Compost, a Rosarian's Best Friend
By Gloria Hartis Alexander
(From The Charlotte Rosebud, March-April 2000)

"Compost is the decomposed, cured form of organic matter."

Compost worked into new or existing rose beds will increase microorganism activity and improve soil character and moisture retention. It has wonderful nutrient value. The best source of good compost is your yard. This composting technique is designed to take advantage of your garden waste.

All you need to do is slightly modify your autumn leaf handling. From now on, every autumn, put all your dry leaves into plastic trash bags, tie the top and hide the bags out behind the garage. In time, you'll have a high quality, no fuss, no mess, practically free soil amendment called compost.

The compost pile is a hodgepodge of microscopic life; from one-celled organisms of bacteria, through fungi, protozoa, centipedes, beetles and earthworms. Don't ever spray a pesticide close by, since you want to preserve these God given living creations helping us break down natural wastes.

The perfect compost pile is 1 part Greens (Nitrogen) to 30 parts Browns (Carbon). If your ratio is more or less than perfect, your compost pile will decompose more slowly. You can compost coffee grounds, plant clippings, grass clippings, leaves, manure, roses, kitchen scraps, fruit & vegetable peels, crushed egg shells, tea bags and the filter with the coffee grounds. Also, well-shredded newspaper or cardboard, broken or shredded corncobs, ground or crushed nutshells and ground oyster shells are wonderful resources. Virtually anything except ingredients containing salt and grease.

Keep it simple-