My body has this funny way of showing me all is not well. I feel all groggy, fatigued and moody. But I have a simple remedy that always works. I just brew myself a concoction of herbal tea, and I’m as good as new! This got me thinking about the soil in my garden. To avoid tired and tiny plants, I have now formed a habit of adding nutrients to the soil through trench composting.
Trench composting is also known as trenching. This is the simplest and easiest way of making compost. To make trench compost you just dig a trench or a hole about 10 inches or 25 cm deep. Then add organic materials in this hole and simply bury them. After about 6 months the materials will have decomposed completely, adding valuable nutrients that your plants will absolutely love.
Greens and Browns of Trench Compost
There are 2 essential groups of organic materials that you must include in your trench compost; these are the ‘greens’ and the ‘browns’. The ‘greens’ are organic materials. For instance, fruit peels, veggies, corn cobs, garden plants, leaves and plant trimmings or any organic kitchen scraps. These are good for adding nitrogen to the soil. The ‘browns’, on the other hand, include newspapers, toilet tissues or kitchen napkins, straw, fall leaves, bedding from chicken and chopped up twigs and small branches, and are rich in carbon.
Benefits of Trenching
Here are a few benefits of trenching to make you fall in love with it. If you have had an experience with compost piles, you are then aware of that awful smell that puts you off, huh? The strong nauseous smell from compost piles is usually due to anaerobic conditions. What makes me love trench composting is that I don’t have to worry my pretty ‘little’ head over this! Trench composting has no smell at, because once the compost material is buried it is not exposed to air.
Compost piles are quite a challenge to someone who may be too busy. You have to ensure that the moisture content is just right! Then there is sifting and aeration to think about. With trench composting, this is not the case. As already mentioned you simply bury the compost materials and forget about them. You can also put you trench composts in many places, unlike with compost piles. This can be in places where you plan to set up a garden in future, having random holes in your garden, or even along already existing beds in the garden.
The other benefit of trenching is that you don’t have to carry the compost to where the plants are. As the organic material decomposes, it releases much-needed nutrients for the plants. The roots of the plants start spreading towards the nutrients. This makes them develop strong and deep roots that make them able to endure adverse conditions.
The most important reason for trenching, of course, is to provide essential nutrients to your plants. The compost also makes micronutrients available to your plants and improves the organic matter in the soil. Organic matter breaks down to form humus which determines whether the soil will be acidic or alkaline. High humus content in the soil makes it be alkaline or neutral in nature. The compost increases the ability of the soil to hold water. Soil water helps in the circulation of air and helps plants to absorb minerals from the soil.
You know you need to take care of the soil in your garden for healthier and strong plants. But this can easily be achieved through trench composting. Don’t let its simplicity deceive you. Once you start seeing how your plants do well, you will definitely make it a habit. A happy soil in your garden makes happier plants. Then obviously you will be the happiest of all, and proud too!