Compost and Mulch

Composting and using mulch are not new ideas. Compost is the natural breakdown of plant remains and other once-living materials to make an earthy, dark, crumbly substance that is excellent for adding to houseplants or enriching garden soil. Making your own compost is not only beneficial for your garden, but ecologically sound as leaves, yard waste, and some household waste and organic materials can be used. Mulch is a layer of material placed over soil to modify the effects of the local climate. It is used to hold in moisture, insulate from cold, and as an assist in controlling weeds. To learn more and share knowledge about compost and mulch, ask and answer questions about them here.

2,657 Questions

Can you put cheese in the compost?

No, you shouldn't put cheese in the compost pile. Dairy products, greasy or oily foods, and meat attract foraging wildlife. Generally, once a hungry critter finds a food source, the stop becomes permanent on the animal's nightly rounds.

Where should people place compost bins?

Compost bins should be sited off to the side of the garden, in a flat area. A shady spot or partial shade is better than full sun. Consider the prevailing winds and proximity to living areas--both yours, and your neighbors--when siting a composting area. Avoid siting bins upwind of living areas, in case odor issues arise.

What is Another name for garden compost?

Another name could also garden compost, with a sustainable garden, which is a way of gardening that keep the entire ecosystem is bound to stay awake.

one application of garden compost with good use of the seed at planting and plant care both of fertilizers and pesticides that do not harm the environment.

What is compost for plants?

Compost acts as the natural fertilizer for plant. It also makes the plant healthy and the plant remains free from the poison of fertilizers which can contaminate the water and can damage our digestive system if the fruits or the crop is eaten. Compost can be made at home out of your vegetable waste, egg shells, coffee, etc. or you can buy it already prepared from garden shops.

Can you compost mushrooms?

Yes. Mushrooms (fungi) have a C:N (carbon-to-nitrogen) ratio of 12:1, while the ratio for finished compost is 20-25:1. Adding mushrooms to a compost pile is a way of adding nitrogen, so the high-carbon ("brown") materials break down more quickly and evenly. Toxins in mushrooms are also broken down during the composting process.

How do waste products help to grow plants?

That they are rich in nitrogen, which is an essential plant nutrient, is the reason why waste products can be used to help grow plants.

Specifically, among the most effective waste products are those from such soil food web members are earthworms. Nitrogen tends to be readily present in the soil, but not often available to plants. It only is available for intake by plant roots if it is in soluble form. Soil food web members such as earthworms take in nitrogen, which is eliminated in soluble form due to processing inside the worm's body.

What is Biochar made out of?

Biochar is basically charcoal. It can be made from almost any biological substance rich in carbon, such as wood, straw, various kinds of plant material, compost and so on. It is usually made from wood because wood has a structure with various sized holes in it, mostly for conducting water or sap in the tree, and these form places where micro flora can live. When biochar is made, it is not processed at a high temperature, so the physical structure of the wood is not lost.

Biochar benefits the soil by providing places for micro flora to life, holding water, and holding various nutrients to prevent them from washing away. The nutrients and water are available to plants with roots in or near the biochar, so it provides fertility to the soil.

Biochar also has the benefit of providing for carbon sequestration, which is valuable for taking carbon dioxide out of the air and helping with global warming.

Soil with biochar added is called terra preta.

How can composting be used to recycle discarded plant and animal material?

The composting process breaks it down and it turns it into a healthy soil additive.

Can sawdust be used in a compost pile?

Yes, sawdust can be used in compost. Anything organic can be composted, including you and other animals and paper. Cellulose is difficult to digest by your hardworking microbes so make sure to have lots of green nitrogen material mixed in with it, ie. grass clippings, manure & food waste. Make sure there is NO treated wood sawdust as this is all poisonous.

HINT, but a garden fork and leave it in the compost pile at all times. this way you will automatically turn over your mix each time you visit it. This adds oxygen, as well as blending in the microbes with the materials. HINT 2, throw a few shovel fulls of topsoil or other compost as a starter. Keep the material damp like a wrung out sponge.

