By compost gardening all your organic matter becomes a harvest. Just like you would harvest flowers, fruit and vegetables to eat and enjoy, so garden or domestic organic matter is harvested to improve fertility and condition of the soil. Soil organic matter is vital for success with plants.
So link into your garden nutrient cycle by conserving existing nutrients, gain access to unavailable nutrients and re-use materials that you throw away. The benefits include a tidy, healthy garden and cost savings.
Nutrients are held better when in organic form and by compost gardening you increase nutrient rich soil organic matter. You will collect organic materials from a variety of sources to make a variety of useful feeds and conditioners - garden compost, worm casts, liquid feeds, mulches... The microorganisms so important in releasing nutrients to plant roots thrive because compost gardening feeds them.
Reclaim Unavailable Nutrient Resources
Pea / Bean / Clover Family:
Convert free nitrogen in air to organic soil nitrogen.
Plants of the Pea family often have root nodules with bacteria that convert nitrogen in the atmosphere to organic nitrogen (protein) in the soil.
Rotate plant positions so nitrogen hungry crops follow peas/beans
of Pea/Bean family to fill spaces & dig in to increase soil nitrogen.
Grow Clovers around your Comfrey patch to increase soil nitrogen.
Deep rooted plant that accumulates Potassium
Comfrey has deep roots to absorb potassium that’s otherwise unavailable to plants.
Leaves are rich in Nitrogen too.
Cut leaves to mulch fruit bushes & make compost etc…,
to make liquid fertilizer for Tomatoes etc...
|Deep rooted plant that accumulates Calcium.
|Grow as a
Dig into soil.
Recycle Nutrient Resources
|Collect & Recycle Weeds:
Fat Hen and Purslane are weeds that are noted for accumulating Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Sulphur. Other weeds do similar.
Dig in or Compost Weeds the mineral content is usefully incorporated into organic form.
Find more about space-age compost bins.
|Collect Dead Leaves To Recycle Calcium:
Reduces loss of available Calcium. Leaves may be composted separately, or added to garden compost.
|Top dress shrubs, fruit and perennials with compost to replace lost Calcium.
|Recycle Grass Cuttings and re-use previously applied fertilizer nutrients:
If you apply a fertilizer like
Summer or Autumn Lawns Alive U.S.A.
to your grass then you can re-use the nutrients when you cut the grass.
Collecting and removing grass cuttings will drain fertilizer nutrients from the turf. But at least they can be re-used elsewhere.
Don’t throw away lawn cuttings.
Old meadows that haven’t been fertilized can be nutrient rich compared to improved grass. I find the cuttings heat up quickly and produce a much stronger smell. Small herbs like medic, clover, prunnella, dandelion and daisy may be helping to fix nitrogen or activating the compost.
A mulch mower finely shreds cuttings and injects them back into the turf. Do this in spring and every alternate cut in summer.
Use dry grass cuttings as a mulch around shrubs and fruit trees etc...
Don’t throw away lawn cuttings.
Mix in with dry stored leaves to make garden compost.
Try sowing grass seed mixed with the seed of nitrogen fixing clover, and medics.
About how composting works.
|Recycle all your old or dead flowers, plants and vegetables:
If you’ve spent money on fertilizers you can reclaim some nutrients by putting old plants on the compost heap.
Apply garden compost and use less fertilizer next time.
Channel nutrients from domestic waste into your garden cycle
|Use worms to make compost:
Soft kitchen waste - tea bags, coffee grinds, soaked cereal, unwanted cooked potato or rice, paper towels, vacuum cleaner dust can be added to a worm composter.
Worm casts are especially rich in humus, nitrogen and phosphorus and useful microorganisms.
Add worm casts to plant containers, seed drills and composts to help retain moisture and stimulate root growth.
Apply liquid from your worm composter to feed plants.
Channel Nutrients From Forestry, Agriculture, Fisheries and Pets, Industries into your garden
Industry generates waste which can sometimes be freely aquired e.g. horse manure.
Increasingly organic bye-products are being packaged and sold. Organic waste recycling has become an industry that supplies some of the most useful products for gardeners.
Use organic products like, pelleted farmyard and chicken manures, mushroom compost, bone meal, fish blood and bone, hoof and horn, fish meal, etc…
Choosing organic recycled materials supports sustainable life on the planet.
The compost gardening approach recognises that building organic matter is the best way to good and healthy flowers, fruit, veg etc... By compost gardening you link your garden to sustainable nutrient cycles and make new organic matter in your garden.