Benefits of compost

by Caroline Brown

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Compost that's been properly cured doesn't burn plants the way some commercial fertilizers or straight manure can.
  6. 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.


4 Comments to “Benefits of compost”

  1. I think I will have to start a binder, to save all your posts in for future reference. Its obvious that you are passionate about what you do Caroline. I think that’s terrific and what a huge impact this all has on the world now and in the future. Someday, I hope to have a great big garden, lots of herbs, veggies, and flowers, when we do finally get to live in BC (the wait has been waaaaay too long!) and when I do, will have all these great posts to help with growing the right way. Joe would also like to try out wine-making so maybe will be planting some grape vines too! BC is a great place for gardeners.

    Cheers and BFN, G 🙂

  2. Thanks G, for the tremendous compliment!

  3. You are very welcome, all true!!!! G. 🙂

  4. Dear Daniel:

    My wife and I just had a first ever trip for us to Peru. While there we visited the Rain Forest which was a highight for us. They say the nutrition in the soil is very poor. While there we were introduced to an Asian kind of Kudzu. It does not grow wild like on the Mississippi Highways but is very controlled and adds nutrients to the soil.

    It had rained eight of last nine days before we arrived in the forest. When we got there, the sun came out. It rarely if every rains in much of Peru western side, which is west of the Andes.

    What additional enlightment can you add for me?

    Jim Covington of Santa Rosa Toastmasters

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