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Surely composting like this is bad for plants?

(12 Posts)
Draylon Sun 29-Nov-15 12:30:40

compost, from the Observer Review today

Now, I am certainly no expert, though my (RIP!) mother was; she always banged on about the need for fresh organic material to be well composted, i.e. rotted and broken down before being dug into soil with plants already in it, otherwise it burns the roots. This article seems to imply they just hefted the organic stuff, like coffee grounds straight onto their poor-quality already newly planted soil, and hey presto!

pizzaeatingmonkey Sun 29-Nov-15 12:58:28

I put wood ash straight on the garden sometimes as I'm too lazy to trek all the way to the compost bin at the top of the garden, the compost bin by the kitchen is always full of kitchen waste).
I'll be watching this fred to see if I'm doing wrong as well! smile and how do I put a santa hat on my smiley face?

80sWaistcoat Sun 29-Nov-15 13:07:22

It sounds a bit like lasagna gardening, which I used on a few beds at the allotment. Layer down lots of organic matter, seaweed, coffee grounds, kitchen recyling box stuff, grass cuttings etc put cardboard on top and plant through cardboard. Turns into lovely stuff.

Draylon Sun 29-Nov-15 13:13:17

Ah, so you can do it? Do you do it immediately (plant through the cardboard) then? Don't the grass clippings turn into a bit of a slurry?

To my mind, wood ash is sort of already a bit 'composted' as it were, though.

I don't think we're allowed santa hats til Dec 1st, pizza!

80sWaistcoat Sun 29-Nov-15 13:39:46

Yep, plant through. I've only made it work with stuff that I've grown on in pots then planted through the cardboard. Mix the grass clipping in do they don't. Then buy the next year it's turned into lovely stuff you can sow seeds into.

It's the same sort of principle as no dig gardening. Just keep layering stuff on! I have a compost heap (or3)as well so have compost to spread too.

PurpleWithRed Sun 29-Nov-15 13:54:15

What a nauseating article - you’d think they’d invented the idea of using compost for rubbish soil, mulching, and of healthy eating. All very old news.

Draylon Sun 29-Nov-15 16:35:14

It was a bit smug, wasn't it, complete with cancer.

DoreenLethal Wed 02-Dec-15 09:25:53

Going back to the question - composting on the surface of the soil is how it is supposed to be done.

If you dig fresh stuff in, it doesn't burn the roots, it uses the nitrogen that the roots need in order to decompose. Which means the plants haven't got enough nutrients to grow. If you leave it on the surface, not dug in at all, then the nitrogen comes from the air. And the worms take it down into the soil.

It really is the best way, it just doesn't look good. It's how forests work.

In my garden, unless something is diseased in which case it gets taken away or burnt, I just chop all my garden trimmings onto the surface. Chop and Drop it is called in new fangled terms.

In a newly grass seeded path within days of the leaves dropping this year, the worms were taking the leaves down into the soil and leaving the top halves of the leaves sticking out vertically. Amazing creatures.

Draylon Wed 02-Dec-15 20:34:54

Interesting! I shall research further!

SeaRabbit Wed 16-Dec-15 14:05:10

Interesting. I have a recollection that Bob Flowerdew leaves grass clippings on the surface of the soil of beds , as mulch and as compost, eventually.

Draylon Thu 17-Dec-15 07:45:02

I'd've thought grass clippings might be the worst offender! DH has smothered many a compost pile with them til I taught him otherwise! Black, oozy, smelly anaerobic mess!

Ta1kinPeace Thu 17-Dec-15 22:39:16

I use grass clippings as mulch around my raspberries and currants : they LOVE it.

My heap gets anything and everything put in it - including ALL food waste -
once a year the most rotted stuff gets spread on the veg beds for the winter and then dug in when I do the seeding

it works

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