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all compost was not decomposed equal


> >What's your favorite catalog for affordable, ORGANIC fertilizers,
> >amendments, pest controls...?
>
> Now, now, John -- didn't you read the latest issue of Organic Gardening
> Magazine?  The July/August issue states that if you use compost, you don't
> NEED any other organic fertilizer! :-D
>
Hold on there!

Having let my subscription lapse...

Compost DOES NOT make up for an imbalanced soil, and OG shouldn't be saying
it does.
It will help make many existing nutrients more accessible to plants, but
cannot add what it does not have.
More over, as OG and we should all know, all compost was not decomposed
equal (i.e. materials and the process vary from garden to garden, and even
week to week in a single garden).

So, if you don't know your soil has too much phosphorus, and you don't know
that your compost has too much phosphorus, and you slather it on because OG
said it was all you need.... Or if manganese is gravely deficient, compost
will not put it there for you, certainly not rapidly.

Also, it is possible to OVER apply compost, tying up nutrients and
saturating the soil with organic matter.

My disappointment with the dissemination of gardening info in our
Information Age, is, as with everything, people are promoting and looking
for the instant, quick fix, i.e. take this pill and all will be better, or
just push this button and all your work will be done for you.

Gardener, know thy soil! Gardening is an art of living in multiple intimate
relationships... soil, plant, sun, water/rain, microbes, nutrients, self....
Could one create a healthy family without knowing the people in it?
Likewise, we must dance to intricate music to know and work WITH our
gardens, knowing our dance partners, the steps, and that the music will not
always be our favorite.

If you don't know your soil, I highly recommend Timberleaf Soil Testing. The
test is amazingly comprehensive, AND includes recommendations for organic
amendment to balance your soil, specifying amendments and volumes to use
over a needed period of time. It costs more, because you get more, and
Timberleaf staff is available to help you understand the test, the
recommendations and more.
bvrusso@murrieta.net   909-677-7510

Cultivating within and without,

John


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