One of the most important fertilisers in an organic garden is compost. A small amount of this wonderful material mixed with the soil can give greatly improved plant growth. It will promote the biological activity so essential in organic growing.
Many people think that compost is made by simply throwing kitchen scraps and garden refuse into a pile and letting it rot. This is not the case at all. Good compost contains many different ingredients. Most essential are manures such as cow, horse and poultry. Other ingredients are feathers, blood, fish, leaves, grass clippings, weeds, sawdust, wood shavings, kitchen scraps and seaweed. Poultry manures and fish wastes are high in nitrogen and supply proteins for the composting organisms. Lime or dolomite also adds valuable magnesium. Add about 2.5 cups per cubic metre of raw compost. Rock phosphate will also enrich the compost (about 1.5 cups per cubic metre).
To speed production and decay, compost can be inoculated with herbs such as yarrow or comfrey. When they are used together these special herbs can halve the time it takes to produce compost. Three or four chopped leaves of each herb to two cubic metres of compost are sufficient to start off the compost.
Some gardeners use three compost heaps. One being built up, one decomposing and one in use.
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