Wednesday, June 23, 2010

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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