Home Lifestyle & Travel Home & Garden 'The why and how' of compost for your garden

‘The why and how’ of compost for your garden

What exactly is compost used for – and in what application?  If you are confused about this – you are not alone!

The biggest confusion is that compost is regarded as fertiliser. Although all compost sold has to be registered with the Department of Agriculture as a ‘Fertiliser group 2’ and all bagged compost must have the registration number visible on the front of the bag, it should not be confused with chemical fertilisers. Compost is an organic soil amendment and can be regarded as a soil conditioner.

By adding compost to our gardens, we create the right environment for all the beneficial bacteria to find a home in our garden soil. The good bacteria in our garden soils will suppress the bad ones and restore the natural balance, making available all the nutrients in the soil and compost. When conditions are favourable earthworms will return to your garden soil and these awesome little underground workers will manufacture the best organic fertiliser your plants could ask for, all for free. Healthy soil equals healthy plants – and if it is your vegetable garden or fruit orchid, we’re talking about there should be no compromise when it comes to healthy eating.

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Another frequently asked questions is – how much compost to apply to your garden and how to go about it. In this case more is always better. For a first application a layer of compost 5cm thick should be applied and dug into the soil 20cm to 30cm deep. Thereafter we suggest at least one application a year of no less than 2cm. This can be spread on top of the soil to act as a mulch or it could be dug into the soil.

The biggest advantage of adding ample compost to your soil is the increased water holding capacity. By adding loads of compost to your garden you will see your garden grow and your water bill shrink.

For more gardening tips and information, visit www.lifeisagarden.co.za  or join the conversation on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/lifeisagardensa.

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