What is Composting
Compost & Composting - An Introduction
What is Compost?
Everything that was once alive will decompose when they die. Compost is decomposed organic matter. It is the rich, black crumbly, soil-like substance that is left behind when the organic matter is completely decomposed and the original is no longer discernable.
Composting your organic wastes not only keeps them out of the landfills, but when applied back into your garden, increases the health of your soil. Compost stores nutrients, in the form that is easily absorbed by plant roots.
How to Compost? (Hot Composting)
Composting is nature's way of recycling. When a plant or animal dies, bacteria get to work to decompose the remains. Various types of bacteria thrive in different specific conditions. If left to nature, the composting process takes time, even years to break down organic matter. To increase the speed of the composting process, we need to improve the conditions affecting the composting process, which are:
• Amount of surface area exposed
• Particle size
• Carbon-Nitrogen ratio
By providing the optimum amount if air and moisture, in a mass that is large enough to help the bacteria go through the three stages of heating, we can quickly create the best conditions for composting to take place.
Benefits of using Compost
Improved Microbial Activity
Compost contains literally billions of micro-organisms. The more you encourage microbial activity in the soil, the better plant roots can pick up the nutrients.
Improved Soil Structure
Whether your soil is heavy clay or a sandy mix, adding compost will benefit its structure. Clay soil has particles so fine that they stick tightly together and do not easily allow in air and water. Compost binds to the clay particles and helps to open up the soil. Sandy soil has particles that are very coarse with lots of air space that allows water to drain through it very quickly. Compost fills these gaps and helps the soil to retain water.
Improved Soil Chemistry
Soil conditions can range from extremely alkaline or acidic to nutrient excesses or deficiencies. Compost helps soil chemistry by softening these extremes. Many micronutrients are tied up in the soil and are totally unavailable to plants. Composted matter will bond to these micronutrients such as iron, copper, magnesium and zinc and increase their availability
Earthworms Love It
Composted material provides food for earthworms, encouraging them to multiply. earthworm burrowing helps aerate the soil and their castings are a valuable source of nutrients and help retain water.
Plant growth in soils amended with compost tend to be healthier, exhibit resistance to some diseases, are more resistant to pests, show increased drought tolerance and require less watering.
Click on link below to watch videos on composting and worm composting