Is there any flower that is perennial and loved by almost everyone? Yes, there is. It’s the rose plant, which bears beautiful and tender petals. It is readily available in all months of the year. People often use this flower to express their affection for their significant other.
This plant consists of more than 300 species, which differ in the color of petals and some other factors on a larger scale. The most commonly used species of this plant is the red one, which can easily be seen in every garden and nursery.
Despite its admirable appearance, people get benefitted from this plant by making some natural colors, medicines for some diseases, and composting. Yes, you read this right. Roses can be used to make healthy compost for growing amiable flowers. This organic fertilizer is not difficult to make if a correct process is carried out by taking some precautions.
What Are Some Conditions To know Before Composting Roses?
• Add only flowers, soft stems, and leaves
To compost roses, one must pluck out the floral part that is petals just before the rating the process to avoid drying. Once dried, these components will add to the essential ‘Browns.’ However, if the petals are added before being dried, they make a good source of ‘Greens.’ Along with this, soft stems and leaves should also be added for layering in the bin.
They also provide a tremendous source of nitrogen. But, the brown leaves should be strictly avoided because the leaves which show brown coloration before being plucked are the burnt-out ones, and they had been already rotten under the extreme heaps of temperature. As a result, the heat becomes intolerable, thereby turning the color of leaves dark brown and black.
• Never add hard branches and roots
If the rose plant’s hard twigs, branches, and roots are added to the composting unit, the compost can wither away delicately. This happens because of some biological reasons concerned with the process. While adding hard intact roots along with the plant, the phenomenon of decomposition slows down.
Eventually, it stops because the hard branches take a comparatively longer time to break down into smaller molecules. With time, the essential nitrogenous and carbon elements get replenished away, leaving the compost inactive and making it dormant for several years.
This also causes the useful bacteria to prevent the disintegration of these hard twigs, which kill these microorganisms. Accordingly, the hard parts of the plants should be strictly avoided.
• Never use diseased plants
Many diseases are prevalent in the species of roses. These diseases can be observed easily. The most common one is the black spot in which some thick black colored patches start to appear on the surface of leaves. On the other hand, this disease called rust causes some orange spots on the leafy surface, both dorsally and ventrally. This disease is most abundant in springs.
The plants which show some distinguished symptoms should be kept away from the composting unit because once they are added, the harmful microorganisms like bacteria and fungi which caused the disease in the plant initially can lead to the knocking down of useful bacteria. This can increase the production of harmful pathogens in the unit, leading to the demolition of the organic fertilizer.
• Use shredded portions
As mentioned above, hard twigs and branches result in a problematic nature of the compost. Hence, the shredded parts of useful parts like leaves, soft stems, and big petals should be avoided.
This will comparatively take a smaller surface area and result in the shreds’ adequate breakdown or decomposing action. Due to the fragments, the air can easily reach up to the bottom and aid in providing oxygen throughout the growing manure.
This impedes the showing up of pests and rodents near the compost, along with the appearance of foul odors near the pile—the action of composting works at a faster rate and gives quicker results along with healthy plants.
• Correct ratio of carbon and nitrogen
One of the most crucial factors that govern the elements of your compost is the ratio in which these important elements- carbon and nitrogen are used. You must know about the two broad terms comprehensively.
These important elements are ‘greens’ and ‘browns.’ Here, greens refer to the elements which contain nitrogen, and browns refer to the elements which contain carbon. For every single part of nitrogen or the green part, 30 parts of carbon or browns are used.
It is essential to keep an eye on this ratio because the imbalance in its proportion can easily result in wilting and destruction of the growing compost.
• Optimum humidity
Humidity is one of the vital factors to supports composting activity. The presence of water content should be neither below nor high, and there must be an optimum amount of moisture. On dry and sunny days, the temperature rises quite abruptly.
In such a condition, the compost experiences extremes of temperature. To rescue this problem, you must ensure to add water to the composting bin from time to time.
On the other hand, if the day becomes quite rainy during monsoons, you must ensure that there is an installation of a shelter system from all the sides to avoid percolation of water within the layers of the unit; otherwise, the necessary nutrients and contents can be away. This can leave the compost demolished.
• Proper aeration within the pile
Aeration implies the airflow within the bin, which ensures the fine distribution of oxygen in all the nooks. Such a distribution leads to aerobic respiration in the present microorganisms, which is useful.
Later, these bacteria aim to decay the pile containing soft branches, petals, tender stems and leaves so that the bad odor is thrown away. Also, the process gets fast if the ventilation becomes excellent. It results in the healthy grout of other perennial plants bearing delicate petals and leaves.
