- Compost is supposed to be very good for my garden. Is that true?
In general, yes…BUT the compost may not contain enough of the vital compounds your plants require IF the compost came from plants grown on nutrient-deficient soils, or was not properly decomposed. Compost is no better than the soil that the plants were grown in. It cannot produce something that wasn’t there to begin with.
The best service that compost provides is in making the soil more open and water-retentive and to aid in nutrient absorption and slow release. YES… composts can actually absorb a certain proportion of the applied nutrients and may not release then for some time.
Compost decomposition can be enhanced by spraying a weaker dilution of Turboganic My Garden® (1 tablespoon of super-concentrate per gallon of tap water) occasionally as the compost is turned in the soil. Not only will the rich nutrients embed themselves into your compost, but it will significantly improve the microbial activity for quicker and more thorough decomposition which will clearly benefit your garden.
- Is blood meal, bone meal, feather meal, and similar products as good as claimed?
Blood meal can actually elevate the nitrogen content of the soil quite rapidly and is known to cause soils to become acid to some degree. It is good if used properly, but do not assume that if a small amount is good for your soil, then larger amounts are even better.
Bone meal is also a source of phosphorus and may release small quantities of phosphorus over some years in the soil. Many soils in the western U.S. do not require phosphorus, they actually need to be less alkaline which will allow the phosphorus to be available. Strongly acid or alkaline soils tend to “tie up” nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Feather meal is another high nitrogen product, but it too takes some time to degrade in the dry, alkaline soils of the western U.S.
By adding small quantities of bone meal, blood meal, and feather meal to your plant waste along with a small amount of finely ground rock to your compost for soil, it would provide an excellent plant growth supplement in a few months to a year or more, especially if a weaker dilution of Turboganic My Garden® (1 tablespoon of super-concentrate per gallon of tap water) was added from time to time as the decomposing material is tilled in.