The Benefits of Home Composting

The Benefits of Home Composting

There's a lot of talk in the gardening world about composting, but what are the real benefits? Is it worth making the effort to compost, and how does it help the garden? In short, there are tons of reasons to compost and very few reasons not to. If you've been on the fence about starting to compost, read on to learn more about why this is a great choice, especially if you're a vegetable gardener.

Compost enriches the soil, reduces plant diseases, assists in water retention, and encourages beneficial fungi and bacteria. When you add compost to your garden, your vegetables and flowers benefit greatly.

What is Compost?

Compost is an organic material formed by the mixing of yard waste and food scraps. The mixed materials sit for a period of time until they break down and create rich, nutrient-dense humus.

Why Compost?

Free enriched soil for your garden.

Compost is rich in nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, which your plants need and love. It will further protect your plants if it is added as a top mulch because it will help the soil retain water, protect plant roots, and suppress weed growth.

Adding compost to your garden doesn't just improve the soil for the one season either. It will benefit your garden for several years as it slowly releases its' nutrients.

Save money

If you've done any type of gardening, you know that purchasing soil, specialty plant foods, and fertilizers are expensive. The great thing about compost is that once you set up your system, which isn't costly, you don't have to buy anything else. The only cost is a few minutes of your time to maintain it.

Compost is the combination of food waste and yard scraps, items you'd usually throw away. Maintaining a compost bin means less food going into the regular trash, which means lower garbage bills. If you have to take your own trash to the dump, this means fewer trips.

Less overloading of landfills

We would all like to think landfills can take anything and are limitless. However, the truth is that our landfills are quickly filling up, and soon we will not have space for our trash. It is already becoming a crisis in this country, with towns and states struggling to find appropriate places to set up landfills.

This is not an issue to take lightly. Everyone needs to do what they can to reduce waste going to landfills before we are overrun with our trash. Composting takes many items that would go in the garbage and reuses them to benefit our earth instead of contributing to its' detriment. The overflowing landfills also produce methane gas, which is not good for the environment.

Reduce the use of chemicals

Gardening chemicals spread without thought or in excess, kill our bees and beneficial insect populations. We need these creatures so our vegetables can be pollinated and thrive. Eliminating the need for chemical fertilizers helps the health of your garden and saves money. When we use compost in the garden, there is much less need for chemical additions.

Is it difficult to Compost?

Not at all. It takes a little diligence and some setup to get started; however, the process of composting is relatively easy. Mother Nature does most of the work for you. All you need to do is provide the materials in specific amounts, give them a mix every so often, and let them decompose. It's not difficult to get started, and the rewards are well worth it!

Next week: Learn How to Get Started Composting At Home
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