Compost: The Best Thing for Your Garden

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Above, three of my four raised beds, ready for rototilling tomorrow. I’ve spread steer manure (light brown) and my own compost (dark brown) on top of the soil to be tilled. It takes two years to completely compost leaves, grass, and kitchen scraps generated by our yard and kitchen. In our article “Pepper Garden Design and Planning,” Paul Bosland and I describe how to compost properly. Here’s an excerpt:

The key to a great pepper garden is the addition of compost, which improves workability, water holding capability, drainage, and fertility of the soil. Many gardeners have no choice about composting because many landfills across the country do not accept organic yard refuse–such as grass clippings. Thus, composting is a necessity. Composting is the process whereby organic material decomposes into humus, with the help of microorganisms, insects, earthworms, and water. Also necessary is oxygen, for anaerobic decomposition is a slow process that causes foul odors. The complete article is here.