What is Compost? A good description for compost can be decomposed organic material that is produced when bacteria in soil break down garbage and biodegradable trash, making organic fertilizer.

Gardeners and farmers use compost for soil enrichment. The relatively stable humus material that is produced from a composting process in which bacteria in soil mixed with garbage and degradable trash break down the mixture into organic fertilizer.

Why is compost so important in our everyday grape growing and gardening? I once heard these terms and just love them.

Reduce – Reuse – Recycle

Reduce
Composting reduces the amount of waste each of us sends to the landfill. 30% of the material we send to landfill is organic and could be composted at home. Making your own compost in your backyard will save you hundreds of dollars over a few years. Think about it this way. In the past, organic materials have been dumped in landfills or burned. The more waste there is to remove, the more money has to be spend – simple as that. By making a compost pile, you will reduce the amount of money spend for waste removal by a huge 30%! Did you know that YOU nearly throw away 600 pounds of compostables each and every year!

Reuse
Unfortunately, we humans don’t like to reuse. We rather buy new ones because it’s much easier. Isn’t that true? Why should I even consider making my own compost? I’d rather buy my fertilizer from the nursery down the street. The world is falling apart because of waste we humans dump on landfills. The air is polluted with dangerous toxins we breath every single day of our lives. Not many of us like to go through our garbage to see what is reusable and what not. The best way to overcome this problem is to have a recycle bin in your kitchen, where you can throw away organic waste to be recycled.

Recycle
Every single day we take out the garbage, we take out lots and lots of organic material. So what is organic material and can it be recycled into compost? Let’s have a look. Organic materials include yard debris, wood materials, food and food processing by-products, manure and agricultural residues, land clearing debris, used paper and paper bags, leftovers from last nights party (except for the hangover off course J). All of these products can be recycled in compost that you can use to fertilize your grape vine and your garden!

Did you know that compost is more rich in nutrients than peat moss, we so often use?

The benefits of using compost

Let’s have a look at what compost can do for your grape vine and garden.

Applying finished compost will:

  • return nutrients to the soil,
  • hold moisture in gardens and on lawns,
  • contribute to watershed health by controlling run-off and
  • naturally fertilize your soil and
  • improve and provide structure to the soil.

Inside our soil there are literary millions of organisms at work each day. Each teaspoon of garden soil hosts 100 000 000 (100 mil) bacteria and nearly 800 feet of fungal threats? Improving the organic life inside your soil will:

  • Improve soil drainage
  • Suppress soil-borne plant diseases
  • Improve soil tilth and friability

Loosen heavy clay soils

You must always remember that compost isn’t a fertilizer and nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are mostly in organic forms. Nutrients from compost is slowly released to the grape vine and other plants, therefore it doesn’t leach from the soil as much as normal fertilizers. Compost contains many trace nutrients that are essential for plant growth and for the home grape grower and gardener, this is more than enough for a single year.

Adding compost to your soil

When adding compost to your soil, you must make sure that the compost is well matured. The acquired characteristics of a mature compost or compost pile are:

  • dark brown color
  • it should be a humus like, crumbly and loose texture
  • it must have an earthy smell
  • it should be free of feedstock-readily
  • the size of the mature pile should be 1/3 of the original size

When adding compost, it is best to mix the compost with the top 6 inches of your soil. This will loosen the structure of clayish and compacted soils and will improve the water and nutrient retention of sandy soils.

Making your very own compost isn’t that difficult, but you need to know the basics. Lots of information is available on the Internet, but if you need a hands-on guide to make the worlds best compost I do recommend the following e-book.

Click on the book to get more information

Have a grape (great) day
Danie
“The Grape Guy”
http://www.my-grape-vine.com/