Compost – The Best Thing That You Can Use in Your Garden
If you spend time around vegetable gardeners, especially organic vegetable gardeners, you’re going to hear compost is the best thing that you can use in your garden. But they might neglect to mention what makes compost so good. In this article I’m going to tell you what makes it so good.
Compost – the best thing that you can use in your garden
1. It adds nutrients to the soil. With compost being decomposed plant material there is a lot of nutrients in it that are in a form that is available for the plants roots to absorb.
I know that doesn’t make much sense, the nutrients need to be in a form that the plants can absorb. As an example, in a state like Utah where I used to live, the pH of the soil is too high for iron to be readily available to the plants, making many gardeners add chelated iron to prevent their plants from getting iron chlorosis, in other words the plants turn yellow.
2. It helps hold water. There’s many people who don’t have to worry about irrigating their gardens, but for those who do have to irrigate, adding compost will help the soil hold water so you have to water less often.
In other words, if you have sandy soil which is common in deserts, the compost will absorb water rather than just letting it sink deep into the ground where it isn’t available to most plants roots. Your soil holding more water where the roots can get to it means lower water bills.
3. It helps improve drainage. This is a direct contradiction of my second point, yet just as many people have to deal with the problem of their soil holding too much water.
People who live in areas with a lot of clay will often think they have too much water, yet oddly enough clay holds water so well the plants roots don’t have access to most of it. Adding compost will help break up the clay, improving drainage and the availability of water to the plants.
Note: Don’t try mixing sand and clay together, it doesn’t work well. Just add more organic matter in the form of compost, that works well.
4. It can be made for free. Once you have your garden well established and compost bins set up you can make all of the compost you could use for free.
This is an explanation of why so many gardeners consider compost to be the best thing you can use in your garden. And being able to make it for free makes it even better.