08 May Boost Your Garden’s Health: The Numerous Benefits of Composting
As a garden enthusiast and plant lover, you know how important it is to keep your plants healthy and happy.
And in your search for the best ways to maintain your garden’s health, you may have stumbled across composting. Experts recommend it, garden bloggers sing its praises, and even the most novice gardener can’t ignore the success stories.
But what makes composting so special? And why is it becoming an increasingly popular practice for gardeners everywhere? We answer all these questions and more in this article. Read on to learn all the amazing benefits of composting for your garden, as well as tips on how to get started.
Skip to What You Need to Know
What Is Composting?
Composting is the process of taking organic material like food scraps, leaves, and grass clippings and turning them into a nutrient-rich soil amendment. It’s an environmentally friendly way of recycling organic materials that would otherwise waste away in landfills.
The Recipe for Success
Composting is actually a science that requires careful balancing of air, water, carbon, and nitrogen. But follow these guidelines, and you’ll have the perfect compost.
Green Materials (high in nitrogen)
Grass clippings, kitchen scraps, coffee grounds
Brown Materials (high in carbon)
Leaves, wood chips, newspaper
The pile should be aerated regularly or turned to provide oxygen
The pile should remain damp, like a wrung-out sponge that’s moist but not dripping wet
Benefits of Composting to Your Garden
Composting will not only benefit your garden but also the environment. Most importantly, plants that grow on healthy soil produce healthy crops. Here are some of the benefits of composting:
Garden compost adds organic material to the soil, which helps improve its texture and structure. Your compost bedding traps moisture in the soil and adds micronutrients such as phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. At the same time, compost locks in these nutrients longer than usual.
Compost helps to reduce soil compaction by aiding in drainage, aeration, and water retention. It also makes nutrients more accessible to plants, helping them thrive in your garden.
Loosen Sandy Soil
Compost is a great way to loosen up sandy soil and give it an extra boost of nutrition. That’s because sandy soils lack nutrients and can be difficult to work with. Compost helps bind the particles together and provides better water retention. It also encourages beneficial microbial activity in the soil.
Eliminate the Need for Chemical Lawn Fertilizer
Chemicals have never been a good option for the garden, especially if you’re planting crops. Gathering compost for your garden is a more organic option that will also give your plants the nutrients they need to thrive.
Composts Prevent Soil Erosion
Spreading a layer of compost can help reduce soil erosion since compost improves the soil’s ability to absorb water and reduce runoff. This helps prevent erosion and keeps your garden’s nutrients in place.
It Prevents Wastes From Filling up Landfills
Organic materials that are dumped in landfills occupy a huge percentage of the waste disposed of there. By composting, you eliminate the need for dumping these materials into landfills.
How to Get Started
1. Choose a Location
Find a dry spot in your garden where you can create your compost pile. You can also use a compost bin or a compost tumbler.
2. Start the Pile
Layer green and brown materials, starting with brown materials, followed by green materials, and then brown materials again. Repeat until the pile is about 3 feet tall. Keep your heap manageable by limiting it to under 5 feet high.
3. Add Water
Add enough water to make the pile damp, but not soaking wet. If the pile is too dry, it will not decompose properly.
4. Turn the Pile
Every few weeks, use a pitchfork or shovel to turn the pile. This will help aerate the compost and speed up the decomposition process.
5. Check the Moisture
Check the moisture level of the pile regularly. If it’s too dry, add water. If it’s too wet, add more brown materials.
Depending on the size of the pile, the temperature, and the moisture level, your compost can be ready in as fast as 2 weeks or as long as 6 months. You’ll know it’s ready when it’s dark brown, crumbly, and smells earthy.
7. Use the Compost
Use the compost to enrich your garden soil by mixing it into the top layer of soil or using it as a top dressing around plants.
Ready To Try Composting??
With the right combination of brown and green materials, water, and air–composting can help you create nutrient-rich soil in no time! So why not give it a try? You’ll be amazed at how quickly your compost pile will turn into healthy, soil-enriching humus–and you’ll never look back.