This week we will be discussing how to use compost as a fall garden amendment. In particular, we're going to talk about it how you can use compost to improve and protect your soil over the wet winter months.
HOW TO LISTEN:
- Listen right now in your browser by clicking above.
- Subscribe in iTunes (or your favorite podcast player) to have our podcasts sent directly to your device.
In this episode, we discuss:
- What is compost and why is it good for your garden?
- What’s the difference between compost and soil?
- What is mulch?
- When cleaning up your garden in the fall (or at the end of your growing season), we recommend applying a 2-3 inch layer of compost to the top of your beds.
- Compost is essentially another word for decayed organic matter. And organic matter is one component of soil.
- A typical natural soil is made up of about 45 percent minerals, 25 percent water, 25 percent air, and only 5 percent organic matter.
- In a garden, organic matter content can be much higher. In fact, in many gardens we use a soil mix that is 50% compost and 50% sand. Other growers will plant into 100% compost. Generally speaking, an organic matter content of 10-50% is appropriate for a vegetable garden.
- If you'd like to learn the make-up of your soil, get a soil test! Here are two labs that we use on a regular basis:
Heard on the Episode:
“High quality compost will have been managed so that it reached a temperature of at least 160 degrees during the decomposition process. This high temperature kills the pathogens and the weed seeds in the organic matter. This is crucial because there's nothing worse than top-dressing your garden just to have it sprout in the spring!” - Hilary Dahl
“Don’t throw your food scraps directly into the garden!” - Kellie Phelan
Like what you hear? Please share our podcast with a friend. Subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcast player so you never miss a beat. And we'd really appreciate you showing us some love by leaving a rating and review on iTunes.
Hilary Dahl co-owner of Seattle Urban Farm Company and host of the Encyclopedia Botanica podcast. For ten years Hilary Dahl has been helping beginning and experienced growers create beautiful and productive gardens. She has the unique experience of working in on a wide range of projects, from small backyard garden plots to multi-acre vegetable farms. She also works in her own garden every day after work. Hilary created the Encyclopedia Botanica podcast as a way to share effective and efficient garden management techniques and as a way to spread her love of growing food and flowers.