Basically a compost is a soil substitute for propagating and establishing plants, lo carry out this function a compost requires certain properties—to be well aerated, to retain water, to hold nutrients and to conduct warmth. Thus in constituting a compost the components used should be chosen to establish these particular conditions as well as maintaining them throughout the life of the compost. In order to prevent the occurrence of pests, diseases and weeds the component materials should also be sterile.
The only component of a compost that is not initially sterile is the loam. To sterilize it place the loam in a broad, flat container such as a meat tin and put in the oven at 82°C/ 180°F for 30 minutes. Best results are obtained if the loam is dryish and if the tin is covered with foil so that the steam generated encourages the sterilizing effect. Cool and riddle the loam before use.
Was this article helpful?