The most visible result of composting is a lush, green lawn and garden, with larger blooms and greater crop yield. But the long-term benefits of using compost are just as important. Compost improves your soil in numerous ways.
Structurally. Compost reduces soil density (a problem with Virginia clay!), helping to improve moisture retention, limits the effects of drought, and reduces the possibility of erosion. Bigger soil pores allow plant roots to breathe and heavy soils to drain.
Nutritionally. Compost is not only a good source of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, but also adds important micro-nutrients in slow-release form. It also helps soil to optimize any additional fertilizers you apply.
Biologically. Compost adds beneficial microbes to the soil, suppressing plant disease and helping plant roots to extract nutrients from soil. And the earthworms love it!
HOW TO USE OUR COMPOST
New or unimproved garden beds. Mix or till our compost into the garden bed to establish a base of nutrients for years of good growth. Mulch as needed.
Existing perennial beds. Spread a 1-inch layer of Panorama Paydirt compost over your soil as a nutrient-booster. Then follow with a 2-inch layer of one of our premium mulches on top
Lawns. In spring and fall, aerate, lay your grass seed, then follow with a ½-inch layer of compost on top for superior lawn growth.
HOW OUR COMPOST IS MADE
Our premium-quality compost is even better than homemade. We begin with the right combination of raw materials—leaves, poultry litter, and water. At any given time, we have several windrows of compost in various stages of decomposition. We like to say we’re “in the microbe management business.” Here’s how the process works:
1) Raw material arrives. Leaves arrive at Panorama Farms and are sorted into piles known as “windrows”.
2) The composting process begins. At the right time, we add poultry litter (the microbes food source) and water, and the windrow blossoms with life.
3) We turn the windrows. Our heavy-duty compost turners stir the ingredients to introduce oxygen and promote aerobic decomposition at precise intervals to ensure proper aeration. At the end of the 16 week process, we age our compost until the microbial decomposition is complete.
4) We perfect the finished product. As the process ends, we screen the product once again to ensure that you only get the good stuff—no stray sticks or leaves. The result is a uniformly textured product that bears no resemblance to its source material—which is the mark of superior compost.
Panorama Paydirt is a member of the US Composting Council and our compost has been approved in past years for organic gardening by Pennsylvania Certified Organic. For more information about composting, visit the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service or US Composting Council.
Photos by Jack Looney