Ray "the compost Guru".

What is the procedure and what materials are needed to make dried papaya leaves into organic mulch for tomato plants?

Take the Fresh or Semi-fresh leaves and bury them in about 1/2 ft. of fertilizer and sit inside in a window of direct sunlight for about 2-3 maybe 4 weeks.

This method above will compost the leaves in your house.

Normally, to use any type of leaf as effective fertilizer it will need to break down. You could put down a layer of the dried leaves on a day with little wind. Then I would recommend covering the dry leaves with a layer of Compost Mulch to prevent them from flying away.

This is more effective over a wide area. So it depends on the size of your Garden.

Dried Papaya leaves can be used as a base for an organic mulch for tomato plants by crushing and shredding the leaves and placing them above the topsoil and below the mulch.

Tree leaves draw minerals up from deep in the subsoil, and deposit them on the surface when they fall, where microarthopod "shredders", bacteria, fungi, and red compost worms break them down so they can enter the soil again.

They can be an excellant mulch for tomato plants, as long as you lay them down in thin layers--about 1"--with a dusting of manure or soil between layers. After you lay down the manure or soil, water each layer thoroughly. If you lay down one thick layer, they'll form a slimy mat that makes it harder for water to reach the roots of your tomato plants. Thin layers with soil or manure in between will prevent this.

Do 2 or 3 one-inch layers, and put a thin layer of soil or manure on top, to keep the leaves from blowing away. Water thoroughly.

WARNING: Do NOT use walnut leaves (they release jugonesinto the soil, which inhibit the growth of plants, especially nightshades like tomatoes. Also avoid aromatic leaves of herbs, and any poisonous leaves, like oliander leaves.

Mulches help prevent the soil from drying out too much and eventually the mulch is broken down by soil organisms - worms etc - and become part of the soil organic matter. Dried leaves would provide nutrients - that are in the leaf - for the soil organisms.

Papaya is a shortened way of referring to the papaya tree [Carica papaya]. Papaya leaves are the large, seven lobed individual shoots of green colored foliage on the woody branches of the papaya tree trunk. The leaves are allowed to dry out after they're picked off the branch, or from the ground when they fall. Organic refers to something that's naturally occurring, that isn't made in a laboratory. Mulchis a ground cover that's put on top of soil in order to stop weeds from growing, even out soil temperatures, and control moisture levels. The tomato [Solanum lycopersicum] is a vegetable that's seeded, orange to red in color, and high in vitamins. Plant is a non animal that may move in the sense of spreading by roots and seeds, but basically gets its food and grows by staying in place.

A three-inch (7.62-centimeter) mulch of dried papaya leaves is considered an effective organic mulch for tomato plants.

Specifically, organic mulch is applied to regulate moisture levels, temperature ranges and weedy growths. It typically is made from bark and leaves. It will be considered successful when desirable heights are attained by the stems and proper sizes are realized by foliage and fruits.

That they're an organic mulch that affects soil pH and soil structure is the reason that dried papaya leaves are an effective choice in terms of tomato plants. Specifically, foods and soils may have a pH that's acidic, alkaline or neutral. Papaya is an alkalinizing foods. Its dried leaf mulch somewhat raises a soil pH. The result is a soil pH that's heading more towards the neutral range around 6-6.5 or 7. It's actually in that range that many plants prefer the soil pH to be

Additionally, organic mulch contributes to soil structure. That means that the soil becomes better drained, healthier and more fertile through the breakdown of natural materials. Good drainage, fertility and health make for happier, healthier plants in general and tomatoes in this particular instance.

Papayas and tomatoes have the same preferences for soil pH: 6.0-6.5. There are 16-18 nutrients in healthy soil. If the pH is incorrect, some nutrients may be present but unavailable to the plant. For tomatoes, lack of calcium or magnesium may be a problem. Specifically, lack of calcium is behind blossom-end rot. Dried leaves are sources of carbon. Organic matter improves soil structure and therefore fertility. The structure allows for the best pore space arrangements for air and water. Mulch keeps weeds from competing for nutrients and water. It holds moisture in the soil. And it evens out temperature extremes. No plant handles yo-yo moisture and temperature levels.

