WHAT IS BOTANICAL COMPOST?
Botanical, or green waste, compost is made from plant clippings and shrubs brought to our site by landscapers and contractors. It is different from peat based compost in that it is made from recycled green material rather than taken from peat bogs.
Peat bogs are important wildlife habitats and store the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane, so reducing the amount of greenhouse gases released in to the atmosphere. Peat bogs are valuable for biodiversity and for the planet. Because botanical compost is a recycled product it is completely sustainable and carbon neutral as well as nutrient rich and perfect for plant growth.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BOTANICAL COMPOST?
It is widely known that improving the condition of the soil will in turn improve plant growth and function. There are also many other benefits of botanical compost and soil conditioners:
- Weed suppressant.
- Improves drainage.
- Regulates temperature, cools soil in summer and keeps it warmer in winter.
- Lengthens growing season.
- Reduces moisture loss from soils during summer months.
- Provides nutrients in slow release form.
- Reduces reliance on chemical fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides due to improved plant health.
WHAT ARE THE APPLICATION RATES?
Flower & Vegetable Beds – To establish a bed for flowers or vegetables apply 25 – 50mm (1-2 inches) compost and fork it in gently. For poor quality or ‘tired’ soil dig it in to a depth of 150mm (6inches).
Turf & Lawns – If you are laying turf or sowing grass seed first apply 25-50mm (1-2inches) of compost and then dig it in to a depth of 100mm (4 inches). If your lawn looks thin or scrappy and is in need of revitalisation, simply aerate the turf (make holes with a fork) then sprinkle a fine 6-12mm layer of compost on top. Then rake or brush it in so that the particles get through the grass to the soil. This will rejuvenate your lawn.
Potting & Bedding Plants, Seeds, Cuttings & Hanging Baskets – As a general guideline mix 1 part compost with 3 parts topsoil for best results. Plants vary enormously in their requirements and seeking horticultural expertise is recommended for the specific care of rare and non-native varieties.
Trees & Shrubs – Mix 2 parts soil to 1 part compost to make what we call a ‘Supersoil’. Line the base of the hole where the plant is required with 50mm of Supersoil and place the shrub or sapling in the centre of the hole, then back fill around the plant with the remainder of the Supersoil. Firm the shrub or tree in well for support, water well, stand back and watch it grow.
WHAT CAN RESOURCEFUL EARTH BOTANICAL COMPOST BE USED FOR?
Our compost is an ideal soil conditioner, used to improve soil structure and the nutritional value of soils. The compost acts a slow release fertilizer, providing nutrients such as Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potassium as well as other vital nutrients, essential for plant growth and function. The organic matter (OM) within the compost provides aeration and improves moisture holding capacity and drainage to soils.
Due to the high nutrient and OM content of the compost it is ideal as a mulch and soil improver for shrubs and general fruit and vegetable growing.
HOW IS BOTANICAL COMPOST MADE?
Botanical waste is brought in to our site by local landscapers and contractors. It is then shredded to break down the woody elements of the waste and to accelerate the composting process, and is then piled in to long rows called windrows. The rows are turned regularly to aerate the compost, this regulates temperature and moisture and prevents the build up of anaerobic gases such as methane. After a period of about 12 weeks the compost is screened, i.e. put through a large seive, to remove any oversized material such as large pieces of wood or stones. The compost is then ready for use. Nothing is added, nature just takes it’s course.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AEROBIC COMPOSTING AND ANAEROBIC COMPOSTING?
Aerobic means in the presence of air and anaerobic refers to the absence of air.
During the aerobic composting process, air is incorporated by regular turning of the green waste material. The microbes that break the material down from plant material to compost release carbon dioxide (CO2) as a result of their activity. This is a carbon neutral process as the carbon dioxide is simply the CO2 that was absorbed from the air by the plants during their growth. Outdoor open air windrow composting carried out by Resourceful Earth is aerobic composting.
Composting that takes place without the incorporation of air is called anaerobic composting (or anaerobic digestion). The main gas produced from the microbes responsible for anaerbic composting is methane. This is a powerful greenhouse gas, about 30 times more potent than CO2 and is a major contributor of climate change. It is therefore important to aerate compost whether it be on an industrial scale or a small garden composting system, to prevent this release of methane.
However if anaerobic composting (or anaerobic digestion) is contained and carried out under controlled conditions, then the methane produced can be harnessed and become a valuable source of renewable energy. At Resourceful Earth we are currently evolving in to an Anaerobic Digestion system. For further information click on the Energy page, Anaerobic Digestion.
HOW MUCH COMPOST DO I NEED?
That depends on the size of area you want to cover and how deep a covering you require, which, in turn, depends on what you want to grow in your soil. However, the compost calculator should give you a good idea of how much compost or mulch you’ll need, click here to be directed to the calculator. It is wise to measure the size of your garden (roughly) before ordering, to ensure you have enough. We estimate that the average stride is about half a metre so you can use that as a good rule of thumb to pace about your garden.
As a guide 1 cubic metre of compost will cover:
40 square metres in area at 25 mm (1″) depth or
20 square metres in area at 50 mm (2”) depth or
13 square metres in area at 75 mm (3”) depth or
10 square metres in area at 100 mm (4”) depth or
(1metre = 3.28 feet)
Our compost comes measured by the cubic metre. There are approximately 2 cubic metres to the tonne and our home delivery truck holds up to three cubic metres. Larger orders can be easily accommodated and will be discounted according to volume. Smaller quantities than the standard 3 cubic metre loads may be purchased though a delivery surcharge will be added to these smaller orders.
For Bulk and Commercial enquiries please contact the sales team for a quotation.
WHAT ARE YOUR OPENING HOURS?
We are open on Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm, and on Saturdays between 8am and 1pm. We are closed during bank holidays and for Christmas.
DO YOU DELIVER?
For a limited period, our products are only available for collection. As of 1st May 2017, if you need assistance loading your vehicle please note we can only facilitate this on a Tuesday. However, if you don’t require any assistance please feel free to collect Monday – Friday 8am-5pm or Saturday 8am-1pm.
HELPFUL GUIDELINES DISCLAIMER
This information is intended as a helpful guideline for general compost use, however, soil conditions vary and if in doubt you should consult a gardening expert as Resourceful Earth cannot be responsible for misapplication of compost. When handling any compost products it is advisable to wear gloves. Compost is not edible!
If used correctly you will not only have superb soil, lush lawns, fabulous flowers, tall trees, super shrubs and vivacious vegetables, but you will also be doing your bit to save the planet by diverting waste from landfill, recycling, protecting peat bogs, and reducing the need for chemical fertilizers and fungicides. You can do your bit by valuing waste as a resource not a problem while gaining the benefits of a high quality horticultural product.