Use compost in the garden properly

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Compost is one of the top fertilizers among gardeners, because it is particularly rich in humus and nutrients - and completely natural. A few shovels of mixed compost supply your garden plants with sufficient amounts of calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) and also improve the soil structure in the long term by enriching the soil with humus. Anyone who has created one or two compost heaps in the garden can use the "black gold" at regular intervals. But beware: Just because compost is such a valuable fertilizer, it should be used with reason and used in the right amount.

Create good garden compost

In order to speed up the composting of your compost, you should alternately put solid (for example grass clippings) and loose components (for example foliage) into it. If the compost is too dry, it can be watered with the watering can. If it is too wet and smells musty, shrub shred should be mixed. The better the waste is mixed, the faster the maturation takes place. If you want to use the compost in a few months, compost accelerator can be added. It supplies the nitrogen required for the decomposition of nutrient-poor waste such as wood or autumn leaves.

Seven compost

Sift fresh compost to ensure that no unrubbed ingredients get into the bed

Finally, if you remove ripe compost from the bin or pile, sieve it first before using it, so that no coarse remains such as egg shells or pieces of wood land on the bed. Use a large-size through-sieve with a mesh width of at least 15 millimeters. Ripe, sieved compost is particularly important for sowing beds in the vegetable garden, because here you need a feinkr├╝meligen soil.

When is the compost ripe?

Compost develops from the stratification of various garden waste, such as shrubs, grass, fruit and vegetable remains and foliage. Microorganisms decompose the waste and gradually form valuable humus soil. As a rule, it takes just under six months before so-called "fresh compost" can be harvested. This is particularly rich in readily available nutrients, but very coarse and can only be used as a mulch for existing plantings. It is not suitable for sowing beds because it is too spicy for the delicate seedlings. Also, do not use fresh compost in the soil, because then there is a risk of rotting.
Depending on the composition, mature compost is obtained at the earliest after about ten to twelve months. Now the ingredients are mostly dissolved and give a feinkr├╝melige humus soil. The nutrient content in the ripening compost decreases the longer it stands. Consume the finished ripen compost as quickly as possible.

mature compost

Fresh compost is only roughly decomposed and still contains many solid ingredients

Basic rules for fertilizing with compost

In general, you can use compost throughout the year as a garden fertilizer. A large initial fertilization with compost takes place in spring, when the plants in the garden begin their growth phase. Then it is regularly re-fertilized throughout the year until autumn. Basically, the more nutrients a plant needs, the more compost can be applied. Perennials and starvation get in the growth phase plenty of compost, wild perennials and forest edge plants significantly less. Bogbed plants such as rhododendrons and azaleas do not tolerate compost, as it is usually too calcareous. Even plants that like to grow in barren soil such as primroses, horned violet or Adonisr├Âschen come out well without the natural fertilizer. When using compost in the garden, be sure to work it in as flat as possible with a rake or cultivator.

You need that much compost

Of course, the exact amount of compost needed can only be determined after a thorough soil analysis - and even then it is still approximate, because the nutrient content of the compost also varies quite a bit depending on the source material. Nevertheless, there is a rule of thumb for the use of compost in the garden: flowering shrubs that are very nutrient-hungry should be supplied with about two liters of garden compost per square meter distributed over the year, ornamental trees are sufficient for half. For some fast-growing or highly flowering ornamental plants, compost alone is insufficient because of its low nitrogen content (N). Therefore, an addition of about 50 grams of horn meal per square meter is recommended for these plants. Compost can also be used for lawn fertilization. One to two liters per square meter are usually sufficient

Work in compost flat in the soil

Work the compost flat in the ground

Start fertilization at new planting

In order to get a good start for hungry ornamental plants - especially shrubs and shrubs - you should mix the excavation with up to a third of mature compost for new plantings. If a whole bed needs restoring, you can enrich bad sand with up to 40 liters of compost per square meter. It provides the plants with the most important nutrients for up to three years, then must be re-fertilized.

Compost in the kitchen garden

You can use compost as a fertilizer not only in the ornamental garden, but also in the orchard and vegetable patch. In the spring, rake the rime compost flat into the upper soil layer after loosening the soil. Particularly grateful for a compost fertilization are star gourmets such as zucchini, pumpkin, potatoes, cabbage and tomatoes. These need up to six liters of ripening compost per square meter. A little less, namely a maximum of three liters per square meter of bed surface, you need for Mittelzehrer such as lettuce, strawberries, onions, spinach, radish and kohlrabi.
The weakest of the vegetables should be mulched with at most one liter of compost - but you can also do without composting if you have previously cultivated heavy or medium eaters on the bed. Herbs, but also radishes, lamb's lettuce, peas and beans are among the weakest eaters. Fruit trees or berry bushes look forward in autumn over a mulch layer of compost on the tree-pulley.

fertilize young apple tree with compost

The apple tree is happy about an autumn fertilization with compost

Compost for pot and bucket

Also for flower pots and balcony boxes mature compost can be used as fertilizer. To do this, mix one-third garden soil with one-third of mature, sieved compost. Depending on the plant also a third of sand and / or peat (or peat substitutes) are added. If you prefer vegetable or flower seeds in seed boxes, you can also use compost to replenish the seed soil. This soil for the cultivation of young plants should not be too nutrient-rich, so it is recommended here a compost / soil mixture in the ratio 1: 4.

Video Board: 3 Ways to Use Compost in Your Vegetable (or any) Garden.

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