If you have considered composting at your home, you are not alone. Not only are there many benefits to composting, but it is one of the best ways to promote healthy gardens, lawns and the earth as a whole. With organic farming on the rise and consumers leaning toward healthier food habits, it only makes sense that healthy, organic soil is a priority for so many people. Moreover, you don’t have to be in the organic farming business to benefit from composting. Composting is great for families that do even the smallest amount of gardening. Just imagine fresher vegetables and sweeter, juicer fruit. Composting can obtain just that. In fact, if more people took up composting, soil everywhere would be much healthier and sustainable.
Compost is generally made up of organic, biodegradable materials from food and food derivatives. It could also be called “bacteria farming” for short. If the compost has the proper balance of food, air, and water, micro-organisms will thrive, thus turning your leftovers into the perfect soil blend. You know you have good compost when it is dark in color; this signifies that there are billions upon billions of decayed micro-organisms and all is well.
There are many benefits to composting, physical, chemical and biological. If you are a farmer or a gardener, composting is one of the best ways to improve your soil in the long term. Composting improves the physical structure of the soil. It will also reduce density; promote workability and porosity, which is essential to having good soil. The high amounts of humus in compost works as a soil glue that holds particles together. This ultimately helps the soil’s ability to hold water.
Compost has the ability to raise or lower the soils PH. Whether or not the PH is raised or lowered will depend on what the compost PH is, and that of the soil it is being applied to.
Compost material is made up of many macro and micronutrients. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are all nutrients that soil needs and compost delivers. Because compost has such large amounts of organic materials in them and is delivered much more often than commercial fertilizers, it has the ability to have a cumulative effect on nutrient availability. Furthermore, if you do use commercial fertilizers, adding compost will only make it more effective.
The organic matter in compost encourages the growth of earthworms, which ultimately increases aeration and water filtration as they tunnel through the soil.
Certain types of organic matter and microorganisms found in compost hinder the development of many plant diseases. That is great news for gardeners.
If your soil is laden with heavy metals or other contaminants, many you will probably never be aware of, compost binds them so that they will have a much less effect on the plants and soil. It has also been shown to degrade toxic compounds such as petroleum or hydrocarbons.
Young compost material is also used as a mild herbicide for its ability to kill weeds. Young compost material often contains phytotoxins, which can wreak havoc on plant growth and development. Compost can be an effective replacement for plastic mulches.
Everyone can contribute to making the earth more sustainable and pollution free by taking matters into your own hands where you live. One person may not be able to change the world, but you can change your own part of this world by making small changes that will help the environment. It’s when people assume they can’t make a difference and do nothing that we all lose.
With the endless passion for organic living, I - Ann Sanders has come up with the idea of creating A Green Hand. Being the founder and editor of A Green Hand, my goal is to provide everyone with a wide range of tips about healthy lifestyle with multiform categories including gardening, health & beauty, food recipe,...