gardencat

Compost

Healthy compost is essential for any garden whether you’re growing vegetables or flowers. Compost is essentially organic decaying matter. Aerobic organisms such as insects, bacteria, fungi, and worms break down materials such as grass, leaves, and some kitchen scraps to create compost. Compost is extremely rich in nutrients and comparable, if not better, than commercial fertilizers for your garden. Many gardeners use compost since it is free, environmentally friendly, and wonderful for your plants. If you’re able to save your kitchen scraps (not mear) you might want to take advantage of producing your own compost.

There is almost no limit to the many benefits of compost. Rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium compost is sure to help any garden become abundant. Compost improves soil and encourages root development. Any gardener who has used compost is sure to never go back to commercial fertilizer. After just a short time of using home made compost you’ll start to notice the difference in the way your plants are thriving.

If you are interested in composting you do need a compost bin. Some people still have a traditional compost bin, which is an open bin of any sort, typically wood, which they throw compost materials into. The composting process can however take some time and the new and improved compost bins take advantage of what we know about heat and moisture conditions. Anyone can have a compost bin, even if you have a very small yard or live in an apartment with a large balcony.

Compost materials are the matter that you place inside your compost bin and will eventually become your compost for gardening. Almost any organic matter will do and they typically fall into two groups: brown and green materials. Matter rich in carbon are considered browns and include dried leaves and straw. Matter rich in nitrogen are considered greens and include certain kitchen scraps such as vegetables and fruits and grass. As you can see compost materials are very easy to come by since any home owner has an abundance of these materials.

Other than your garden, one of the biggest benefits to composting is the environment. In this day and age where everything is disposable and our landfills are growing by the second, it is important we do what we can to help reduce and reuse. Composting is a wonderful way to do your part by reducing the amount of garbage we throw away and reusing certain materials. Composting is essentially recycling waste and turning it into something our gardens will love.

Composting

Composting is the newest “ green” method of taking biodegradable matter and producing compost. What happens during this process is that the bacteria, yeasts and fungus that is present in things like food are broken down and erased so to speak. Then the compost can be used for gardens or farming.

There are many different forms of composting. When composting started to become popular it would be used mostly in agriculture. But today there is home composting and even industrial composting such as office composting. You may be thinking how could composting take place in an office. But it can be done. Let’s start with home composting.

You can take some organic soil, straw or hay and then mix with home composting ingredients such as left over meat, dairy products, eggs, cooking oil and even vegetables. In order to perform composting correctly, you need a composting bin. This can be a plastic container with a lid, or a barrel with a lid. As weird as this may sound even human waste can be turned in compost.

When you choose a method such as home composting, there are many different ways in which you can go about it. Some people use the method with the lid; if you want to use extreme methods then you can just throw your waste in a pile with organic soil and then wait a year or so for it to break down into compost. This method as natural as it seems, can get a bit smelly after a bit. So the container method may be good if you are composting in your own backyard.

Once the compost is completely broken down, you can use the natural compost and use it for garden compost for flowers and for vegetable gardens. You will have organic vegetables by the summer and they will taste great, the compost will be free of chemicals and everything is environmentally friendly.

This method of composting may sound strange but even offices are trying to go green by composting office waste as well. Left over food, coffee grinds not the paper and even plants that die in the office can all be added to the composting pile. Buy a container of any size and start with soil, straw, and hay and then little by little add to your compost. In a year’s time you will have all natural soil that can be used for repotting the office plants.

On a large scale, composting is done on farms. They are called composting piles. There are composting farms just for composting all over the country. Then the compost is packaged and sold in stores and to other local farms. This process does take a long time but when the compost is ready you are doing your part to save the earth’s environment.

Read more about composting online and see if you can start home composting, garden composting, coffee composting and office composting. It really is an interesting project and it is 100 percent safe for the environment.

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Preparing Healthy Soil

If you’re getting ready to go on a new garden venture, you need to prepare your soil to ideally house your plants. The best thing you can do in the soil preparation process is to reach the perfect mixture of sand, silt, and clay. Preferably there would be 40 percent sand, 40 percent silt, and 20 percent clay. There are several tests used by experienced gardeners to tell whether the soil has a good composition. First you can compress it in your hand. If it doesn’t hold its shape and crumbles without any outside force, your sand ratio is probably a little high. If you poke the compressed ball with your finger and it doesn’t fall apart easily, your soil contains too much clay.

If you’re still not sure about the content of your soil, you can separate each ingredient by using this simple method. Put a cup or two of dirt into a jar of water. Shake the water up until the soil is suspended, then let it set until you see it separate into 3 separate layers. The top layer is clay, the next is silt, and on the bottom is sand. You should be able to judge the presence of each component within your dirt, and act accordingly.

After you’ve analyzed the content of your soil, if you decide that it is low on a certain ingredient then you should definitely do something to fix it. If dealing with too much silt or sand, it’s best to add some peat moss or compost. If you’ve got too much clay, add a mixture of peat moss and sand. The peat moss, when moistens, helps for the new ingredient to infiltrate the mixture better. If you can’t seem to manage to attain a proper mixture, just head down to your local gardening store. You should be able to find some kind of product to aid you.

The water content of the soil is another important thing to consider when preparing for your garden. If your garden is at the bottom of an incline, it is most likely going to absorb too much water and drown out the plants. If this is the case, you should probably elevate your garden a few inches (4 or 5) over the rest of the ground. This will allow for more drainage and less saturation.

Adding nutrients to your soil is also a vital part of the process, as most urban soils have little to no nutrients already in them naturally. One to two weeks prior to planting, you should add a good amount of fertilizer to your garden. Mix it in really well and let it sit for a while. Once you have done this, your soil will be completely ready for whatever seeds you may plant in it.

Once your seeds are planted, you still want to pay attention to the soil. The first few weeks, the seeds are desperately using up all the nutrients around them to sprout into a real plant. If they run out of food, how are they supposed to grow? About a week after planting, you should add the same amount of fertilizer that you added before. After this you should continue to use fertilizer, but not as often. If you add a tiny bit every couple of weeks, that should be plenty to keep your garden thriving.

Basically, the entire process of soil care can be compressed into just several steps… ensure the makeup of the soil is satisfactory, make sure you have proper drainage in your garden, add fertilizer before and after planting, then add fertilizer regularly after that. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll have a plethora of healthy plants in no time. And if you need any more details on an individual step, just go to your local nursery and inquire there. Most of the employees will be more than happy to give you advice.