Being the class dunce, I'll post it on here instead.
Can you reuse compost?
Right, lift your jaw, or self off the floor now and consider it for a moment. I'm talking containers with compost from last year. Thinking about it logically as possible, compost contains the right balance of nutrients for things to grow. Plants grew, and took the nutrients, how are they replaced?
With your average bed of soil, there's so much of it and a bit of compost is added each year, and I guess there's a balance. And besides, you have worms to look after it all for you. Grow a few peas, fix a bit of nitrogen, rotate a few crops and away you go.
But is compost like a battery, with only a certain amount of juice. And how can I tell when the juice runs out?
And what if the compost has been contaminated? Oh yes, I left a few containers out with their compost from last year, and the weeds took hold. This morning I took the weeds out, and their roots had run riot, right to the bottom of the container?
In the picture above, you may be able to spot roots all tangled up like headphones left in a coat pocket for a week, miraculously inter-twined. If I leave them in there, will the weeds re-grow? And how do I make sure I don't pick and eat them instead of my planned salad leaves? Death by leaf...
So I have just spent an hour of my life picking through all my weed-riddled containers, patiently picking out the noodles, shaking them free of dirt and bringing the compost, hopefully, back to life. I've refreshed the containers with extra new material and with any luck I'll be happy as rabbit very soon. Come salad leaves come:
|Last year's emerging crop|