Traditionally, it is believed that the compost soil is ready when all the waste is rotted to a dark brown humus that smells like earth. From the moment the compost is laid, it takes 1 – 3 years. Depending on the place of use, the compost can still be used much earlier.
From a well-functioning household waste composter, a valuable product can be obtained within 6 to 8 weeks: mulch, which means semi-finished compost. In mulch, the decomposition process has gone so far that household waste and green yard waste has already decomposed. Wood chippings, needles and other harder waste have not yet decomposed. Then the compost has already passed the heating stage. Mulch is a rather coarse, revitalizing soil conditioner.
It still contains a lot of material that needs decomposition and attracts its soil microflora to the garden. When using mulch, it is important to remember that it also needs oxygen for its final decomposition. It should not be buried deep in the ground, for example, at the bottom of a flower bed. The raw compost can also contain substances harmful to plants, so it should not come into contact with the plant roots.
In spring and summer, mulch is an excellent material for application to the soil surface. Apply it, for example, under bushes in a layer several centimeters thick, when the ground warms up. Mulch maintains soil moisture and activates the activity of microorganisms, mainly worms.
In the fall, you can add mulch to the garden and mix it with the ground with a mill.
Compost in soil
The compost used in the soil must be very mature. Mature compost is dark, homogeneous, and smells good. At this stage, there may still be differences in the compost, for example, eggshells and pieces of branches. They do not interfere with the use of compost. If you want a clean compost, for example for distribution over the surface of the lawn, sift the bulky parts of the compost using a sieve with a mesh size of about 10 mm and put the sifted waste back into the compost.
Even ready-made compost is not suitable as a pure soil. You can improve its quality by mixing, for example, 3 parts Horticultural peat with mineral fertilizers with 1 part mature compost. It is convenient to mix it immediately on the spot, for example, in a vegetable garden or in a flower bed, at least with a garden cultivator. Biolan Natural Fertilizer can be added as a basic nitrogen fertilizer according to the instructions on the package.
If you want to get the most out of your compost soil, don’t let it mature for too long. The humic substances of the compost continue their work all the time. So, compost does not improve with age, but rather loses its vitality and nutrients.
Compost as fertilizer
The impact of compost as fertilizer depends on the raw material from which the compost is made. The nutrient content of compost made from household and garden waste is usually very low. The nutrients in compost are slow and have a long effect on the ground. Compost is just right for long-term soil improvement and as a slowly dissolving nutrient reserve for perennial plants such as trees, shrubs and ornamental perennials. In addition, take care of the main feeding, which is required depending on each specific plant.
Many garden plants such as cabbage, cucumber, tomato, leek, etc. need strong and fast-acting fertilizer for their growth and yield. These plants can be fed with, for example, Biolan Natural Fertilizer, which is rich in nutrients. The use of compost soil enhances the benefits of Biolan Natural Fertilizer by revitalizing the activity of microorganisms. Then the plants are able to effectively use the reserves of nutrients from the soil and organic fertilizers during the growth period.
In order to achieve a good effect of the soil improver, compost is best applied to the soil during the spring tillage period. Then the nutrients of the compost will not be lost and will not be washed off in the autumn and spring rains. Compost applied to the ground in spring must be mature so as not to interfere with seed germination. At a time, you can make compost at the rate of 30 to 50 liters per sq. meter, i.e. layer 3 – 5 cm thick.