If you have walked in a forest (especially forests of rainy climates) you can feel the sponginess of the ground. You are walking on soil which includes partially decomposed and completely decomposed plants – leaves, tree branches, etc – which are feeding the soil and in turn feeding the plants growing in those forests. This is nature’s soil building process – composting in nature.
Soil is one of the most important parts of a productive garden. Whether you garden in a yard or in a pot, your plants need a healthy, nutritious soil. Organic matter is one of the most important parts of a quality soil.
Compost is one type of organic matter that you can help create.
What is so great about compost?
Improves any type of soil – clay, sand, and more
Improves water holding and drainage – yes it does both
Produces healthier plants
Reduces pests and disease
Soil that is easier to dig, plant, and weed
Provides beneficial microorganisms and earthworms
Balances pH – soil too acidic or too alkaline? – add compost
Consistent supply of nutrients
Prevents runoff of water, nutrients, and soil
Improves nutrition of food grown in the soil
Reduces trash hauling expenses
Reduces burden on landfills
Compost can be added to potting soil for container plants or you can make your own potting mix using compost.
Compost can be used as a mulch or topdressing (placed on top the soil).
You may also mix it in with the soil. Except when planting trees and shrubs I just place it on top before planting because during planting some gets mixed in with the soil. When planting trees or shrubs I mix compost in with the soil when refilling the hole.
Do you rake up your leaves, have them hauled away, and then buy topsoil, fertilizers, compost, and/or mulch? Why not save yourself some time and money by spending less time bagging leaves and buying soil additives?
Compost is easy to make once you learn how. You can compost even without a yard.
I also teaching gardening classes including a composting class. Attend one of my public classes or schedule a class for your friends, family, neighborhood, etc.