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How to Get the Most from Your Compostfrom: Lawn and Garden Magic
After a several months of caring for your compost pile, turning the pile over regularly, warding off pests and insects, and keeping your pile damp, it's only natural to want to get the most out of your compost. This requires that you use your compost wisely and effectively.
You'll know the right time to harvest your compost when you no longer recognize the original materials you used to make the pile. The finished compost should look more like soil or humus. It's dark, loose and smells earthy. When you harvest your compost, it's best to spread it out and expose it to the air. This will further dry out the compost and will make it easier to use.
If you find some bigger chunks still not fully decomposed, throw them back and use them in the next compost pile you make. One way to get the not fully decomposed material is to use a screen or wire mesh large enough to let the compost through but small enough to screen the remaining big chunks.
Of course, compost has a lot of benefits, which is why it's recommended by gardeners. Compost helps improve the overall structure of the soil. This means the density and porosity of the soil is improved allowing plants' roots to grab a hold on the soil better. The soil also becomes more resistant to erosion and runoff. In addition, adding compost to the soil allows better water retention.
In addition to the soil structure, the macro and micronutrients compost contains provides your plants with needed minerals and nutrients to grow and thrive. Soil holds in the nutrients better when compost is added and compost also improves and stabilizes the soil's acidity levels. These are only some of the reasons why compost should be used in your garden.
Let's get back to your newly harvested compost. After removing the parts that didn't fully decompose and once you're cured the finished compost, the next step is to actually use what you've been brewing for the past few months.
Common usage of compost is as soil amendment. Just add compost to your soil and allow it to draw out the nutrients and other essential minerals for your plants to absorb. You can also spread compost over the soil before the planting season as well as apply it to selected plant surfaces if you haven't got enough to go around.
How about using your compost as mulch. Mulch is a protective layer spread over the soil to help reduce the effects of the climate. You might need an ample supply of compost if you use it as mulch, though. To do this, you need 2 - 6 inches of compost covering the soil surfaces of plants, trees, shrubs, and exposed slopes. As mulch, compost will help reduce weed growth, prevent erosion, attract earthworms, and help retain water.
Another way to use compost is as potting mix. Mix compost with sand and soil and voila! You'll have a great quality potting mix you can use for your plants. A mix of 1 part sand, 2 parts compost, and 1 to 2 parts soil seems to be the general agreement for using compost as potting mix.
It's only natural to want to get the most out of your compost. You've worked hard to create your compost, so learn to reap the full benefits.
Compost System News
How to build a simple pallet composting system - MiamiHerald.com
How to build a simple pallet composting system
Not long ago, we filmed an episode for my television series, Growing a Greener World, which was all about composting. To this day, we get many requests for the instructions on how to build the three-bin composting system made from used shipping pallets ...
Root Down at DIA introduces new composting system - Westword (blog)
Root Down at DIA introduces new composting system
Root Down will compost its organic waste in 65-gallon bins in the back of the restaurant; twice a week Waste Management will deliver them to A-1 Organics, a Colorado recycling company. "It really is a great system, and we have really great partnerships ...
Build a composting system out of old shipping pallets - The Idaho Statesman
Build a composting system out of old shipping pallets
The Idaho Statesman
This pallet composting bin is functional and easy to make — once you complete the basic setup, you can add features that best suit your needs. The system involves three stages of compost: initial, middle and ready to use. Put waste in the first bin ...
Spring is the Time to Start Composting: Here's Why and How - Care2.com
Spring is the Time to Start Composting: Here's Why and How
Setting up a compost system not only allows you to reduce your waste overall, but it also lets you be a part of the entire food process. Most of the time we simply throw away an apple core. When you compost, that apple core gets broken down into soil ...
Sustainable Sisler - Winnipeg Free Press
Winnipeg Free Press
"We sell them, the 'vermi' compost system, and we give the worms along with it," Mendoza said. The two, along with Charmaine Agsalud and Lisa Huang, work after school and every summer. They've organized captains for small groups of students to ...
Date set for compost bin, rain barrel sale at Alliant Energy Center - Madison.com
Date set for compost bin, rain barrel sale at Alliant Energy Center
Compost bins sales have been down in recent years as many of those who are interested in composting have already set up a system, Dreckmann said. And while rain water collection is becoming popular, “from a public policy perspective what you get in ...