Perils of using Green waste compost, steer clear. 2022

The perils of using Green waste compost, steer clear. 2022

The well know brands of compost can be very dear, and its a sway into going towards the cheaper varieties.

Please note I am not mentioning any names or varieties.

Dead Tree

Dead Tree

You may ask why is my tree dying or its not thriving very well. The above photo shows by bark scrapping, that under the soil level the cambium layer is brown ‘DEAD’. Whilst above soil level the cambium layer is still green (ALIVE). The roots have not formed any new white fibrous roots. To reclaim this tree you could cut off the brown dead bottom part of tree, and hopefully replant in good compost.

Sodden Compost at bottom

Sodden Compost at bottom

This is what happens when you use a compost with green composted waste. The bottom layer gets very sodden and waterlogged, starting of root rot and stem rot. It is totally devoid of life.

Good looking roots

Good looking roots

Whereas the above photo uses a good brand of compost, with no green composted waste.

Compost must be a good mix¬† “browns mix” and “greens mix”. Typically 3 parts to 4 parts browns to 1 part greens. The browns are normally those items that take a long time to compost down ie wood chips, leaves, paper etc etc. The greens are normally very high in Nitrogen and high in most other elements. This is not good. Green compost should only be used as a top dressing. Which is why farmers use it for spreading thinly onto their land as a soil conditioner.

With the greens breaking down faster, they break into smaller and smaller pieces, that I say is called sludge. When you continually water a pot the finer particles get washed to the bottom and produce a sludge layer. This layer is not only water logged but it is also very high in nitrogen etc, not conclusive for good root formation.

Also you do not know what is in the greens. People think of the traditional allotment compost pile, but it can be composted human/animal slurry or sewage sludge or even grass cuttings from a golf course, far away, that has been treated with herbicides?? BEWARE.

For further reading on composting please checkout here.

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