Compost & Mulch 

- your garden will love you


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 Practical Guide to Composting!

 

 

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Once your garden has been laid out and prepared, maintenance is much easier. Keep digging to an absolute minimum as the system is designed to allow earthworms to work their magic. Good mulching practices are the mainstay of a fertile and healthy organic garden.

 

Look for local organic materials to use as mulch - again making sure they are chemical free. Lucerne hay and pea straw make the best mulches, but you can also use spent mushroom compost (check if insecticides have been used), spent hops, even reclaimed underfelt - most older underfelts are 100% pure biodegradable organic material.

 

Why make Compost?

Mulching with compost is one of the best things you can do for your organic garden. You and your plants will be hugely rewarded with the addition of a layer of compost mulch.

Compost is basically made from recycled kitchen and garden waste. It is used to feed and condition the soil. Well made compost smells sweet and earthy with a rich, dark soil-like texture. It is best used as a mulch, adding a 2 - 3cm layer over your soil. The animals in the soil take the compost deep into the soil, making the nutrients available to your plants. This works very well in a no-dig garden.

 

Using compost to plant out, at least for the first time, will provide your garden beds with starter cultures of micro-organisms.
Creating your own compost heap(s) allows you to incorporate organic matter that you wouldn't otherwise have available to your garden. For example; seaweed is an excellent source of trace elements and rich nutrients but can't be used directly on your garden. Composting ingredients breaks them down to a usable product.

 

You can use your own compost in home made seed-raising mixes and potting mixes. Combined with river sand, compost makes a seedling-raising mix that has the right texture, water-retaining and drainage qualities, and that is nutrient rich enough to give seedling and cuttings a great start to life.

 

Another great reason to compost is that you are reducing the amount of rubbish you send to become land-fill. Instead of adding to the problem of vast amounts of garbage that we create, you will be turning your kitchen scraps, plant material and animal waste into a gorgeous product that will benefit your plants and all the micro-organisms in your garden soil. 

 

This is the basic premise of organic gardening :-) Please encourage everyone you know to recycle and make their own compost.

 

 

 

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