Depending on the size of your compost pile, what you put in it, and how you tend to it, this process can take three months to two years. If you want to get compost in a hurry, there are a few things you can do to speed the process along:. Note: In years past, many experts have recommended adding manure—which is nitrogen-rich—to your compost bin to speed up the microbial activity. New strains of bacteria have caused concerns, however, and some people are backing away from that suggestion.
Alfalfa meal and soybean meal are high-nitrogen alternatives and are available at many feed stores.
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Search Catalog Search Search. A force for good. About Us. More Articles Find more garden information. Share this Article:. With a Compost Aerator , it's easier to add air to the pile. Aeration gives oxygen-hungry microbes what they need to break down materials faster. Super Hot Compost Starter.
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Shredded leaves, saved on a fall afternoon and shredded with a leaf shredder. People who read this article often purchase. Knowing your "hardiness zone" can help you choose the best plants. Simply put, it describes the coldest place a plant can grow.
The higher the zone number, the warmer the climate. So if a plant is "hardy to zone 4" and you garden in zone 5, that plant will survive in your yard. If, however, you're in zone 3, it's too cold to grow that particular plant. Find out your hardiness zone. Planting too early or late in the season can spell disaster for your garden.
You need to know the last average spring frost date for your area so you don't accidentally kill plants by putting them out prematurely. It's also good to know your first average fall frost date so that you get your plants harvested or moved indoors before late-season cold damages them. Discover the average first and last frost dates for your area.
Apply a layer of mulch that's 2 to 3 inches deep around each plant.
This will help reduce weeds by blocking out the sun, and reduce moisture loss through evaporation, so you have to water less. Or, you can put down straw, shredded leaves, pine straw, or some other locally available material.
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We've already talked about the importance of starting with great soil, but that soil works best in concert with regular boosts of high-quality nutrition for your plants. Be sure to follow label directions. One last word of advice: Stock up on the basic tools you need to make it easier to grow. Get all the details in our Tools for Gardening article.
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Display logo. Learn More. Grow more spectacular flowers, bigger vegetables, lush foliage and stronger trees and shrubs vs. It will feed them up to 3 months and improve the existing soil so your plants can build strong roots.