Yesterday I wrote about the benefits of composting (the process). Today's post deals with the benefits of using compost on your garden and in your yard.
- Overly acidic or alkaline soils can be naturally made more neutral by adding compost. Overly acidic or alkaline soils can cause essential nutrients and minerals to be "bound" in the soil. You can add bag after bag of fertilizer to your soil, but if the pH is too far from the 6.0-7.0 range, not all of these nutrients will be chemically available to your plants.
- Unlike many chemical fertilizers, compost releases its nutrients into the soil slowly. This means that plants use what they need, when they need it, and nutrients don't leach out of the soil during when it rains.
- Compost improves the soil texture. It helps sandy soils retain water and makes clay-ey soils more penetrable to water, air and roots. This means that soil, important nutrients, and water are less likely to be eroded away during heavy rains.
- By adding nutrients to soils, compost increases the number of beneficial micro-organisms such as bacteria and macro-organisms such as worms. These beneficial life forms help break down nutrients and make them more available to plants; help keep the soil aerated; and can help defend plants against certain fungal diseases and insect pests.
- Compost that's been properly cured doesn't burn plants the way some commercial fertilizers or straight manure can.
- Compost has a pleasant–no, make that great–smell!
There are probably more…let me know if I've left anything out.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.