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  Category: Articles » Home & Family » Gardening » Article

Soil Plus Compost Equals Lush Healthy Plants

By James Ellison

You find that your plants are giving you fits in your landscape because it seems like a parade of weeds, insects or diseases have invaded and taken over. The problem is probably not due to insects or diseases but the poor soil that the plants are in. This poor soil is the major cause of invading insects and/or plant diseases.

With the poor soil comes weak and unhealthy plants that are more likely to get insect or disease problems. By improving the soil with compost, either before or after planting, will create a big difference. Anytime is a great time to add compost.

Compost is made of rich organic matter, which is crucial to growing healthy and fruitful plants. It is the result of a natural process of decay and recycling of materials such as leaves and twigs. In every corner of the world, in every meadow, forest and wetland composting is taking place. By copying this process, our plants will reap the benefits also.

The major benefit of compost is that it binds water and nutrients in reserve, freeing them when plants need it the most. It holds double its weight in water, hence cutting back the need to water and increasing a plants capacity for our dry months.

Utilizing compost is an inexpensive way to better the soil. Compost cuts the need to fertilize since it's rich in plant nutrients and slowly discharges them over time. And by not having to replace plants every year and the costs connected with plants that die because of poor soils.

Humic acid is a plant-growth stimulant found in compost. Vegetable crops tests show that humic acid, even in low concentrations, produces healthy, lush plants.

Creating compost is an easy task. With all of the grass clippings, twigs and leaves from the yard, fall is a good time to make a compost pile. There are several ways to make compost. Even if you buy a compost bin or build one from wood pallets, here are several tips to help you get going.

1. A compost pile should be approximately 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide. This measurement is ideal for getting the pile to heat up.

2. All items going into the compost pile should be wet. When the yard waste is dry when added, it will reduce the decomposition process.

3. Layers of the yard waste should be applied, that is, a layer of grass clippings then a layer of leaves and so on.

4. To turn a compost pile is not a absolute necessay task unless you are in a hurry. By turning the compost pile it will accelerate the decomposition process.

5. The finished product compost can be applied to a new or an established garden or landscape. If you are still planning your project, be sure to add plenty of compost onto your soil before you plant. The compost, over time, will integrate itself with your existing soil. Therefore, no need to till or dig up the place you are improving.

It doesn't make any difference if your soil is sandy, clay, or rock; adding compost will improve it.

To top dress an established landscape, you can add a layer of compost on top of the existing soil. If you have established plants, add 1 - 2 inches of compost all around the plant. The plants will still get the benefits of the humic acid and other important plant nutrients abundantly found in compost.

The plants and landscape will reward you with a lush, healthy growth. Additionally, it will step-up your plants' natural resistance to insects and diseases. This method is nothing but back to basics.
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  Some other articles by James Ellison
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Mistakes When Planting or Transplanting
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Mulch is Mother Natures Blanket
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