Soil and Other Materials in the Compost Pile

it is important to add soil to your compost pile. The soil contains a good starter supply of microorganisms. The organisms help in several ways. Some break down complex compounds into simpler ones the plants can utilize. There are many species

Always be sure to add at least 3 different kinds of crops to your compost piles. Different microbes flourish in specific kinds of crops. The result of this crop diversity is microbe diversity in the soil, which ensures better soil and plant health.

of free-living bacteria that fix nitrogen from the air in a form available to plants. Many microorganisms tie up nitrogen surpluses. The surpluses are released gradually as the plants need nitrogen. An excessive concentration of available nitrogen in the soil (which makes plants susceptible to disease) is therefore avoided. There are predaceous fungi that attack and devour nematodes, but these fungi are only found in large amounts in a soil with adequate humus.

The microbial life provides a living pulsation in the soil that preserves its vitality for the plants. The microbes tie up essential nutrients in their own body tissues as they grow, and then release them slowly as they die and decompose. In this way, they help stabilize food release to the plants. These organisms are also continuously excreting a whole range of organic compounds into the soil. Sometimes described as "soil glue," these excretions contribute to the building of the soil structure. The organic compounds also contain disease-curing antibiotics and health-producing vitamins and enzymes that are integral parts of biochemical reactions in a healthy soil.

Note that at least 3 different materials of 3 different textures are used in the grow biointensive method compost recipe and in many other recipes. The varied textures will allow good drainage and aeration in the pile. The compost will also have a more diverse nutrient content and greater microbial diversity. A pile made primarily of leaves or grass cuttings makes the passage of water and air through the pile difficult without frequent turning because both tend to mat. Good air and water penetration are required for proper decomposition. The layering of the materials further promotes a mixture of textures and nutrients and helps ensure even decomposition.

Microbe diversity is very important in the growing soil. Many microbes produce antibiotics that help plants resist diseases, and healthy plants have fewer insect challenges. Each microbe tends to have a food preference—some prefer beet refuse, others wheat straw, and so on. Therefore, a way to maximize microbe diversity in the compost pile is to build your compost pile with a large variety of materials.

You will probably want to build some compost without soil for your perennial growing areas. This is because you cannot easily take soil from these areas to build compost piles. Also, the perennial roots will necessitate surface cultivation to an approximately 2-inch depth in most cases.

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Organic Gardeners Composting

Organic Gardeners Composting

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