29 May The Benefits of Composting
Did you know that today, May 29th, is National Learn About Composting Day? It’s a day to raise awareness of how we can make our planet a little bit better with materials that are naturally available. Composting helps repurpose organic waste materials at the same time that it provides economic and ecological benefits when used to help grow plants, whether in gardens, for landscaping, or for farming.
What is Compost?
At the most basic level, compost is a soil amendment. It is organic matter (like leaves and food scraps), that has been transformed into a nutrient-rich substance called humus. Worms, our mini earth-movers, are a great help with the physical break down. Aerobic bacteria (oxygen-loving) and fungi contribute to the breakdown of the organic materials by producing ammonium (NH4), which helps provide available nitrogen necessary to encourage healthy plant growth.
Strive for 5%
As an organic matter, compost (like those found in Kellogg Garden Products) can help areas to retain up to 20% more water. How? Combine 5% organic matter (one heaping shovel-full per square foot), with existing soil. Strive for that 5% to reduce watering frequency, allowing you to save time, money, and water!
The US Composting Council (USCC) notes that compost can improve the structure of soil, help resist drought, use water more efficiently, and modify and stabilize the pH. The bottom line about compost is that it is a natural way to provide essential nutrients to the soil while simultaneously enhancing the surrounding environment. It’s nature’s multi-tasker!
How do you use compost in your garden? Comment and let us know! Learn something about compost from this post? Share it with a friend!