St. Louis is in the process of a reconstruction project which begins with the ground, literally. The first step is to compose fertile soil for landscaping at the Gateway Arch grounds in St. Louis. As part of the project, workers planted about 400,000 radishes in an effort to soften the compacted soil at the national park, which is largely low-quality clay fill. The radishes have been beneficial as they release vital nutrients into the soil. The old ash trees on the Arch grounds were at risk due to the lack of fertile soil. To remedy the problem, contractors have matched compost with the grasses that are being planted, allowing for the right mix of nutrients and organisms. Approximately $5 million has been spent to purchase and truck in tons of specific soil blends-enough to cover 18 football fields in three feet of dirt. Better soil means trees can live longer and develop deeper roots. Construction for the $380 million CityArchRiver renovation should be completed next summer, with nearly 900 London plane trees replacing the ash trees. CityArchRiver connects the Gateway Arch grounds with the East and West riverfronts and the region. The renovations are needed to accommodate for events and public education, expanded museum space, additional park acreage and bicycle trails, children’s play areas and performance venues.
DIY tips for lawn and garden composting:
· Start your pile or compost bin in a dry, shady spot near a water source
· Add a blend of “greens” and “browns,” such as grass clippings and mulched leaves
· Moisten the compost with water and keep moist at all times
· Add food waste, such as fruits, veggies, egg shells, coffee grounds and more
· Turn the compost pile weekly with a shovel or pitchfork
· Compost is ready to use once it is dark and rich in color