What Is Compost?

What is Compost? Compost is nature’s way of recycling decomposed material into useful rich soil that is full of organic matter.

Aerobic bacteria slowly break down the material and the result is what gardeners refer to as ‘Black Gold’. When it is ready to be used compost is dark in colour and has a crumbly texture with an earthy smell. The process requires water, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen in order to take place. Although many people have their own compost piles in their back garden, it is also produced on a much larger scale with a lot closer monitoring.

When it is ready to be used compost is dark in colour and has a crumbly texture with an earthy smell.

Full of Nutrition

Compost is most often used for improving soil as it adds vital nutrients. As well as containing the essential ingredients for plant growth, such as nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, it also contains micro nutrients that, although only needed in small quantities are still important, including, manganese, copper, iron and zinc.

Therefore compost is often referred to as a feed for the soil, whilst fertiliser is a feed for the plants. Fertiliser is a targeted quick feed to help plants grow quickly, whereas compost releases its nutrients slowly and interacts with the ground’s entire ecosystem, keeping your plants healthier for longer.

As well as adding the essential nutrients, compost also helps to create a soil structure that is well aerated, helps with water retention and reduces your plants susceptibility to disease and pests. Compost also attracts earthworms and provides them with a good environment to live in, they in turn aerate your soil and keep it healthy.

Keeps Plants Healthy

The biologically active micro organisms in compost have been shown to suppress a range of plant pathogen species. These include Pythium, Phytophthora and Rizoctonia, which cause a variety of symptoms including wilting, rooting and tissue necrosis. Using compost as a soil amendment may suppress these diseases and reduce plant losses. Compost is full of benefits for your garden, hence its nickname ‘Black Gold’!

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