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Compost Fundamentals

Follow the do’s and don’ts of compost making for healthy plants.

| April 2018

  • Good compost contains the right amount of water, oxygen, and worms.
    Illustration courtesy of Pavilion
  • Garden compost is a mix of rotted-down kitchen waste and other wet 'green' material, plus dry 'brown' material.
    Photo by PixaBay/Antranias
  • “SowHow” by Paul Matson and Lucy Anna Scott break down the key steps of sowing, planting, and harvesting each featured vegetable.
    Cover courtesy Pavilion

SowHow, (Pavilion, 2017) by Paul Matson and Lucy Anna Scott features a fresh bright design and clear-cut instructions, it includes entries on more than 30 easy-grow vegetables to sow throughout the seasons, form kale to runner beans and carrots to cucamelons. Matson is a visual designer he uses beautiful design and clever infographics to simplify gardening and help first –time gardeners produce first-class vegetables. Scott is a writer with an artistic interest in stories that explore how plants, trees, and landscapes help us better understand ourselves. The following excerpt is from the “Things to Know” section.

There are many different composts available from general purpose compost to those that are more specialized. Use the best quality you can afford, ensure it is fresh, and try to make sustainable choices by using soil from renewable sources.

Multi-Purpose Compost: Can be used at any stage of growth; is cheaper than specific-use composts

Ericaceous Compost: Lime-free for acid-loving plants. Azaleas, heathers, blueberries and camellias

Seed Compost: This is free­ draining and can hold plenty of moisture. Both qualities are necessary for seeds to germinate. Contains low levels of fertilizer

Potting Compost:  Use this for young seedlings or rooted cuttings, but not seeds. Nutrient levels are right for encouraging further growth but would damage seeds

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