Do you need to add to compost every year?

garden soil adding compost

Question: How often do you add nutrients to garden soil? Do you need to add to compost every year? -Tammy H.

Answer: When you cultivate crops in your garden soil, the plants you grow slowly deplete the soil of essential nutrients that plants need to grow and thrive. Amending your garden beds by adding compost to the soil goes a long way towards replenishing the nutrients during last year’s gardening efforts.

Compost, as well as other soil amendments, like manure and fertilizer, should be added to soil each year between growing seasons. In the southern and southwestern US, the warm weather conditions allow year-round gardening. In these areas, soils should be amended with compost twice per year, prior to planting in the spring and fall.

Continue reading “Do you need to add to compost every year?”

Can Composting Make You Sick?

compost ingredient tips

Question: Can composting make you sick? What should I avoid adding to my compost bin? Can I put raw eggs in my compost? -Heidi R.

Answer: Though any serious health issues that could arise from composting can be avoided by practicing a handful of simple, common sense measures to minimize risks, there are sometimes fungal spores present in compost that can present health problems.

For young children, the elderly, pets, and those with compromised immune systems, the consequences of breathing in certain fungal spores can be a serious health risk, and can even lead to death. A widely-covered news story from 2008 reveals that a man in the UK died from complications resulting from breathing in Aspergillus fungal spores from a leaf mulch pile.

Continue reading “Can Composting Make You Sick?”