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Composting

Chris Dawson explains how compost improves soil structure and drainage, then demonstrates how to make a beneficial compost pile.

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Look at this garden. Plants like these get their health and vitality from super soil. Soil that's rich in all the nutrients that plants need to grow. Let me show you how to start composting to get better soil and healthier and happier plants. Composting has been called black gold because of its tremendous benefit in the garden. Compost improves your soil's structure and good soil helps plants root growth and allows for better water holding capacity. When you're choosing the site for your compost bin, you wanna sure that it's gotten good drainage. You also wanna allow for good air circulation because air needs to get into the moisture of the pile and that will help with the decomposition process. Now, it's also good to consider having a water source handy because you will need to keep the pile down. When you're putting things in, you wanna make sure that the pieces are fairly small so you might wanna sure of things before unless they come in smaller pieces like leaves they're fine to go and as they are. Of course, you don't need any kind of enclosure for a compost pile or heap, but what I've got here is a simple wire frame and this will form a bin and that tends to keep the pile a little more neat and tidy and of course there are other ways that you can do this too. The basic recipe for compost is 50% green material and 50% brown material. You don't have to be exact with that ratio. If it's not precisely 50-50 that's okay 'cause composting is a pretty forgiving thing and the materials will still break down for you. Now, you wanna layer these things and I put down a layer of green and then next you'd put down a layer of bulb. Scientifically, these greens and browns are carbon and nitrogen. Nitrogen is the green stuff, the soft stuff, the smelly stuff like grass clippings and manure, old vegetables, plants that are still green from the garden that's half of what makes up compost. The other half is carbon. That would be the dry stuff like old corn stalks and twigs and woodchips. So again I'm going to layers. So, I've got a green layer here and then I'm gonna go in with the woodchips, which is a brown layer. In between these green and brown layers, it's helpful to put a layer of soil and a bit of water. That will help the whole process start to break down. And you never wanna put anything into your compost bin that had pesticides on and/or any diseased plants because that will contaminate your compost. Fall cleanup is an ideal time to start a compost pile. And all you need is a simple recipe; green, brown, soil and water. Just add the layers. And if you start the pile in the fall just in a couple of seasons during the fall and the winter, by springtime you should have compost at your fingertips ready for that spring planting compost. Your plants will love it.