As Seen In: USA Today, Discovery Channel, US News & World Report
Wilderness Survival
- Training Network

Site Search:

Featured Member Video

Whipping Rope and Tool Handles

More Videos by IA Woodsman
View larger or ask the author a question.
View all wilderness survival videos


Recent Forum Posts RSS

Thread Title Replies
Alone in the Jungle, except for hom... 5
In the market for walkie-talkies / ... 14
National anthem 68
how times have changed 16
Home Made weapons.... 14
Slow Cooker Strategy for Cooking! 17
World Ends Setember 23rd 123
How big is this hog 7
rat shooter 11
Seed for Spring 5
Members: 19652 | Posts: 506227
Come Join the Discussion Today!



Our site has been mentioned in:

U.S. News and World Report
Best of the Web - Site of the Week 8/6/01

Discovery Channel Canada
One Week in the Wilderness

USA Today
Hot Sites 08/08/2005

Composting > The Fertilizing Value of Compost

The Fertilizing Value of Compost

It is not possible for me to tell you how well your own homemade compost will fertilize plants. Like home-brewed beer and home-baked bread you can be certain that your compost may be the equal of or superior to almost any commercially made product and certainly will be better fertilizer than the high carbon result of municipal solid waste composting. But first, let's consider two semi-philosophical questions, "good for what?" and "poor as what?"

Any compost is a "social good" if it conserves energy, saves space in landfills and returns some nutrients and organic matter to the soil, whether for lawns, ornamental plantings, or vegetable gardens. Compared to the fertilizer you would have purchased in its place, any homemade compost will be a financial gain unless you buy expensive motor-powered grinding equipment to produce only small quantities.

Making compost is also a "personal good." For a few hours a year, composting gets you outside with a manure fork in your hand, working up a sweat. You intentionally participate in a natural cycle: the endless rotation of carbon from air to organic matter in the form of plants, to animals, and finally all of it back into soil. You can observe the miraculous increase in plant and soil health that happens when you intensify and enrich that cycle of carbon on land under your control.

So any compost is good compost. But will it be good fertilizer? Answering that question is a lot harder: it depends on so many factors. The growth response you'll get from compost depends on what went into the heap, on how much nitrate nitrogen was lost as ammonia during decomposition, on how completely decomposition was allowed to proceed, and how much nitrate nitrogen was created by microbes during ripening.

The growth response from compost also depends on the soil's temperature. Just like every other biological process, the nutrients in compost only GROW the plant when they decompose in the soil and are released. Where summer is hot, where the average of day and night temperatures are high, where soil temperatures reach 80 degree for much of the frost-free season, organic matter rots really fast and a little compost of average quality makes a huge increase in plant growth. Where summer is cool and soil organic matter decomposes slowly, poorer grades of compost have little immediate effect, or worse, may temporarily interfere with plant growth. Hotter soils are probably more desperate for organic matter and may give you a marked growth response from even poor quality compost; soils in cool climates naturally contain higher quantities of humus and need to be stoked with more potent materials if high levels of nutrients are to be released.

Compost is also reputed to make enormous improvements in the workability, or tilth of the soil. This aspect of gardening is so important and so widely misunderstood, especially by organic gardeners, that most of Chapter Seven is devoted to considering the roles of humus in the soil.

Back to Composting





Ultimate Survival Knife & Kit

List Price: 61.99

Our Price: 39.95

This 15 inch survival knife with drop point blade features a thick quality stainless steel blade with serrated top edge. Textured and ribbed solid metal handle and guard. Nylon sheath. Survival kit includes a hollow grip with a compass top to store items within the knife itself, as well as additional pouches on the sheath to hold the rest. Complete survival kit.

Click Here to Buy the Survival Knife Now.


Copyright © 2001 - 2017 Jalic Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Advertise Here | Contact Us