By Peter Mezitt, MCH
If you want to “go green” in your garden, compost is one of the best things you can use!
Compost builds healthy soils, and healthy soils grow healthy plants and lawns. When your soil is high in organic matter, beneficial micro-organisms get the food cycle started by digesting organic matter, which releases valuable nutrients into the soil. These nutrients are then processed by other organisms, and are eventually taken up by the plant’s root system- this results in strong plant tissue and better flowering.
Conversely, soils with low organic matter produce weaker plants and lawns that are more susceptible to pests and diseases. Many people rely on the use of synthetic fertilizers and chemicals to improve the “look” of their lawns and plants- while plants may look good, the soil remains infertile, increasing dependency on inorganic products in the future.
Fall is the best time to apply compost for gardens and lawns. Plant root systems store energy over the winter. Applying 1/2 inch of compost as topdressing on aerated lawns, or incorporating 1-2 inches into planting beds will allow plants’ root systems to develop more fully. When plants start to grow in the spring, they will be able to take up more nutrients resulting in increased vigor and health.
Best of all, you will not need to spend money on ever increasingly expensive synthetic fertilizers and chemicals needed with inorganic soils. Because most of these products are petroleum-based, their costs have shot up in recent months, making the organic approach much more affordable. Once you have established a good base of compost in your soils, you will need less frequent applications of organic fertilizers to maintain healthy populations of micro-organisms in the soil for continued long-term health of plants and lawns. As a side benefit, soils with high organic levels also retain water better, thereby allowing you to conserve your water usage.
We’re particularly proud of the compost we produce here at Weston Nurseries, which is rich, dark, and free of weed seeds and pathogens. Our compost is also Approved for Organic Use, which means that you can use it in your veggie garden, landscape, or lawn, and know that it’s safe for you, your kids and pets. Plus your plants will love it! Weston’s Best Compost is available in bulk quantities, or you can purchase a re-usable compost tote and bring home 10 gallons at a time.
Stop in one of our garden centers and our staff can help you arrange for delivery or pick up of bagged compost, or attend one of our recurring Compost Seminars and learn to make your own!