Compost BenefitsUsing compost as mulch, in the soil or as potting media is beneficial in many ways.
Compost contains a full spectrum of essential plant nutrients. You can test the nutrient levels in your compost and soil to find out what other supplements it may need for specific plants.
- Compost contains macro and micronutrients often absent in synthetic fertilizers.
- Compost releases nutrients slowly—over months or years, unlike synthetic fertilizers
- Compost enriched soil retains fertilizers better. Less fertilizer runs off to pollute waterways.
- Compost buffers the soil, neutralizing both acid & alkaline soils, bringing pH levels to the optimum range for nutrient availability to plants.
- Compost helps sandy soil retain water and nutrients.
- Compost loosens tightly bound particles in clay or silt soil so roots can spread, water drain & air penetrate.
- Compost alters soil structure, making it less likely to erode, and prevents soil spattering on plants—spreading disease.
- Compost can hold nutrients tight enough to prevent them from washing out, but loosely enough so plants can take them up as needed.
- Compost makes any soil easier to work.
- Compost bacteria break down organics into plant available nutrients. Some bacteria convert nitrogen from the air into a plant available nutrient.
- Compost enriched soil have lots of beneficial insects, worms and other organisms that burrow through soil keeping it well aerated.
- Compost may suppress diseases and harmful pests that could overrun poor, lifeless soil.
- Compost encourages healthy root systems, which decrease runoff
- Compost can reduce or eliminate use of synthetic fertilizers
- Compost can reduce chemical pesticides since it contains beneficial microorganisms that may protect plants from diseases and pests.
- Only a 5% increase in organic material quadruples soils water holding capacity.