two thousand twenty
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SUBMITTED by Marjorie Torelli (4-Oct-2011)

It seems so sad when those beautiful fall leaves drop to the ground. The carpets of gold and red and orange are beautiful for a time – and great to kick through to make a glorious scrunching noise. Then all the evidence of an abundant summer have to be cleaned up – a back-aching job. There is a positive outcome lurking after the chore. Those beautiful leaves have value beyond the fall season. They make a great foundation for compost in the future. Now is a great time to find a perfect spot in your yard for a compost project. Once the leaves are raked, the time has come to compost them. The compost started this fall will make a great addition to spring plantings – and it’s free! Raking the leaves is an unavoidable fall chore, but it takes on added value when those piles of leaves become humus (hyoo-mus).

Compost is a simple natural process that occurs whenever nature has its way with organic materials that have reached the end of their lives. We have all seen evidence of compost lurking in the wilted lettuce in the crisper drawer or those last elusive leaves lurking under the shrubs by the front porch. Compost happens! Gardeners can harness that natural process to great benefit for their plants. Compost is not the same as chemical fertilizer. Instead of giving plants a quick booster to encourage growth, compost provides an amendment to the soil. The components of compost provide microorganisms that improve soil health. Compost also improves the structure of the soil, allowing more air and moisture to reach plant roots. Compost allows plants to grow larger and to be healthier, reducing the need for pesticides.

Those who compost become true believers in its benefits. The improvement to soil and therefore plants is amazing and can convert the most hardened skeptics. The Western Finger Lakes Authority has a brochure that outlines the simple procedure to great compost. If you would like a copy, please call or write the Western Finger Lakes Authority, P.O. Box 36, Lyons, NY 14489, or call 1.800.724.3867 or go to the web page www.wfingerlakesauthority.org. The internet is a great source for lots of information on compost. One place to start is on the Cornell University website. Go to cornell.edu and type “compost’ into the search box.


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1 Comment to "Compost Happens – It’s a Good Thing!"

  1. Gerry Benedict Said,

    Agree! A leaf is a terrible thing to waste.

    Posted on Mon Oct 10, 06:22:00 AM EDT


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