Monday, September 8, 2014

Organic Landscaping with Backyard Compost

4 Benefits of Compost in Landscaping and Gardening

For years now, I have been using compost in my urban backyard garden with wonderful results. I have control over the weeds, my fruits and vegetables have never been healthier or more productive, and I have saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars by not buying soil supplements or fertilizers. I was at a point where my garden needs were far below my compost production availability, and to that end, I have begun thinking outside the box for what to do with my black gold. Our pile was gorgeous, but I couldn't give it away fast enough. The solution came to me one night as I mulled in a late night quandary - to treat my landscaping just as I am my garden.

Organic Landscaping with Backyard Compost
 
The solution simply made sense. My food garden beds only take up a fraction of my ¼ acre urban property, and my family was producing compost like it was going out of style. I started with my ornamental beds, dropping in a few wheelbarrow loads at a time, spreading out the nutrient rich compost then turning it in. The infusion of chemical-free feed to the beds resulted with almost immediate results, as iron infused with my hydrangeas and calcium pumped through my Japanese weeping cherry shrubs.

Compost For Greener Thicker Grass
 
Even with due diligence through watering and commercially available organic fertilizer supplements, the soil of my lawn still becomes compacted and difficult to work during the warmer months. This compaction lessens its friability making it difficult for water to seep in, and for grass to spread and create new roots. Even supplemental applications of loose organic grass seed can be washed away with watering. To combat this, I am spreading compost via a pitch fork to improve nutrients and absorption. This light bed also affords any organic seeds to find protection after I spread it out.

Filling Holes with Compost
 
Another technique I have been employing is targeting dead patches with compost supplements. After raking away the brown grass of the patch, I will remove an inch or two of topsoil, careful to place it back into the composter to 're-infuse,' then fill in with the organic fertilizer of black gold. This supercharged medium has now been turned around from a dead zone to a spot grass will gravitate towards. By keeping up on this practice, I can perform organic lawn repair a few plots at a time without having a checker board project late in the season.

Managing a Healthy Landscaping Budget through Composting
 
A diligent composting plan for your home ensures you will have a constant stream of healthy, organic material for your organic lawn repair, landscaping, and gardening needs. Simply place any herbivore-friendly scraps in your compost bin, and turn once a week with light watering. This simple formula will return nutrients to your soil without the need to purchase chemically-laced supplements from your local garden center, effectively shaving a significant portion of your landscaping budget away each season.