Frequently Asked Questions

Here at SA Composters, we aim to provide you with as much information as possible so that you can make the right decisions for your garden. Here we have provided a range of frequently asked questions to help you along the way. Simply click on the question of interest below to show the answer.

Biochar and Pyrolysis Frequently Asked Questions

Answer Coming Soon 

Commercially manufactured compost is screened through 7mm stainless steel mesh.  This ensures a uniformly textured and well aerated product.  Any coarse woody material is removed by this process and either re-composted or sold separately as a coarse mulch.

Mulching is one method of reducing weeds: simply smothering small weeds with compost is effective for a small period of time.  As they return, regular shallow cultivation prevents weeds growing large enough to compete with your plants.  This method is great for annual flowerbeds and vegetable gardens.  After each cultivation your garden looks freshly composted.

The more mulch piled on, the greater the moisture retention. Compost can be complimented with pea straw and other light coloured mulches in the summer.  Most gardeners prefer the dark appearance of the compost: they just mulch with compost!

pH ranges from 7.5 to 8.5. Compost pH is dependent upon many factors, especially activity: the slightest traces of ammonia will greatly elevate pH. Our compost is relatively low in total lime content so effect on soil pH will be small. Compost greatly improves a plant's ability to grow in wider ranges of pH.  When lower pH is required for acid loving plants, then sulphur can be applied in small quantities.

Yes. The compost will supply some nutrients and improve biological activity for the longer term, but fertilizer (preferably organic!) containing plenty of Nitrogen and some Phosphorus is required. Liquids such as fish emulsion are great for boosting plants via foliar feeding.

The compost has already gone through the hot treatment phase so it is safe to use with young seedlings. However, great care should always be taken to keep seedlings very well watered and fertilised while they settle in.

More in sandy soils, less in clayey soils. More when digging through a new garden, less when mulching existing garden beds. A regular light dressing (1-2cm ) is a great way to build rich living soil and best simulates how compost is added in nature. More may be required to smother weedy areas between plants if the compost is being used to reduce weeding.

Yes & No! If you are starting a new garden in poor soil better results will be achieved by digging it in. Established gardens respond best to a light mulching around the plants with the compost. Small weeds are effectively smothered and the dark background colour gives a great contrast against the foliage and flowers.

Make the best use of water used in the garden suggests Matt Quinn, Proprietor of SA Composters at Lonsdale.  "Try imitating natures ways of mulching in forests.  The forest floor is always multi-layered with old black humus on top of the soil followed by fresher leaves, fronds etc being continuously added to the surface." Matt says "This surface layer helps reflect the drying effects of the sun, allowing the humus layer below to stay moist and do its job of improving the soil.  A rich ecosystem can develop in this protected zone with worms, beetles, fungi and microbes all involved in a cycle that results in free food for plants and trees."  In your garden this wonderful scenario can be encouraged by the way you choose to mulch, water and fertilise.

To increase customer confidence in our products, SA Composters have the compost certified as organic.  The National Association of Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA) take independent samples for chemical residue testing.  The extensive composting process and fine screening are further safeguards guaranteeing the highest quality.

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