If you are not composting yet, it is time you start doing so my dear friend. Compost is beneficial in many ways and it can be used as potting soil for starting young plants, as mulch and for enriching and improving soil.
Compost is often said to be the gardener’s black gold and that is because of its great value in improving soil – any soil.
Its foremost benefit is as soil fertilizer…
Compost has macro and micronutrients that are usually missing from synthetic fertilizers. As a natural fertilizer, it releases nutrients into the soil gradually, getting the microbes busy and constantly working to properly breakdown essential nutrients so plants can access them easily.
Also, soil that is compost enriched can hold on to other organic fertilizers better so there is less runoffs to waterways, minimizing pollution.
Compost can also improve poor soil…
Sandy soil cannot retain water and nutrients while clay soil holds too much water plants are overwhelmed. Also, clay and sandy soils have very poor microbe activity that much of the nutrients in the soil are unused by plants.
Adding compost to sandy soil will help improve its ability to retain water and nutrients. Amending clay soil with compost will make the tightly bound particles in it to loosen up making it easier for water to drain and for air to penetrate the soil.
If the soil is too acid or alkaline, compost will also act as buffer to neutralize the pH level of the soil. Optimum pH range (5.5 to 7 for most plants) is ideal for nutrient availability to your plants.
Soil that has never been planted in before can be rejuvenated and turned into an ideal growing medium by adding compost to it. The compost will introduce diverse biology that is essential for nurturing plants. A healthy soil has millions of microorganisms living in it – bacteria, fungi, worms, insects and other microbes. These organisms eat, excrete and make nutrients easier for plants to absorb.
Compost improves nutrient distribution…
The bacteria in compost break down nutrients into plant food. Some even convert nitrogen from the air into a nutrient available to the plant.
The bacteria also helps attract other microorganisms like fungi that feed on them converting more nutrients.
Worms and other organisms are also introduced into the soil, burrowing through and keeping it well aerated. Aeration is necessary to keep the activity going in the soil.
Compost helps prevents disease…
Compost can alter the structure of the soil so it isles likely to erode and prevent soil from spattering on plants thus preventing the spread of disease.
Also, compost has the ability to suppress harmful pests that can overrun poor soil.
Compost decreases runoff…
Compost prevents nutrients from washing out by holding them tightly but never too tight that plants can’t get to them.
Also, as compost improves the soil’s ability to retain water, run offs are decreased and water pollution is minimized.
Plant roots grow healthier and stronger due to compost so they can hold soil together better, preventing runoff.
Start composting and do your bit in preserving the environment…
Using compost to fertilize and improve soil quality reduces or even eliminates the use of damaging synthetic fertilizers.
Compost contains beneficial microorganisms that can protect plants from pests and diseases, so the need for chemical pesticides is also reduced.