically. Educated in Ornamental Horticultural from Utah State University and self taught in organic methods and multiple methods of gardening she helps others grow food no matter where they live. Beuna recently released the book Herbs to Know 2: Wild Medicinal & Edible Plants which she co authored with Kathy Wilson, Master Herbalist.

Posted on June 23, 2010, in learn to garden and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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