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  • Compost Lifespan

    Created by nina0688 on

    I’m planning on starting a new raised bed garden site next year and I am wondering if I bought all the compost and garden soil right now if it will still be good by the time I put it in the beds next spring. I will probably store the bags in an unheated shed on my farm. Will that affect the “freshness” or the microbial quality in the compost and garden soil? It will likely freeze during the winter since I live in Northwest Iowa where we get pretty cold winters. Everything is on sale right now so I thought it would be a good time to purchase it.

    Thank you for any help!

  • Author
  • #209118

    Eric Vinje

    Hi Nina –

    Freezing temperatures will likely affect the microbial life of your compost or soil. Similar to an industrial freezer, the chilling temps will help preserve some of the soil life, while others will freeze and die. It is possible to revitalize your soil before planting. Compost and worm tea works wonders! You could also use an inoculant such as Azos or Mykos to re-introduce healthy mycelium and microbial life.

    I’ve attached our article Make Soil for Your Raised Beds here. Keep in mind that raised beds dry out more quickly than garden soil. So, a heavier mix — containing compost — might be best. Compost — plenty of it — will always improve soil, no matter how good it is to start with.

    Hope this helps!

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