Good Compost Results

This week in the Flog:

  • Great Before/After Pictures From Compost Series Results
  • See the Power of Good Organic Compost

Earlier this year, I went on this crazy mission to start a big ‘ol compost pile outside on my balcony, even though we don’t have much space out thereā€¦

I ended up using many different composting methods, on a variety of input materials, to come up with a mixed compost that looked wonderful. What were the inputs? Check out the list of composting styles and methods that went into this batch of compost:

Click any of the links above to check out the article about that type of composting, and see how I did it in my little balcony garden.

So what ever happened to the compost I ended up with after all that work (fun)?? I used it of course! Even as I was making the compost, parts of my garden were beginning to fade – you’ll see in the pictures below. I had already had the soil in the planters for some time, and had several rounds of plants grow up in them. They needed a little boost. Well they got it!

Here’s a papaya tree that was a volunteer from the worm bin, and I just let it grow up for fun. It was looking pretty sad before the compost, but doing fine. But after applying compost, wow, big dark green leaves, it was beautiful to see them erupt after the nutrient boost:

Organic Compost - Papaya

This Papaya tree loved the fresh natural compost. It needed it. Hard to see the difference in size because the pictures aren’t taken from the same spot, but the leaves got bigger, and MUCH better color.

Keep in mind these before/after pictures aren’t perfect. I wasn’t consciously framing the shots, which was silly but I wasn’t really planning on doing a before/after until I saw how the plants reacted and decided it’d be fun to show side-by-side. I scavenged through a few days of shooting and found pictures that more-or-less match up.

The best way to see the difference is to show a picture of the plants several week before applying the compost, then on the day the compost was applied, then several weeks later. That way you can really see the plants were stagnating, and what a difference this compost made for them.

Here is the kalamansi tree. It produces nice little sweet limes that are delicious and a staple addition in Philippine cuisine. You can see the three shots – several weeks before application, day of application, and several weeks later. Unfortunately the camera angle isn’t quite the same in the last shot, and the tree has netting on it because of the birds, but you can see the growth anyway.

Organic Compost - kalamansi

This kalamansi tree blew up after I applied the compost! It’s growing a lot even without changing pots.

Next are the peppers. This is a jolokia or bhut or something, one of the really hot ones. Look at the little red arrow in the picture. Big growth!! You can even see in the middle picture it’s doing worse than in the first pic. It was on it’s way out, and the compost saved the day.

Organic Compost - Peppers

This pepper plant was kinda dying, and the compost really turned it around

The next is another hot pepper. This one was really suffering, it was looking really pathetic. The compost helped, but this plant has issues. I probably need to repot with fresh soil.

Organic Compost - more peppers

This pepper was almost dead when I revived it with the fresh compost. Looking a bit better now..

The last of the really hot peppers. Again, this one was well on it’s way out, I kinda neglected all three of these plants, and they were all in really bad shape! This one made a full turn around and it looks wonderful after the compost was applied! Look at those nice big dark green leaves! Pretty awesome to see that turnaround.

Organic Compost - Pepper Plant

This pepper plant made a huge recovery after I added compost to the pot. It looks wonderful now, compared to before (it was dying).

And the last before/after picture, this big labuyo pepper plant I have. I wish the angles were better, because this was the most dramatic of them all. It just exploded after the compost was applied – it was a large plant and really wanted some nutrients, and man after it got them it really took off. Like the other pepper plants, it was on the down slope, and the compost really picked it up.

Organic Compost - labuyo

This plant had the greatest change of all, it blew up after the compost went on. Lots of flowers, peppers, tons of dark green leaves, it just looks great.

Pretty cool to see natural farming techniques in action! I made the compost in my spare time, on this little balcony attached to my 20th floor apartment. It took some time but I got to play around with many different composting techniques to finish up with a really nice, natural nutrient boost for my plants, just when they needed it most.

What will happen to the leftover compost? I’m going to use it to brew compost teas, and to add to the feed water periodically, and I’ll bokashi some, use some as soil amendment, the list goes on. Compost is just wonderful stuff, it works wonders for the soil biology and for your plants.

Tell me about your composting experiences! Share in the comments.

  • David

    Amazing results from adding compost! With your multiple types of compost, did you find that they were approximately the same? Did you mix them together before applying? I usually don’t have enough compost for my garden, but if I try multiple techniques I might be able to spread the benefits out to more plants.

    • Patrick

      Hey David, thanks. Yeah I just mixed them up before applying. I’d love to compare them on the plants but I don’t have the time or space to run trials here. That’s a wormhole I would love to go down, but at the moment not possible. I’m hoping to get data from the community on these types of things, thus the forums we just launched.

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