Water conservation can be achieved using many methods. We’ve talked about a lot of them, but one method we haven’t touched on yet is composting. Yes, composting can actually help us conserve water!
Let’s start at the beginning by answering the question, what is compost? Quite simply, compost is decomposed organic matter. It is generally made up of vegetable peelings, fruit waste, grass clippings, tea bags, and plant prunings, but other materials may be added as well. Compost is well known for adding nutrients to gardens and plants, but it also helps to conserve water.
Using composted mulch in landscaping and agriculture has been shown to improve the efficiency of water use by reducing evaporation, improving water infiltration and storage, and reducing deep drainage.
Turf grown with the application of composted soil conditioner can require up to 30% less water. This can increase root penetration, resulting in deeper root systems that explore a larger soil area for moisture and nutrients, reducing deep drainage and irrigation requirements. In sandy soils, composted soil conditioners improve water retention and lateral root distribution in the soil, improving plant access to soil water, and reducing deep drainage and irrigation requirements.
Compost application tips:
- Composted mulch is applied on the soil surface around the plants after planting. It should not touch the stems and trunks of plants.
- Compost can be applied any time of the year.
- For water conservation, apply prior to summer when soil evaporation is usually highest and when plants require the most water.
- Compost exposed to full sun will not deliver its full benefits so use compost on the soil and then cover it with mulch.
Here at Ri Industries we’re always on the lookout for water conservation tips we can share. This one can be a fun project and result in beautiful foliage and tasty fruit and vegetables. How great is that?
For more ways Ri Industries can help, contact us at 08 8444 8100.