Organic Composting Tips

Adding organic compost to your garden is a simple, cost-effective way to aid plant growth, restore depleted soil and make great use of year-round kitchen and yard waste. With spring planting approaching, composting can be your single greatest ally in giving your soil the refresh it needs for planting all season long.
 
Use these tips to make the most of your organic compost.

Start from the Ground Up

If you haven't started a compost pile yet, you can designate an area near your garden and start on the ground from scratch. Composting on the bare ground allows worms and other beneficial organisms to aerate the compost, while also allowing for easy transport to your garden beds.

Let It Breathe

Using a layer of straw or very light twigs is another way to help aerate your compost pile. Aeration allows for drainage and helps promote the breakdown of organic matter, ultimately speeding up the composting process. Turning your compost pile over every few weeks with a pitchfork also helps achieve similar results.

Mix It Up

Composting doesn't have to be an exact science, but there is quite a bit of chemistry taking place inside your compost pile. All compostable materials are either carbon or nitrogen-based. Balancing those two elements helps ensure strong decomposition. For a basic understanding of carbon-rich versus nitrogen-rich organic matter, think of it this way - nitrogen is green, and carbon is brown. Some examples of nitrogen-rich organic matter are fresh lawn clippings, green leaves, and organic vegetable and fruit scraps. Carbon-rich organic matters are branches, stems, dried leaves, bark or wood ash. Your compost pile should be one-third green, and two-thirds brown.

Add It to the Garden

Now for the best part - using your compost to grow your garden. One of the most common ways to use compost is to simply sprinkle it around the base or just below the surface of your plants, effectively enriching the soil's nutrient levels. 
 
If your garden is in need of a complete refresh or you're establishing a new gardening area, you can use a tiller like the Super Bronco CRT Garden Tiller to mix in compost and reinvigorate your soil. Tilling will help to loosen and turn your soil, which will enable it to accept nutrients more easily. Once your soil is thoroughly loosened, layer compost on top and till once more to blend the soil and compost together. This process will provide a fresh, nutrient-rich foundation for new spring growth.
 
The Dirt from Troy-Bilt®
March 2017