It always helps to keep things simple. An organic mulch that's papaya based doesn't need sophisticated equipment, complicated procedures, or big budgets. All you need are the leaves and a place in which to dry them. It can be as simple as a container, or a space, in the basement or shed. The place needs to be protected from air, light, moisture and temperature extremes. Once dried, the leaves may be placed as is, or they may be crumbled up, by any means from manually to mechanically, as with a composter.

Using organic mulch causes little to no damage to the soils and crops. The composition that enables dried papaya leaves to be used as an alternative organic mulch is three inches of thickness of the dried papaya leaves. The papaya leaves contain no papain enzymes and are large.

How much water do you put in an earthworm compost?

Moisture needs to be at 60-85%. Compostable material shouldn't be soggy or sopping wet. A 21"x15"x16" container could hold a week's worth of newspapers and 3-5 lbs of kitchen scraps. It wouldn't need more than a quart-sized watering container. The material needs to be moist, not soggy or sopping wet.

Can you put meat in a compost bin?

There are many different animals that could get into the compost pile. The most noteworthy is the rat. Another thing to consider is that bacteria can form on meat. especially raw meat (ecoli) then contamination can occur in the compost itself. If the temperature rises too high, the beneficial bacteria may be at risk. This will slow the composting time.

How do farmers use mulch?

== == Much of the same way that they use sillage and manure. It is evenly spread across the top of the soil by a muck spreader and then followed by a plough to mix it all together. This is now generally used in organic farming but not so much in traditional farming anymore as they use inorganic fertilisers, mainly because they provide a more constant level of nutrient supply to the soil.

Is composting expensive?

No. Composting requires materials that are usually waste (kitchen scraps, newspaper) or offered by nature (leaves). Some people prefer to buy compost tumblers but these are not necessary to compost.

Can you tumble glass in a cement mixer to make glass mulch?

Yes, I have been working on refining this process. We own a wedding reception hall and have a LOT of glass to recycle.

Soak the bottles and remove labels

Break the bottles into small pieces 1" to 2"

Place in CLEAN cement mixer (this is important!)

Tumble for 12 hours

Screen the material for size (I made a screen out of two by fours and metal mesh)

Wash, dry, use.

It is a lot of work, but beautiful results, I can pick up the mulch with my bare hands. I sort our glass by color.

Can cat manure be used for fertilizer?

No Cat Manure FertilizerNO! Cat manure can contain Toxoplasma gondii and other organisms that are harmful to human health. Toxoplasmosis is infection with the Toxoplasma parasite. Humans can be infected and show no symptoms, but in people with suppressed immune systems, the parasite can migrate to the retina and damage the eyes, or it can cause fatigue and nerve damage. Toxoplasmain pregnant women can cause fetal abnormalities; this is why pregnant women should never deal with cat litter.

Is human urine a good compost activator?

Yes, human urine is a good compost activator, particularly when diluted with 3 parts water to 1 part urine.

What is four fifths of thirty cubic meters in liters?

One thousand litres in a cubic metre, so 4/5 x 30 x 1000 = 24000 litres

How do you keep a hydrangea blue?

You can't keep your hydrangea blue, if you don't have it planted in naturally-acidic soil. You will have to keep adding aluminum sulfate to the soil, to maintain the blue hues.

What is the pH range of organic compost?

A pH range of 6.8-8.3 tends to be what the range will be for organic compost that results from the proper breakdown of properly compostable materials under proper conditions of air, moisture, and temperature.

The ideal pH range for most plants is 6.0 to 7.0. It is a good, organic fertilizer of pH 6.8

Are coffee grinds good to put in compost?

Yes, they are excellent for adding to your compost, as well as grass clippings, shredded newsprint and vegetable waste.

