Soil amendments are substances that are used to improve soil quality. These substances include peat moss, natural fertilizer, or chemical fertilizer.
While chemical fertilizer adds only nutrients, soil amendments including peat moss and compost improve soil texture or drainage systems that improve soil capacity to support plants’ lives.
Peat moss adds no nutrients to the soil, meanwhile, compost adds nutrients, improves soil texture and drainage. Peat moss, compost, and landscape mulch help soil retain water for a longer time.
Peat moss changes soil pH level. For example, pest moss is acidic and can be used around acidic-loving plants.
Peat moss is known as Sphagnum moss. Sphagnum moss is a spongy material that was traditionally used to chink log cabins.
This spongy quality gives you an idea though they retain water from the soil, yet they do not become compacted. Amend your soil with peat mist for “goldilocks” drainage, not too dry, not too wet.
Peat moss is harvested from peat bogs (widely produced in Canada). If you have ever heard of a water garden then you know plants that grow in water are called bog plants.
Peat moss is made by decomposing these bog plants for a very long time, which means for practical purposes this amendment is not renewable that why most people are against their use.
This soil amendment is widely used in the green industry and is used as a typical ingredient of potting soil along with compost and perlite to improve soil drainage.
If you’re doing gardening for the very first time in your garden then your first step should be learning how to make compost. This is because before doing gardening you have to improve the existing soil. Soil amendment by definition means adding substance to improve soil quality. Unlike peat moss, you can make your own compost.
To make compost first you have to make a compost bin. You can choose cylinder-shaped bins or the so-called tumbler style. The compost bin doesn’t need to be fancy, there purpose is only to provide space to keep all organic matter together and keep excessive rain off.
Once you choose a compost bin stack and maintain it in a pile. Although organic compost breaks down after a long interval of time, if you collect it in mass it will take a longer time.
For fast decomposing, collect organic matter in mass at least 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet.
You can also make homemade compost containers and can be built in all sorts of different ways.
One often sees a combination of chicken wire fencing, cylinder block, wooden planks or pallets, and others to make compost bins.
How to make compost
Making compost is surprisingly easy, nature does this all the time. Actually, nature takes much more time to create amendments if we don’t interfere. This basic idea is to stack several layers of organic wastes at one place in a container, then keep the pile moist with adequate water. With the right amount of water, microorganisms start their work, break down the pill that eventually decomposes the pill.
What materials should you dump in the compost bin?
You can dump any organic matter you have but using fast decomposing organic waste is good to make compost. Let’s discuss what is good or none good material to use in the compost.
You can compost manure from cows, horses, and chickens. It’s a good idea to use already decomposed manure instead of fresh. It is not a good idea to use cat poop as it contains pathogens. Many gardeners also avoid using meat scape.
You make compost seriously or casually. Either way, you would be able to make good compost. But let us first discuss a serious way. To make compost seriously you have to consider the carbon-nitrogen ratio. The composition of the carbon-nitrogen ratio should be 30:1 carbon to nitrogen.
However, making such perfect compost is very difficult. Frankly, most of us do not even know how to actually measure such a thing with any degree of exactitude.
Using soil amendment
Amending soil amendment and other organic matter is considered both soil improvement and regular landscape maintenance.
Amending soil amendment improves no matter what your soil condition is: for example, if you have clay soil that does not retain water for a longer time, add amendment into it or have a soil type that retains most of the moisture. Consider adding an amendment.
You should also amend soil to prevent plants from known problems. It’s seen that well-fed plants are more likely to ward off pests and diseases. Most gardeners tend to amend some of the compost in some of their plants annually.