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October 1, 2020

Agritours

Agribusiness in one place

Compost benefits to your soil that you should know

2 min read

Using compost as mulch, in the soil or as potting media is beneficial in many ways.

Compost contains a full spectrum of essential plant nutrients. You can test the nutrient levels in your compost and soil to find out what other supplements it may need for specific plants. (To participate in our farm visit, click here)

  • It contains macro and micronutrients often absent in synthetic fertilizers.

  • It releases nutrients slowly—over months or years, unlike synthetic fertilizers

  • It enriched soil retains fertilizers better. Less fertilizer runs off to pollute waterways.

  • It buffers the soil, neutralizing both acid & alkaline soils, bringing pH levels to the optimum range for nutrient availability to plants.

Compost helps bind clusters of soil particles, called aggregates, which provide good soil structure. Such soil is full of tiny air channels & pores that hold air, moisture and nutrients.

  • It helps sandy soil retain water and nutrients.

  • It loosens tightly bound particles in clay or silt soil so roots can spread, water drain & air penetrate.

  • It alters soil structure, making it less likely to erode, and prevents soil spattering on plants—spreading disease.

  • It can hold nutrients tight enough to prevent them from washing out, but loosely enough so plants can take them up as needed.

  • It makes any soil easier to work.

Compost brings and feeds diverse life in the soil. These bacteria, fungi, insects, worms and more support healthy plant growth.

  • Compost bacteria break down organics into plant available nutrients. Some bacteria convert nitrogen from the air into a plant available nutrient.

  • It enriched soil have lots of beneficial insects, worms and other organisms that burrow through soil keeping it well aerated.

  • It may suppress diseases and harmful pests that could overrun poor, lifeless soil.

Healthy soil is an important factor in protecting our waters. Compost increases soil’s ability to retain water & decreases runoff. Runoff pollutes water by carrying soil, fertilizers and pesticides to nearby streams.

  • It encourages healthy root systems, which decrease runoff

  • It can reduce or eliminate use of synthetic fertilizers

  • It can reduce chemical pesticides since it contains beneficial microorganisms that may protect plants from diseases and pests.

  • Only a 5% increase in organic material quadruples soils water holding capacity.

guy turning compost pile

When that first batch of finished compost is ready to spread, congratulate yourself for your efforts because you are ecological minded, and know that organic materials should be recycled into the soil instead of being put in a garbage can. By recycling the organic materials, valuable nutrients and organic matter are recycled. You have helped alleviate the solid waste problem!

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