Friday, May 27, 2011

Add Compost for Sustainable Landscapes

The OAN publishes a monthly publication for the nursery trade called Digger magazine. In May, there was an article written by Oregon State University staff at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC) on how landscapes can address three emerging challenges: Water scarcity, fertilizer usage, and compacted and stripped soils due to construction. (I know it doesn’t feel like there’s a concern about water scarcity when we’ve had above average rainfall—146 days with rain since Oct. 1, 2010, the start of the current water year—and the Columbia River is nearing flood stage but remember our dry summers where it rains very little from July through September.)

There’s been some controversy about whether or not it’s appropriate to add amendments to planting holes. Research done at NWREC "confirmed that adding compost to the soil, and using drought-resistant Mediterranean plants, both result in healthier landscapes." The article concludes "that compost addition is a valuable part of soil preparation for sustainable landscapes. All plants tested benefitted from compost application." Read the article in full or read more about "Improving Garden Soils with Organic Matter" in the OSU publications catalog.

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