Most of southern Utah’s soil is deficient in organic matter. To increase my garden’s success I am getting ready to add organic matter. Adding compost will increase the soils moisture holding capacity and increase the soil’s texture. Fall is a great season to add organic matter. It is recommended annually to add 2 inches of compost to your garden and then till it in 6 to 8 inches deep. Be aware that adding this organic matter will use up nitrogen available in the soil. So, you will need to add additional nitrogen. The reason nutrients should be added with compost is because its the nitrogen in the soil that breaks down the compost.
There are several places to get compost. The least expensive place is the landfill. It is $20 per ton for residents. Follow this link for more information. Western Rock also has a great compost. Here’s their website. The local nurseries sell compost by the bag.
For me, I make my own by collecting my yard and kitchen (minus the meat) waste into a compost pile located in the backyard. It’s placed where the hens can get to it. My reason for this is to allow the hens to scratch through the pile and eat what they like. While doing so, they poop a little in it…actually…it’s a lot…they poop a lot in it. As a result, their activity turns the waste quickly to compost. The girls are like a compost making machine.
Today is turning the compost day.
The girls are checking out my work. Woohoo! Everyone seems happy. In a few days, I will be adding this compost to my garden.
If you want to read up more on adding compost to your garden, Utah State University puts out a great publication. Click here to access it.