By Melissa A. Shuck
Organic matter is the soil fix-all. If your soils are too dense, add organic matter. If your soils are too sandy, add organic matter. If your soil dries out too fast, add organic matter. If your soils are too basic, add organic matter. If your earthworm population is low, add organic matter. If you have too many weeds, add organic matter on top.
If you just let the leaves accumulate on your grass, the grass would be blocked of sunlight and die back – no good. If you put it around your flower beds, it would pick up and fly to your neighbor’s yard. Also, no good. What to do?
Compost it. Some cities have compost programs where they do it for their residence for free or with little charge, however if this is not an option for you, then you can do it yourself and even reap some side benefits.
Making compost is similar in many ways to making bread. You need the right mixture of ingredients, you have to knead it every once in a while, and you can tell it’s about done by the smell. Like bread, the reason it works is due to microbes. The heat of the microbes chowing down cooks it at 150 degrees. Placed strategically, it can add a little warmth to other things.