Compost – What You Need To Know

Monthly Gardening tips and updates from The Mitchelton and Districts Gardening Club

On Thursday, 1st August, when the Mitchelton and Districts Garden Club meets at the Enoggera Memorial Hall, the guest speaker, Barbara Beerling,  will talk about Compost.  Barbara is a horticultural consultant specialising in roses, fruit trees, pruning, design and garden problems, and much knowledge is to be gained from attendance at this meeting.

There’s nothing like compost to condition the soil in your garden.  When it is well made, it contains a full range of plant nutrients, some in readily available form, and others that are slowly released as the compost breaks down.  If you are able to make compost it saves buying fertilisers and manures.  Also it prevents  vegetable and food scraps going to waste.  Paper, lawn clippings and garden waste are more things that may be used.  In a few weeks they all decompose to produce a wonderful crumbly mixture.

There are many ways to make compost. Using the correct ratio of dry and wet material in layers helps to bring about success.  For the suburban gardener there isn’t the need to purchase compost tumblers, or make special wooden containers.  Just a heap on the ground, covered with heavy black plastic will do the trick.  Start with wet material such as kitchen scraps, fresh lawn clippings and garden waste.  Make the second layer dried leaves or paper. (For quicker decomposition a sprinkle of cow manure or blood and bone could be added.)  Layering these different types of material should be continued.  Then cover the mound with the plastic making sure the sides are anchored to the ground.  This heap will provide a food source for bacteria and fungi.  As these organisms multiply the temperature of the heap could reach 60 degrees Celsius, which kills weed seeds and plant diseases.  These microbes need oxygen from the air, so the heap needs to be turned every three of four days for a few weeks to bring air and outside material into the middle of it.

An application of liquid fertilizers to flowering annuals or vegetables, will help maintain their steady growth this month.

This club meets on the first Thursday of the calendar month after morning tea is served at 9.45 a.m.  Visitors and new members are most welcome.  The hall  situated in Trundle Street, Enoggera is close to public transport and accessible by wheel chair.

For more information please phone the president, Pat, on 3356 1256.

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