Anyone interested in sustainability is probably either composting yard waste and possibly food waste. Those who don’t have space, time, or interest can still improve their soil in the garden or in containers by purchasing leaf humus or some other form of compost.
Leaf humus is a product that I have used for years. I have to laugh at the notion that my city collects my yard waste all year and my leaves in the fall and then I get to buy it back, either by the cubic yard or by the bag. Since I tend to use the humus over the course of the gardening year, I buy the bags by the pallet and store them at the back of my driveway. It is available at many garden centers by the bag; however. I’ve always called it black gold because it is rich, is full of micro-organisms, and enhances root growth. My container plants are usually very difficult to pull out as winter approaches because the roots have filled the containers. I do sell the humus by the bag which is one cubic foot and weighs approximately twenty pounds.
This winter I was introduced to a new type of compost. One of my suppliers is composting food waste from downtown restaurants and the sports arenas in an effort to keep tons of biodegradable food scraps out of landfills. When mixed with soil and additional moisture, it will break down into the elemental particles that are used by plants as nutrients. I will be selling this product by bags that are half the size of the humus bags and thus weigh only ten pounds. I’ve already started using it in my indoor containers. The size of the bag and the weight make it much easier to bring indoors. It never ceases to amaze me that many of you forget that Mother Nature has her own method of composting, i.e.leaf fall. You pay good money to landscaping companies to rake those fallen leaves out of your beds in the spring. It takes a year or two for the leaves to decay but the process ensures that their nutrients return to the soil. If the sight of the leaves offends you, cover them with a good double-shredded hardwood mulch that will also eventually decay and enrich your soil. Whichever product you use, keep in mind that most of Cuyahoga County has heavy clay soil that does not drain well. Since the amount of oxygen in the soil is limited, micro-organisms have a tougher time surviving and you want them in your soil. The use of organic materials will improve the aeration of your soil and thus the health of your plants. It definitely improves my heavy clay soil and needs to be reapplied annually since it decomposes. Call or stop by to purchase either product.