Friday, July 17, 2009

The Benefits of Compost

Most folks are familiar with compost as a soil amendment for general landscaping purposes in planting beds and establishing new lawns. There are several other benefits and applications for compost and the use of compost continues to grow!

Compost can be used as a mulch; a top dressing to blanket the layer of soil the plants rest their feet(roots) in. Utilized in this fashion, it suppresses weed growth, holds soil moisture, lowers soil temperature than without it, and improves the organic structure of the soil as the mulch breaks down. This supports an entire system of life typically referred to as the soil food web, but I digress, that is another post. Compost is instrumental in plant establishment when back-filled into the planting hole with the root ball of plant material. The roots of the plant have a softer and nutrient rich medium to begin their new development of growth. And by the way, without an adequate root structure, even the plants that require less water need a root system to support them first and foremost.

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