Why add good compost to the garden soil?
To increase the productivity, growth, and healthier plants in the vegetable garden adding the best soil amendment will leave your soil structure with so many benefits for many growing seasons. Using great compost contains four key components — organic matter, moisture, bacteria, and oxygen. The organic matter provides the needed nitrogen and carbon sources for plant growth. While the moisture allows the compost to not dry out and the oxygen supports the breakdown of plant material. Then, the other microorganisms like bacteria will break down all the components and plant material into the useful compost material needed for the vegetable garden. When incorporating the compost in sandy soils it can increase the water-holding capacity, while in the heavier clay soils it can improve drainage. Another advantage of adding compost to the soil is the decrease in using so much fertilizer. When deciding whether to use compost or fertilizer in the garden it depends on which one you prefer more. Compost is an organic material that increases soil structure in the garden to create a more beneficial environment for the plants to grow. The fertilizers feed the plant directly which improves quicker plant growth in the vegetable garden.
Best Soil Amendment for the Garden
On this week’s episode, Travis explains why good compost is the best soil amendment for the vegetable garden. In the garden, using good compost has many soil benefits such as providing plenty of nutrients into the soil so we don’t have to use as many fertilizers in the vegetable garden. Another advantage is it will amend the soil perfectly to make the soil more workable by adding organic matter. A good quantity of compost has an adequate ratio of nitrogen and carbon. The nitrogen source comes from things like manure and the carbon source comes from decayed plant matter. We recommend using manure-based compost because it is overall rich in nitrogen and we can avoid using so much fertilizer in the vegetable garden. Travis gets his manure from a chicken house that provides plenty of nitrogen and works really well in the garden. When you get your compost for the garden you should cover it with a tarp to prevent it from drying out. If left uncovered the compost can dry out and be harder to apply or spread in your vegetable garden. When adding the good compost to the garden there are two techniques you can use. The first technique is spreading it over the entire garden. The second technique is using the FAD system and applying it just where you plant in the garden area. Depending on how chunky and hard the soil is to work in the garden it may be better to spread it over the entire garden area. However, if the soil tilth is nice and workable you can use the FAD system and just apply where the plants need it in the garden plot. When applying the FAD system we typically make a little furrow using the Double Wheel Hoe and lay the compost down in the furrow and then cover it up. Next, we will plant right on top which will allow us to stretch the compost pile further and make the compost last longer. Also, it ensures that the compost is exactly where the plants need it and not wasted in other spaces such as walkways or edges in the garden. To ensure you have the best soil amendment in the garden, find you a good source of compost that will apply so many benefits for your plants in the vegetable garden.