There are many different soil conditioners on the market today. It is therefore understandable that many people wonder which one is the right one to use. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. Compost is a soil conditioner. Compost can also be produced by following a process called composting. The advantage is that materials that would otherwise be thrown away can be used, such as newspapers, paper or even chimney ashes.
What is compost?
Compost is essentially decomposed organic material. For this reason, its application improves the structure of the soil and makes it easier to work in the soil. In addition, in sandy soils, it improves their water retention, i.e. the retention of water. In addition, the materials of which it is composed have recently made use of CO2. Therefore, it is considered more environmentally friendly in terms of carbon footprint compared to other soil amendments such as peat. It can also be used in organic farming, provided that the materials from which it is made are also organically grown.
What materials are used ?
Fresh and dry plant residues are used. Dry residues include brown leaves or straw. In the dew there may be fruit peelings, fresh grass clippings or even weeds, preferably before they go to seed. It is important to have a 1:1 ratio of fresh to dry to keep the C:N ratio low. If this ratio is high, then the nitrogen in the compost is immobilised. Therefore, it is not immediately taken up by the plants.
The pile that is created should have sufficient moisture, but not too much. It is important to stir the pile. In this way, moisture is maintained throughout the pile. In addition, there is enough oxygen to help the bacteria break down the plant debris. The composting process takes a long time to implement. How long it takes depends on both the ratio used and how often you stir the pile.
In conclusion, compost has significant benefits for the soil structure. In addition, plant residues are used in its preparation. Therefore, it also saves money in your pocket, since the costs of buying other soil conditioners are reduced.