Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Black Gold - The Value of Compost

There should be a national compost week the first of June, where we celebrate the coming of summer by enriching our soil. You have heard of "Gold Rush" the local flea market phenomenon. Well this is a different kind of gold..."Black Gold".  (No not the Beverly Hillbillies kind either.)

Here are 10 little known benefits of compost, the "Black Gold" of the garden...

  1. Compost is not a high analysis fertilizer perse, but it is much more than that in the life of your plants. Good compost is nearly pure humus, which is the living component of the soil.
  2. Depending on what the compost is made of it can have some "way cool" micronutrients and minerals. I especially like leaf compost, because the trees cycle nutrients from the deep bed rock back to the surface and many of those minerals are present in the finished compost. 
  3. Compost keeps leaf and grass clipping out of the land fill or burn pile.
  4. For you global warming folks, compost sequesters carbon from the atmosphere and locks it up in the soil. Compost made from leaves have more lignin that persists longer in the soil. This is good and improves the soil tilth.
  5. Compost can drought proof, dethatch and rejuvenate your lawn. First aerate your lawn and then rake about an inch of compost into the aeration holes. You have never seen a lawn as beautiful and you may not need any chemical lawn fertilizers, unless you really like to mow a lot. The city used about 1000 tons of compost on all their ball fields and parks a few years ago. In this case that was a very progressive use of resources.
  6. Municipal compost is relatively inexpensive. It take 30 loads of leaves to make one load of compost. So you are getting the pure stuff when you buy compost.
  7. All plants love compost. It is the universal soil amendment.
  8. Compost is safe. The aggressive heating process typically inactivates any harmful pathogens, weeds and chemicals.
  9. Composting is good exercise.
  10. Compost feeds the life in the soil. Earthworms love it and will come running (OK crawling) to your garden.

No comments:

Post a Comment