Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Benefits of Compost

Composting is the process of recycling organic materials to create a rich, nutrient high soil.  Weather you create your own compost, or purchase from one of the many distributors popping up it's worth your time to do some research  The benefits of compost on the environment and your garden are numerous.  Although I do compost in my own back yard I won't profess to be an expert of the process.  If you would like to learn more on composting I find to be a great resource.  I do believe in the advantages that composting provides.  Composting is a natural, economical means of using our own resources to promote a healthier lifestyle.

It has been estimated by the EPA that as much as 20% of landfill waste is contributed by yard and food discards.  If all of that available resource were recycled for use plenty of depleted soil would be enriched.  Although compost is greatly associated with gardening it has also been shown to prevent erosion of turf and embankments.  Compost has the ability to neutralize both acid and alkaline in soil for healthier plants and a stable root system.  Plants with a stable root system are proven to produce a much more abundant crop.  Adding compost to your garden has also shown to ward off plant diseases.

Compost is beneficial to all types of soil.  Even sandy and clay soil become manageable when adding compost.  Sandy soil will retain moisture, and the bonded particles of clay soil tend to break up.  Compost releases nutrients slowly, sometimes over a period of a year, unlike fertilizer.  You could  purchase two to four bags of garden fertilizer in a year.  Compare that to a garden strongly enriched with a mound of compost you've created.  In addition compost contain microorganisms that help maintain pests in the soil reducing the need for insecticide.  Insecticide and fertilizer products are the main cause of run off which pollute our rivers and streams.  Compost not only reduces waste, it also helps preserves the earths endangered waters.

Soil that has been fed with compost will retain moisture lowering the need to add water to your garden.  Compost also has a significant ability to "clean and deodorize" soil that has begun to smell of rot and appear unusable.  Unfriendly soil containments are tightly bound by compost, including hydrocarbons,  leaving them unable to cause further damage.  Composting will also produce micornutrients for maximum healthful benefits.  Your agricultural yield will have more hardiness from the additional nutrients added to the soil. 

I could not imagine gardening without using compost.  The economical and environmental benefits make the effort a necessity.  Knowing I am producing a yield that is the best I can grow makes the outcome impressive.


  1. Great post! It's a shame that so many people use artificial fertilizers when it's really easy to make your own compost, and it's much healthier both for the soil and for the plants. I'm lucky enough to have learned this from my parents, but unfortunately I'm just a poor student (:P) with no real garden. Well, not yet, anyhow. :)

    1. Thank you for the feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Gardening has been a way of life for me as far back as I can remember. When I was younger it was such a chore. Now it's something I enjoy for so many reasons and I thank my mom and grandma for the experiences they taught me. I don't believe there is such a thing as a poor student. Just someone waiting for the right tools :). If you enjoyed this I hope you will take a moment and visit some of my other posts on gardening.

    2. Haha, I agree. What I'm really waiting is my own apartment, preferably with at least a small garden. Balconies are nice, but that's just not it for me. I am used to big gardens, fresh soil and the smell of plants :)

      And I certainly will check the other posts, and will return here for every new post ;)

    3. Have you thought of a container garden as an alternative choice? I purchased two storage containers that are 4 ft x 3 ft X 3 ft for $5 each and use them for various things from peppers to tomatoes. They will fit nicely on your patio. May not be the same but it still has a nice feel. One of my posts describes the various inexpensive items I've used for container gardening because I like to keep it going all year long.

    4. Oh, yes, I've been thinking about it, but it's still quite impractical since I'm moving out of current apartment in a few months. But once I find the next one, I'm planning to make a bunch of papercrete containers, or even hydroponic gardens, to put on the balcony.