Coffee grounds are high in nitrogen but often can be acidic. Composting well before adding to the garden may be better, but small amounts can be added directly to the garden if needed. The coffee filters also decompose so you don't have to worry about scraping off the grounds.

Many restaurants and coffee houses often throw away large amounts of coffee grounds. These places will often be willing to donate used coffee grounds for composting.

Is compost good for your vegetable garden?

yes it helps to fertilize the soil making it better for the plans tp get more nuetriant out off whitch helps them to grow quicker and better

How do you make a compost bin?

You can make a compost bin from almost anything: cinder blocks, lumber, rubber garbage cans ...; to me the question is: "How large or small do you want it to be?" If you live in an area where you get a lot of rain, then you should keep it covered; also, by covering it, you will keep out the night-time critters.

As an example: you could make it 2 feet wide by 2 feet long by 3 feet high with 3 or 4 sides. It may be placed under cover out of the weather or fitted with some type of a lid.

The most important things about composting are:

  1. Put only vegetables, peelings from the kitchen, cut-up newspapers, leaves, grass, coffee grounds, egg shells [no fish or whole eggs]; and keep the contents as wet as a sponge.
  2. Turn it over at least once a week.
A:You could make a compost bin out of a rubber garbage can. The only problem is turning the material over: the smaller the container, the harder it is to turn the compost over - that is the hardest part of composting (besides keeping the material wet as it is breaking down). A:The simplest compost bin is a cylinder of fencing, held together by pieces of wire at the top, middle, and bottom. You'll need 15-16' of fence for a 3-3 1/2 ft diameter compost bin. Use either 3' or 4' fence, depending on how much material you have to compost. 1 x 2" or 1 x 1" welded wire will keep rodents out. Wire cylinder compost bins contain the materials, and keep them from sprawling. They also build compost heat, because the materials above hold in heat generated below. And turning the pile is a lot easier than 3-bin designs. Just undo the wire ties, move the cylinder to the side, and fork the materials from the old pile to the new pile.

But you don't even have to make a bin to have good compost. You can just make a pile and get the same results.

Hope this will help you

A:A compost bin can easily be made by taking an old barrel and placing it in an accessible part of your yard. Fill the barrel with your scraps and give several weeks to decompose. A:In order to make the compost bin you must follow several simple steps. You must get metal, scrap or bought, then put it together, basically like a recycle bin.

You can make a compost bin out of a variety of things, be creative! We have a surplus of old garbage cans around my house, so I am using one with has a snapping lid.

Can you alter sand with topsoil composite or mulch?

The mixture that you ideally want will depend largely on what you want to grow and the amount of rain you receive. For example, if you want garden soil for planting veggies, the best soil is typically a loamy soil. You can make a sandy-loam soil soil mix as follows: 1/3 part sand + 1/3 part silt (use compost) + 1/3 part clay (use topsoil). Note: If you live in a droughty area, you may want a bit more silt & clay in the mix. If you live in a relatively moist area, you may want to reduce your clay part to maybe 1/4 of the mix.

If you do the research, you will typically see recommendations to NOT add more than 2" of finished compost to your soil per growing season, but I have mixed up to 50% finish compost with my heavy clay soil and not had any problems. In fact, my best potting soil mixture for growing citrus trees is about 2/3 finished compost + 1/3 clay (my topsoil). I have experimented with adding sand to my mixtures, however it tends to cause the water permeation rate to slow down more than I prefer, so I usually don't add any sand to my soil mixes.

You can mix mulch into your soil, but I wouldn't recommend it unless it is very well decomposed. Bark & wood pieces definitely add nutrients to the soil, however they can also use up some of the available nitrogen in the soil during the decomposition process. That means less nitrogen is available for your plants to grow. If you live in a climate that has high evaporation & your soil tends to dry quickly, use the mulch on top of the soil to reduce evaporation and to add trickle-down nutrients as the mulch decomposes. The mulch also helps to suppress weed growth--which is plus for most gardeners. :)