The Web is loaded with information about making your own compost. We advocate doing that. But that's not what this site is about.
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Almstead Tree, Shrub & Lawn Care
I hope, at this point, that everyone understands the benefits of compost.
Five ways compost can help your garden
Have some plants that just aren't looking up to snuff? Chamness Brand Organics compost can help you get the most out of your gardening.
Here's a quick list of five ways that compost can help your garden this summer:
1) Compost will help your soil retain water. This means that your soil has more water to feed your plants and help them develop healthy roots. Healthy roots are key to healthy plant growth, whether you're planting tomatoes or daisies.
2) Compost can also help you fight against soil contaminants for your plants. Since compost is so absorbent it keeps harmful pesticides and chemicals in your soil from reaching your plants. It also works to degrade these contaminants over time.
3) Want to bring all the best critters to your plants? Chamness Brand Organics can help. Adding Chamness compost to your garden feeds organic matter to micro and macro organisms that will then feed beneficial nutrients to your plants. It also attracts earthworms, who will then help your soil. This is just one more thing that makes your plants healthier and your garden more bountiful.
4) If you're in an area with more clay-based soil, compost will do wonders. Plants that have never been able to survive due to lack of moisture will thrive. Compost works itself into the clay sediment and helps to release water throughout it, without over saturating your soil and not allowing it drain or under saturating it and letting it grow hard and unable to aerate.
5) Chamness Brand Organics compost is completely natural. That means that you're not introducing chemicals to your plants, as you would with pesticides and some fertilizers. Chamness compost is a natural, organic product. It actually helps your soil in the long run, rather than temporarily fixing a problem, but then causing greater problems in the long run.
We hope your gardens and potted plants flourish, and we know that with the help of Chamness Brand Organics they definitely will.
What is organic soil?
Agresource Inc., Amesbury, Mass.
Over the past several years there has been an increasing demand for "organic" products in landscaping. Customers often ask "is your soil organic?"
This begs the question, what is organic soil?
Some people say they want to know if it is certified organic. Others are concerned about potential contaminates. Some just want to know where it came from while others just don't know what they mean by "organic."
Most of the concerns that people have about soil can be satisfied by understanding role of Soil Organic Matter (SOM) content. This is the actual percent of organic matter that is present in soil and can be measured directly in a soil lab. If soil has an adequate soil organic matter content, it will function well and do all the things people might expect from "organic soil" to protect human health, shield the environment and promote plant growth.
If soil is low in organic matter, adding compost is the best way to increase soil organic matter content.
Soil organic matter does a lot of things such as increase water holding, make nutrients available to plants, and improve aeration. In terms of protecting human health and the environment it helps to degrade potential pollutants that are made of organic molecules such as herbicide, pesticides and hydrocarbons (petroleum byproducts). This is good because it essentially helps clean soil. Soil organic matter also binds metals preventing them from leaching into the water table.
Appropriate levels of soil organic matter content vary, but a rule of thumb for a healthy lawn is to have between 5 to 8 percent. For gardens and planting beds 6 to 12 percent soil organic matter content is a good range to achieve. It is always a good idea to check the appropriate range by looking on-line at university and agricultural station advice. Compost producers should be able to provide a report showing that they are providing good quality compost, which is the topic of another article to be published.
Composting is good for gardens
Kellogg Garden Products, Ontario, Calif.
Why use compost in your garden? As Claire Splan, author of California Fruit & Vegetable Gardening puts it, "There's something so non-threatening about compost that even newbie gardeners can feel comfortable using it. You don't have to decode any NPK numbers or worry about spreading too much of it about and burning plants. It's pretty much a no-fail amendment."
We at Kellogg Garden Products agree wholeheartedly with Claire.
Compost is decayed organic material, usually made from leaves, small bits of wood and animal droppings. In nature, all of these things collect on the top layer of soil and break down over time, naturally replenishing nutrients and improving soil texture. Gardeners can get the same benefits by making their own compost or using a store bought compost, such as Kellogg's N'Rich or Gardner & Bloome Soil Building Compost.
Adding compost to your garden is so easy!
If you are preparing a new garden bed, simply spread a 2-3 inch layer of compost over the entire bed and then use a spade or hoe to mix the compost thoroughly through the top 6 inches of soil. If you want to compost around existing plants, spread 1-3 inches of compost on the top of the soil. Don't till it in this time, as that might damage delicate plant roots.
So, how much compost do you need? Both N'Rich and Soil Building Compost come in 3 cubic foot bales that make them easy to bring home and provide good bang for your buck. A 3 cubic foot bale will cover 36 square feet with 1 inch of compost, or 18 square feet with 2 inches, or 9 square feet with 3 inches of compost.
Happy composting. Your plants will thank you.
Yuck! There are bugs in my compost
Kellogg Garden Products, Ontario, Calif.
Oftentimes home composters find all sorts of interesting critters in their compost, perhaps the least appetizing of which are grubs and maggots. These insects-regardless of whether they are friend or foe-are often a sign that something has gone wrong in the composting process.
Author Jim Long (LongCreekHerbs.com) explains: "If the compost has enough green matter, and occasionally some water to dampen, and it gets turned with soil or other compost, it should heat up so hot that things like grubs can't tolerate the heat."
When Jim refers to green matter, he means things like fresh lawn clippings, manure, and fruit and vegetable clippings. A healthy compost pile is a roughly an even mix of those greens and browns. Browns are dried leaves, straw and wood shavings.
These principles apply even to professionally produced compost, like the products we make at Kellogg Garden Products. When you buy a bag of Kellogg N'Rich or Gardner & Bloome Soil Building Compost, rest assured that the material inside is fully and properly composted. No pests, just the good stuff.
Compost or fertilizer? What should you choose?
To help the garden grow large, beautiful, and healthy plants, homeowners and landscapers often use either compost or fertilizer. There is much debate as to which is better in the compost vs fertilizer argument, but we believe that the winner is clear.