• Avoid adding fruits and vegetables having citric acid
Citrus fruits and vegetables like oranges, tomatoes, broccoli, carrot, lemons, and pineapples contain a high acidic content. Due to this, the natural pH of the soil in which rows have to grow gets disturbed.
This disturbance leads to an imbalance in the nutrients like potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus, iron, and manganese in the soil, leaving it inactive and dormant for plantation in a healthy manner. Therefore, to keep the pH in the range of 6 to 6.5, citrus fruits and vegetables should be avoided; otherwise, the pH may fall below 6, making the compost even more acidic.
Later, this becomes a cause of many diseases in the plants at maturity, and the flowers may droop. In some cases, the surface of leaves also shows eminent coloration.
• Avoid adding prickles
Prickles serve as the modified stem region. These include sharp needle-like projections on the stem surface of the rose plant. Mainly, they are present on the surface of the thick stem to keep the plant out of any predator’s reach.
If these get added to the bin, the composting will take comparatively ample time to break down the prickly thorns. Also, during the days of mixing the pile, the person trying to turn up the layers can get harsh cuts and injuries, resulting in tearing the epidermis of the skin apart.
This can cause bleeding and uneasiness. In a nutshell, prickles should never be avoided in the bin as they can lead to harmful implications.
What is the Procedure to Compost Roses?
1. Gather leaves and soft stem
Search for a plant that is free from any disease, and then remove some leaves and soft stems. Gather them in a clean unit. Ensure that all the leaves and stems show no signs of being burnt or prone to any disease.
They should be in good condition; otherwise, some disorders may appear in the next generation of plants after selling. After gathering these leaves and stems, give a final check before adding them to the bin to certify that the portions to be used are in sheer condition.
2. Shred these portions
Now, the gathered leaves and stems have to be shredded or fragmented. This enables and maintains the layer loosely within the bin to permit and qualify for better ventilation at all places in the compost. Also, it keeps the bacterial pathogens away from the composting bin, which does not aid in anaerobic respiration.
So, the fragments can be obtained by simply using a mower in which leaves and stems can be put 3 to 4 times before finally using them for the process. A leave vacuum can be used too. Also, you can slice or chop them into pieces with your hands and a cutter.
But, this method can cause an injury if it is practiced without precautions. Therefore, a lawnmower can be used to shred the leaves appropriately.
3. Remove blossoms and flowers.
Now, reach out for a healthy rose plant. Pick off the petals, blossoms, and flowers from the plants. Carry out this step gently because these portions are quite delicate to handle.
Later, make specific that these blossoms are also free from unwanted colorations, worms, and diseases; otherwise, your compost quality can deteriorate, leaving your plants unfit and highly prone to getting caught by diseases.
This portion imparts and anticipates nitrogen to the highly essential compost, as, for every 30 fractions of carbon, one portion of the nitrogen is integral to be amplified.
4. Make alternative layers
After making fragments of dried stems and leaves, make a layer consisting of all the materials. This layer should be approximately 4 inches in length. Alternatively, add a layer of green fragments and clippings of the same length. Keep making these layers until they occupy an enormous space in your bin.
The dimension should be around 3 feet in height and width. In this way, the dry layers of the composed should be assembled. Also, the material in a pile should be managed so that proper air reaches up to the surface.
5. Add water between the layers.
After making alternate layers, splash some water in the bin so that the dried-up pile becomes moist and a thin layer of water develops on it.
Also, keep adding water to the bin if the weather conditions become extremely dry, accompanied by extremes of temperature on a hot sunny day. On a rainy day in monsoons, to avoid gathering up water, make a moderate length shelter that covers this pile from all sides, preventing leaching away important nutrients. So, the amount of water should be kept fine inside the unit.
6. Keep turning up the material timely.
After managing to maintain these even layers, you have to keep turning up the material so that heat reaches up to every corner. Always turn up the mixture by gently pushing the stack from the sides so that the material reaches the center, and the underneath pile comes to the top too.
This should be done with the help of gloves, after every 3 to 4 weeks on average. After some months, when you see the compost structure as dark brown along with the crumbling nature in your hand, it becomes ready to be called an organic fertilizer.
Consequently, the rose plant can be put into compost with some precautions and practical limitations of the environment. Many gardeners have started to use this on a practical level. Still, some professional botanists and folks associated with the agricultural field have come forward to support such composting.
With these facts, it becomes evident that the upcoming farming era will be experiencing a new realm in making organic manures.