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The Importance of Compost in Gardening

The soil is the top layer of the earth, consisting of varying proportions of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter that have accumulated over thousands of years. Various things such as air and water interact with the soil to form a unique mixture, according to EPA. When plants grow in soil, the roots spread out and loosen it, thus allowing oxygen to penetrate the soil. In addition, soil aerates by containing air and water.

Compost can be applied to the soil around plants during the growing season to discourage weed growth. The compost can be mixed with topsoil and vermiculite to create an enriched potting soil. It can also be made into a compost tea, a liquid emulsion that can be easily absorbed by plant roots. Different types of composting can take varying amounts of time, so it’s important to experiment to find the right method for your needs.

Compost and fertilizer are essential for healthy plants. Compost is rich in nutrients, but does not provide everything that plants need. Plants require additional nutrients, such as nitrogen and potassium. To ensure your plants grow healthy and strong, use fertilizer to supply these to them. It’s also beneficial to mix sand with topsoil. The combination improves the soil’s aeration, making it easier for root systems to access oxygen, water, and nutrients.

Compost contains millions of active microorganisms. When wet, these organisms break down organic matter, releasing bio-available nutrients for plants. In turn, the organic matter in compost binds to the soil particles. These soil aggregates create more space for oxygen and water, essential for good plant growth and healthy root development. They also improve drainage. That’s a win-win situation! Your plants will thank you for the hard work you put into the compost.

Compost piles can decompose very slowly, so it’s essential to have a mix of brown and green organic materials. The brown materials, such as kitchen scraps and coffee grounds, provide carbon and nitrogen, while the green materials serve as moisture. Turning the pile regularly is important for complete composting and to minimize odor. If you don’t have a compost bin, you can use a drop-off composting service.

Compost works in the same way as soil, but it must be mixed with soil. If you use pure compost, it may be too hot internally. However, certain crops can tolerate the heat of pure compost and grow well in it. The same holds true for many other plants. Pure compost will provide nutrients to plants, but it may not be the best choice for vegetables. While it is not ideal for everyone, many plants need more nutrients and structure than they need.

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