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Compost Is Gold

compost is gold

Tending the compost bin. (Alan Levine, flickr)

Plants benefit from growing in good soil, and the addition of compost to the soil is an effective way to condition it so that plants grow vigorously.

Compost adds organic matter to the soil so provides nutrients and improved texture, water retention, and fertility. Compost can be made from most organic materials and is best if it is made in an enclosure.

In the bottom of a compost container, place some brush or small branches that will increase air circulation under the pile of materials that will be gradually added.

Next, add 2 to 4 feet of green plant debris and on top put kitchen waste such as coffee grounds, eggshells, and fruit and vegetable peelings. Do not use any meat or meat products, fats or oils, or pet droppings and do not use too many citrus ingredients at once.

Then add a layer of dry materials such as leaves or straw.

When you compost green materials such as weeds, be sure there are no seeds on them or you will spread the seeds throughout the garden when the compost is used. If you add grass clippings, do not spread them thickly or they will get slimy.

You may use horse or cow manure as a nitrogen source, but it may contain grass seeds at times If the manure is not well aged.

Turn the pile with a pitchfork once a week. When the compost is ready for use it should have broken down into a rich dark looking mass.

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