A habit of adding compost to your soil has many benefits, but understanding how it works and what makes up the best type of compost can be confusing. Here’s a breakdown of the some of the benefits of using compost, what composts are made up from, and the different types available.
What is Compost?
Composting is decomposed organic material derived from 2 main components: "Greens” & “Browns”. It is made up from the layering, mixing- to provide oxygen for microorganisms to breath and break down the materials, and heating over time to kill seeds and pathogens of these two component categories.
Benefits of Using Compost
Studies show that using compost improves color, helps tomatoes and other plants stand up to common diseases. While considered a soil conditioner rather than a fertilizer, compost helps feed soil with a slow release of beneficial nutrients over time. It is best to add compost to soil each year to improve the overall soil structure. Compost also helps soil to retain moisture. Our Terra Zest is mixed with wool for an added benefit. Try adding wool pellets in with your soil for the added benefits of water retention, porosity, more nutrients and slug & snail control.
What are a the differences in compost?
The main difference in any compost is feedstock or the materials that you start with. You need "Greens" and "Browns" or Nitrogen and Carbon, there are many different sources of "Greens" or Nitrogen.
Common Nitrogen sources include:
With all compost the feedstock should be mixed at about 30:1 ratio, Carbon to Nitrogen then "cooked" and turned for about 6 months.
Why miss an opportunity to increase your soil's fertility and nutrients for growing? Soil that has compost regularly added to it becomes rich, dark, and wonderfully crumbly and often requires less fertilizer.
Wild Valley Farms premium organic and all natural TERRA ZEST is a special blend of manure, sawdust, and hydroscopic fiber (wool). We combine these products carefully to ensure your plants, lawn, trees or garden vegetables can get the full nutritional value needed for root development. Our premium Terra Zest will help your soil retain moisture and works as a slow release fertilizer that lasts all year long, unlike chemical fertilizers that only last for a few weeks, and our Terra Zest won’t burn your lawn or plants. It is safe for use around children or pets immediately after use. Screened through a 1/4 inch screen so no trash, big rocks, or other garbage.
We sell our premium Terra Zest and Golf Course blends by the cubic yard in bulk truck loads and in 1 & 2 yard tote bags. One cubic yard is about a pick up load and will cover about 162 sqft 2 inches deep.
Will this plant survive in my area? We've all asked this question before. Here is an explanation of US Plant Zones that can help. The Morgan area where we're located is a Zone 5, while most of Utah is a Zone 6.
Check out this interactive map to find out which Zone you live in. Just type in your zip code.
The terms ‘mulch’ and compost’ are often used interchangeably and there is some confusion about what each is and the differences between the two. Many are confused about when and where to use them. In this article we’ll cover these questions and give you a better understanding about when, where, and how to use compost and mulch in your garden and flowerbeds.
What is Mulch?
Mulch can be any matter, organic or inorganic, that you put down on top of your soil. Materials used for mulch include everything from crushed rock and plastic sheeting to wood chips, discarded newspapers, pine straw, grass clippings, leaves, and straw.
Uses & Benefits of Mulch
Cautions for Mulch
Most Mulch is made from ground up wood. It is important to note that green waste Mulch can introduce pathogens or disease. Green waste mulch or mulch made from chipped up trees should also be composted. Sometimes people will take chipped green wood from a tree taken down in their yard and use the chips as mulch this practice many times introduces pathogens to new trees or other plants.
At Wild Valley Farms, our products are kiln dried so the color last longer and no pathogens. Take a look a our mulch here.
What is Compost?
Uses & Benefits of Compost
Adding compost improves soil structure. Compost is considered a soil conditioner, rather than a fertilizer, but more importantly, it can retain and make existing nutrients more readily available to plants.
Our premium organic and all natural Terra Zest is a special blend of manure, sawdust, and hydroscopic fiber (wool). We combine these products carefully to ensure your plants, lawn, trees or garden vegetables can get the full nutritional value needed for root development. Our premium Terra Zest will help your soil retain moisture and works as a slow release fertilizer that lasts all year long, unlike chemical fertilizers that only last for a few weeks, and our Terra Zest won’t burn your lawn or plants. It is safe for use around children or pets immediately after use.
It is screened to remove any debris, then carefully tested to make a uniform product for you and your customers.
Compost can be blended in with existing soil prior to planting, added to containers and spread on top.
Cautions for Compost
Manures that aren't composted usually are high in salts which can burn your plants, manures can also introduce weeds into your gardens. Dried manure is not compost!
Manures with some bedding(sawdust or straw) material but that is not turned or doesn't have the right moisture will be full of pathogens(diseases) that can harm or kill plants.
Green waste mulch or mulch made from chipped up trees should also be composted. Sometimes people will take chipped green wood from a tree taken down in their yard and use the chips as mulch this practice many times introduces pathogens to new trees or other plants.
Landfill compost can be really cheap and it is usually composted well, however landfill compost can be really dangerous to add to your garden or yard. Because there is no control of what is in the feed stock materials. If someone takes their grass clipping from their yard and have used "Weed and Feed" in the last two year that broadleaf killer will still be there and can kill your garden plants. Landfill compost many times will have heavy metals and broadleaf killer residue which is why nurseries will not sell landfill compost.
Learn more about compost in our article Are There Differences in Compost and What are They?