Archive for the ‘Composting’ Category

postheadericon What is actinomycetes: learn about fungus growing on manure

What is actinomycetes: learn about fungus growing on manure

By Bonnie L. Grant Composting is good for the earth and relatively easy even for a novice. However, soil temperature, moisture levels and careful balance of items in the compost are necessary for successful break down. White fungus in compost bins is a common sight when actinomycetes are present. What is actinomycetes? This is a fungus-like bacterium, which works as a decomposer, breaking apart plant tissue. The presence of fungi in composting can be a bad thing and indicate improper balance of bacterial agents but actinomycetes in manure compost and…

postheadericon Pig manure for compost: can you use pig manure for gardens?

Pig manure for compost: can you use pig manure for gardens?

Image by USDAgov By Anne Baley Old-time farmers used to dig pig manure into their soil in the fall and let it decompose into nutrients for the next spring’s crops. The problem with that today is that too many pigs carry E.coli, salmonella, parasitic worms and a host of other organisms in their manure. So what’s the answer if you’ve got a ready source of pig manure and a garden that needs feeding? Composting! Let’s learn more about how to compost pig manure for use in the garden. Can You…

postheadericon The benefits of manure compost in your garden

The benefits of manure compost in your garden

Image by Alan Levine By Nikki Phipps (Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden) Using manure compost in the garden has numerous benefits. Manure is packed with nutrients that plants need, like nitrogen. Using manure as fertilizer keeps plants healthy and green. How Manure Effects the Soil In order to maximize the benefits of manure compost in the garden, the proper application is vital. One of the best ways to use manure as plant fertilizer is by mixing it in with compost. Composting manure eliminates the possibility of burning the plants. Advertisement…

postheadericon Animals and bugs in compost – preventing compost bin animal pests

Animals and bugs in compost – preventing compost bin animal pests

Image by steenslag By Susan Patterson, Master Gardener A composting program is a fantastic way to put kitchen scraps and yard waste to work in your garden. Compost is rich in nutrients and provides valuable organic material to plants. While composting is relatively easy, controlling pests in compost piles requires some forethought and proper compost pile management. Should My Compost Bin Have Bugs? Many people ask, “Should my compost bin have bugs?” If you have a compost pile, you are likely to have some bugs. If your compost pile is…

postheadericon Lasagna composting – how to layer sod for a lasagna compost garden

Lasagna composting – how to layer sod for a lasagna compost garden

Image by Christopher Sessums By Bonnie L. Grant Sod layering is also known as lasagna gardening. And no, lasagna is not just a culinary specialty, though building a lasagna compost garden is the same process as creating lasagna. When you use good, healthy ingredients for lasagna, the finished product is fabulous. The same is true for lasagna composting. You can use the same basic method to start a rich compost pile or to naturally decompose sod, prepare a seed bed or build a berm. Lasagna Compost Garden The simplest way to…

postheadericon Compost enhancing bacteria: information on beneficial bacteria found in garden compost

Compost enhancing bacteria: information on beneficial bacteria found in garden compost

Image by photophor By Susan Patterson, Master Gardener Bacteria are found in every living habitat on earth and play an essential role with regards to composting. In fact, without compost bacteria, there would be no compost, or life on planet earth for that matter. Beneficial bacteria found in garden compost are the garbage men of the earth, cleaning up trash and creating a useful product. Bacteria are able to survive extreme conditions where other life forms crumble. In nature, compost exists in areas such as the forest, where  compost-enhancing bacteria decompose…

postheadericon Heat and compost – heating up compost piles

Heat and compost – heating up compost piles

Image by SuperFantastic By Jackie Rhoades Heat and compost production go hand in hand. To activate compost micro-organisms to their fullest potential, temperatures must remain between 90 and 140 degrees F. (32-60 C.). Heat will also destroy seeds and potential weeds. When you ensure the proper heat, compost will form more quickly. Compost not heating up to proper temperatures will result in a smelly mess or a pile that takes forever to break down. How to heat up compost is a common problem and easily addressed. Tips for How to…

postheadericon Compost tea recipe: how to make compost tea

Compost tea recipe: how to make compost tea

Image by Mark Smith  By Nikki Phipps (Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden) Using compost tea in the garden is a great way to both fertilize and improve the overall health of your plants and crops. Farmers and other compost tea makers have used this fertilizing brew as a natural garden tonic for centuries, and the practice is still commonly used today. How to Make Compost Tea While there are several recipes available for making compost tea, there are only two basic methods that are used—passive and aerated. Passive compost tea…

postheadericon Winter composting: how to keep compost over winter

Winter composting: how to keep compost over winter

Image by nociveglia By Susan Patterson, Master Gardener A healthy compost pile needs to be kept up all year long, even in the cold, dark days of winter. The decomposition process does slow some when composting during winter as the temperature drops, but bacteria, molds and mites all survive and need energy to do their jobs. Winter composting requires a little preparation but is a manageable activity for most gardeners. Keep reading to learn more about compost in winter. Preparation Tips for Composting During Winter It is best to empty…

postheadericon Gardening with compost: how compost helps plants and soil

Gardening with compost: how compost helps plants and soil

Image by Ralph125 By Amy Grant Most of us have heard that gardening with compost is a good thing, but what specifically are the benefits of composting and how does compost help? In what way is garden compost beneficial? Is Garden Compost Beneficial? There are a slew of ways in which gardening with compost is valuable. Simply put, the advantages of using compost are to improve soil quality, enabling it to better retain air, nutrients and moisture and resulting in healthier, thriving plants. Advertisement Additionally, when you make and use…