If you have your very own garden, you could have heard of the benefits compost can provide to your soil. As you know… composting is really just one of the nature’s way of adding nutrients to the soil to help your garden produce at its best. If you are looking for more information on what composting is all about and how it should be used… do read on!
In general, compost is a pile of decayed plant materials, that over time, has broken down so that whatever is left (their nutrients) can be added to the soil to improve on its quality. Compost is usually composed of grass clippings, dead leaves and vegetable matter that is discarded from the kitchen. You should never add any waste that contains meat because it will just attract mice, rats and undesirable insects. Compost is stored and left to settle down in a compost bin or wire cage because this can prevent it from being disturbed or being blown about if there is a lot of wind.
The best thing about home-made compost is that it is safe for your soil because it contains no chemicals that are harmful to you or your family. Commercial fertilizers that you get from the general store sometimes include chemicals that are approved, but they can stay in the soil a long time and there can be times where it may leach into the water supply. Since home-made compost is made up of only organic materials, it safely breaks down into a rich humus that provides many nutrients and nitrogen to your soil thus you do not have to face the problem that you may have with commercial fertilizers.
For a start… Don’t throw your vegetables peelings, apple cores or leftover veggies into the garbage or the disposal. You can put these scraps in a container and freeze them until you have enough of them to start your very first compost pile. You may want to consider layering the materials and making sure you do not leave the vegetable scraps exposed on the top of the pile. You do not wish to attract mice and other rodents that may think they have found a feast.
If you have heard of mulch, compost is not the same but it does have some of the same benefits. As compared, the decayed organic material will absorb and retain water in your garden soil much longer than if you had just plain soil. It also help to loosen the soil, making it easier for plants to extend their roots down into the rich soil to absorb beneficial nutrients. You do need to have patience because it may take several seasons of adding compost to your garden soil to amend it sufficiently. If your soil compacts easily or contains a lot of clay, adding compost will eventually correct the problem.
If you do have access to rotted manure, you can try adding a layer of it over your garden in the fall. After which you can add your home-made compost to the manure and mix both of them well into the soil. Once this material pile has been exposed to the elements all winter it will break down and become part of the soil. When spring arrives, your garden will be ready for planting after you have tilled the soil and raked it smooth.
These are some of the added advantages of adding compost to your garden which you may find it helpful.