compost and mulch
I have been thinking about the difference between compost and mulch. It’s not compost I want for my garden, it’s mulch.
Compost is moist, fine, dark crumbly soil. You really need to dig compost in. If you leave it on the surface, it just dries out and the micro creatures die. But if you dig it in, I find it disturbs the top layer of soil and mulch.
Mulch is compost but not yet fully decomposed. The contents of my heap decompose very quickly because I water it with saved shower and kitchen water and so it is always very damp. (It doesn’t mind being quite wet because it sits on the bare ground and has good drainage).
So getting it before it becomes fine compost is quite a challenge. You need to get it at the right time. Too decomposed and it’s compost. Not decomposed enough when put on the garden, it will dry out and not do its mulch job which is to
1. cover the soil to protect it from the hot sun and
2. allow space underneath for the micro creatures to party, continuing the decomposing process in situ thereby enriching the soil and feeding the plants.
Warning: People who are into neat tidy gardens are advised not to try this.