A New Look Landscaping
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HAY & STRAW
Hay comes from grasses like alfalfa; it is used for animal feed. Straw is typically a bi-product of wheat stalks; it is used for animal bedding.
TOP SOURCES FOR NITROGEN
Spent coffee grounds, chicken manure, grass clippings and even human hair all boost compost nitrogen levels. Adding nitrogen accelerates the decomposition process.
ALL THE NEWS THAT FIT TO PRINT
Newsprint, even the Dallas Morning News can be composted and it is a good source of carbon. Cut newsprint into strips before adding it to the compost pile.
WHAT'S COMPOST & WHAT'S MULCH
Compost is decomposed organic material that amends and adds nutrients to soil. Mulch is a layer of material placed on top of soil to retain moisture and suppress weeds.
THE STRAIGHT POOP ABOUT POOP
Chicken/turkey manure is preferred for a high-nitrogen content. Waste from horses, cows and sheep is also usable. Avoid pet droppings because it may contain pathogens that can infect humans. The best time to add manure to a compost pile is in the fall or very early spring.
MATURITY MEANS NEVER HAVING TO SAY IT STINKS
Compost that smells like ammonia or still looks like the original material is not ready to use. When in doubt, wait.
SHOULD YOU OR SHOULDN'T YOU
Some horticulturists discourage the practice of backfilling tree and shrub planting holes with compost. Roots might find too much resistance once they creep past it to the native soil, so long-term root development may be arrested.
BARKING UP A DIFFERENT TREE
Mulching with shredded pine bark can supply some of the benefits of compost over time. Nature will eventually decompose the bark although it may take up to six years.
TURN, TURN, TURN
Turning redistributes microorganisms, introduces additional oxygen and removes excess moisture from the compost pile. The pace of decomposition depends partly on how often the compost pile is turned. Somewhere between weekly to monthly is recommended.
WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY & THE ENEMY IS US
The average household generates 650 pounds of compostable materials each year. Recycle please.
WORMS ARE OUR FRIENDS
Vermicomposting is composting with worms in an enclosed bin. The benefits include reduced levels of contaminants and a higher concentration of water-soluble nutrients.