Understanding What Lies Beneath The Surface
Compost Is More Than Leaves Breaking Down - Plus How To Make Quality Compost Tea
For some gardeners compost is a somewhat generic term, many think of a pile of leaves breaking down and rotting. But the challenge is to make high quality compost and that is more like making a cake, there are a bunch of different ingredients and a lot of different factors that must be kept in mind. It's not terribly complicated as long as one has the right feed stocks. And they have all the correct material generated in this park system combined with the post and pre-consumer waste that they collect from the community. It all gets put into a mixture that is placed in a vessel or earth flow system which then goes through a thermal process over 20 to 25 days, sort of a constant flow. They then decant it, on the other side of the vessel, cure it in a curing bin for another 20 days or so, then collect it, take a sample to make sure it's the quality they want for what they need, then either put it directly into the landscape or utilize it for compost tea.
They next talk about what compost tea really is. Compost tea is really coaxing the beneficial organisms off a high quality compost and into a water station, then feeding those microbes with appropriate foods. Basically they are just taking some of the finished compost that has all the wonderful bacteria and fungus, all the good stuff and put it into something like a tea bag, if you will. It's called infusion. They soak the compost in water, giving it some food so that the beneficial microbes will multiply. This method encourages the proper organisms to flourish which then balances the soil environment.
By Stacey Hirvela, for Proven Winners® ColorChoice®
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners® ColorChoice®
Leaves get all the credit for making autumn beautiful, but berries are no slouch at bringing a range of colors, forms and interest to the landscape. Here is a great article that highlights some stunning fall shrubs.
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