Clemson Extension: What’s the (organic) matter? | Clemson Extension | indexjournal.com – Index-Journal

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Clear skies. Low 38F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph..
Clear skies. Low 38F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph.
Updated: November 14, 2021 @ 10:46 pm
STEPHANIE TURNER

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STEPHANIE TURNER
You’ve most definitely heard “depart the leaves” sooner than. Leaf litter is dwelling to quite a few invertebrates, a variety of which can be “good bugs.” These tiny animals overwinter throughout the cowl that leaves current. Nonetheless even for many who aren’t taken with supporting the native insect inhabitants, it’s essential to take into consideration putting these piles of leaves to work. Leaves are an exquisite provide of pure matter, and pure matter is excellent for our soils.
Pure matter is an integral a part of healthful soil. It helps to supply clay soils greater drainage and sandy soils greater moisture retention. Pure matter slowly releases nutritional vitamins into the soil. It provides habitat all through the soil for microorganisms, improves aeration in clay soils and helps make soil further workable, or friable. Surprisingly, no matter its significance, pure matter usually contains solely 2-8% of the soil by amount. Within the occasion you take into account rich, fertile soil, that darkish shade you picture comes from pure matter.
Throughout the soil, pure matter is simply plant or animal tissue in different ranges of decay. Leaves, yard trimmings, grass clippings, produce scraps, manure, and so forth., are all sources. Paper, espresso grinds, sawdust and bark are all plant merchandise which will decompose and incorporate into the soil. These residues of residing organisms break down and improve the soil. Nature is the distinctive recycle coronary heart. Proper right here throughout the South, with our extreme temperatures, the tactic occurs pretty quickly, so there isn’t time for lots pure matter to assemble up in our soils.
The apply of composting can create a renewable provide of pure matter in your yard. Composting is simply a way of consolidating and dashing up the pure decomposition of pure matter. Pure matter (akin to leaves) that folks take into consideration waste can sometimes be composted and used as a soil modification. For instance, the highest product from composting merely leaves is called leaf mould. Fall is an effective time to start out out a compost pile. The HGIC on-line factsheet 1600, Composting, is a radical primer on the tactic.
Composting does not should be smelly or ugly. It is also not a magic bullet for dealing with weeds or plant sicknesses, so it’s most interesting to do away with these provides elsewhere and by no means try to compost them. It’s essential to stay away from composting grasses which have been sprayed with persistent herbicides akin to picloram, clopyralid and aminopyralid. Even manure from animals which have consumed these grasses might trigger herbicide damage in your yard. Chop or shred large objects akin to limbs or fibrous tissues akin to cornstalks sooner than together with them to the compost pile.
As quickly as your compost is ready, it would probably be finely textured, darkish in shade and have a surprising earthy scent. Incorporate 1-2 inches of compost to 6-8 inches of soil. Double-digging or tilling will work the whole thing collectively. Alternately, 2-3 inches of compost could also be an exquisite mulch substitute. Prohibit the amount of compost utilized in a potting mix to no more than ¼ by amount. Its moisture retaining properties can depart your containers too soggy. One issue is for sure: you will notice you not at all have enough compost!
The 2022 Grasp Gardener Volunteer Teaching Class is now accepting candidates. Contact our office for particulars. A digital workshop on Mosquitoes and Wildlife Tracks and Scats shall be at noon Nov. 18. The related charge is $10, and contributors will examine regarding the biology and administration of mosquitoes and learn how to find out wildlife indicators in South Carolina. Go to the online calendar proper right here to register for extension events and programs: calendar.clemson.edu/.
Contact me at stepht@clemson.edu or 864-889-0541. The Greenwood County Extension office at 105 N. Faculty St. is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Identify the office at 864-223-3264 for assist via cellphone. In your consolation, soil samples may be left throughout the dropbox exterior of standard enterprise hours on the office entrance. Go to our Fb internet web page, fb.com/GreenwoodCoExtension, the place we’ll publish effectively timed information.
Stephanie Turner is the Greenwood County horticulture agent for Clemson Cooperative Extension.
STEPHANIE TURNER
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