Real World Gardener Compost the Right Way on Soil Savvy

August 30th, 2015

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.


Q and Q with Horticultural Scientist Penny Smith

Probably most gardeners agree that compost is good for the garden.

Making your own compost is cheap and you get a bit of exercise doing it.

But, is there a right way or wrong way to compost?


Can it get too hot or too cold?

Is there a right temperature that compost should get to?

Yes, there is, because the bacteria that breaks down compost and makes the nutrients available for your plants, dies off if the compost heap is too hot.

If your heap is too cold, the bacteria also dies off because the bacteria need a little bit of temperature.

If you’re not convinced about composting, then think on this.

Healthy plants with healthy soil

Compost is free plant food it increases soil health and soil structure, improves drainage and helps the water holding capacity of your soil.

That means your soil won’t dry out so easily because it’s holding the moisture longer.

But you can't be in a hurry because improve your soil structure using compost will take a couple of years not a couple of weeks.

You do have to aerate your compost about once a week in the warmer months because you don't want your compost to spoil and become anaerobic. The compost is then not that good for your plants.

Finally, most things can go in compost, except fat or oil, and bones and meats because they attract vermin.

Also non bio degradable materials like plastics.

These take a few thousand years to decompose.

If you have any questions about composting, why not email or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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