Garden Like A Master

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Composting for the Beginner Gardener

The image shows a shovel full of compost ready for the garden borders. Nuturing the soil this way creates strong, healthy roots which makes strong healthy plants.

What I wish I knew about composting and why compost?

Composting for the beginner gardener can be a minefield. It’s easy to be one or two steps ahead and forget the basics are where every gardener starts from.

I guess we really ought to start with the question why compost? The answer is quick and easy, it helps us to get rid of our garden waste. That is the first thought that may come into your head.  You may believe it is a great way to recycle your garden waste and contribute to the environment. As your journey continues you will look upon composting your garden waste from a different perspective. This will come when you see the results of composting. Your garden waste will turn into black gold and this will be a big boost for your plants. There are many more hours to be spent on why composting but this is a starting point.

Many gardeners wish they knew more about composting. the image shows a mix of waste vegetables in a compost heap.
So many things can be composted just like these unused vegetables

What is the science behind composting for the beginner gardener?

Composting like gardening is a science in itself and when you get the science right your composting is truly turns into black gold! This is the term given to a rich and friable medium that is the end product of composting. When you begin to make your compost getting the balance between the different materials can sometimes be tricky. If your compost is beginning to smell or smells when you turn it over that’s not good. When this happens it’s an indicator that there is not enough oxygen entering the heap. This article from the Composting Magazine explains in greater detail the science behind composting. 

Composting for the beginner gardener ideally starts with two wooden compost frames as the images shows.
Composting for the beginner gardener, aim to create two bins of material for composting.

A little well known fact to composting for the beginner gardener

A little well known fact to composting for the beginner you might find fascinating. A compost heap has around half of the oxygen levels or lower, than the oxygen in the atmosphere. Within the decomposing garden waste and food scraps, there are trillions of microorganisms going to work. These beneficial microscope creatures feast on the contents and devour the waste effectively. The optimum oxygen level is 5% for them to work at their fastest. When we don’t get the right oxygen levels this can slow the whole process down considerably.

Cow manure stacked in a pile waiting to be used.
Large pile of cow manure, this is my top choice for new beginner gardeners

Through my professional career I have found nothing beats using well rotted farmyard manure to improve your soil, retain moisture and reduce the weed growth. When any new plants go into the ground they have a boost of nutrients and the regular feeding though out the growing season enables each plant to establish with a strong root system. 

Happy gardening, Kristian

Have you subscribed yet? It’s the easiest way to explore more on this topic. The following articles in this series will be coming soon and I would hate for you to miss out on this! 

3 Methods to Making Composting a Success. (read here).

3 Critical Things to Consider When Composting Green and Browns

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