Compost Production and Use
Producing and using compost is a great place to start and to continue learning about soil fertility and plant health management. Compost is a key building block of organic farming. Producing high quality compost is not difficult, but it does require a certain degree of commitment and preparation. Composting plant residuals, animal manure and bedding, or hay harvested specifically for making compost can provide a stable, weed and pathogen free source of organic matter and nutrients. In addition to being a source of available and stable nutrients, compost is a source of bacterial and fungal diversity that is often lacking in soils that have been used for conventional, chemical agriculture. Compost can be used as a potting media component for container grown transplants. We are also learning more about how to use water extracts or teas of compost to manage foliar and soil born fungal plant pathogens.