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FAQs about Fairfield’s Compost

General FAQs

Q. What is the pH level of Fairfield’s compost?
A.  Fairfield's compost has a pH level of 7.0.

Q. Why is compost good for clay soils?
A. For best results, use a mix of compost and coarse, partially decomposed woody materials such as Fairfield’s Standard compost. The coarse woody materials force apart the clay particles when mixed into the soil - they keep the soil loose for years as they slowly decompose. Once the clay is loosened, the fine-textured compost can go to work glueing the particles together into aggregates.

Q. Does Fairfield’s compost contain seeds, pathogens and viruses?
A. No, because our unique processing system ensures that the VCUs reach temperatures in excess of 70°c – temperatures that are more than high enough to kill any pathogens and viruses..and destroys seeds.

Home Composting FAQs

Q. What is compost?
Compost is made from organic matter, such as kitchen rubbish and garden waste which decompose to form a rich, dark brown, soil-like material rich in plant nutrients. It can be used as a soil improver, a soil conditioner, an organic fertiliser, a mulch, a soil substitute,  as a potting or seed compost, or as a growing medium in grow bags.

Q. Why should I use compost?
Compost improves soil and plant health, prevents erosion, and holds moisture and nutrients in the soil. Without a good healthy soil structure, plants cannot develop. Compost increases the amount of organic material in the soil - the key to healthy soil.Composting garden waste at home is less expensive and more efficient than sending trimmings to the landfill or even to centralized composting facilities. It is also much more environmentally friendly.

Q. Why is compost better than fertilisers?
Adding compost to soil not only adds plant nutrients but it also nourishes the soil itself.  It also attracts and feeds earthworms which in turn improve the health of your soil even further.

Q. What does a ready-to-use compost look like?
Compost is dark brown or black, crumbly, humus-rich topped with a sweet earthy aroma.

Q. What role does the ratio of brown and green waste play in decomposition?
A. By having a balance of wet, green materials, and dry, brown materials, compost piles generate high temperatures that slowly "simmer" and create compost. Brown materials on their own do not generate sufficient heat. Using only  materials may cause odour may develop.

Environmental FAQs

Q. Is it OK to use peat or peat-based compost?
Peat is formed from the remains of plants such as sphagnum moss, and is preserved under the cold, wet and acidic conditions found in a peat bog.

Peat bogs provide an important habitat for a whole range of birds, insects and plants. The problem is that the peat bog is being threatened: some people want to plant trees on it, others want to bag it and sell it to gardeners.

Interestingly, peat isn't actually a very good source of nutrients for plants. It contains very little biological activity so the manufacturers add nutrients to boost its chemical fertility. It's really the gardeners equivalent of modern-day intensive farming - effective in the short term, but with the possibility of serious environmental problems.

As an alternative, composting provides a way of converting unwanted materials into rich humus. In this way we can do our bit to recycle green waste and at the same time help to protect an important natural habitat.

Q. Why are chemical fertilizers harmful to the environment?
Chemical fertilizers do nothing to promote biological activity in soil, and are a bit like the medicines we take when we are ill - they dissolve easily in water and are rapidly taken up into our blood, but there is a danger of taking an over-dose.

The plant will take up what it needs but  the rest remaining in the soil can easily move into water or the air. As a result the environment can become polluted.

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