5 Benefits Of Using Compost In Your Yard And Garden Area
If you're like most people who are relatively new to home gardening, you've probably heard the word compost used a lot. You probably also know that it can either be made using backyard compost bins or purchased from a retailer. What you might not be aware of, however, are the various ways that using compost can result in healthier plants and a better-looking yard and garden area. The following are just five of the many benefits of using compost.
Compost Provides Nutrients to the Soil
As compost breaks down, it slowly provides the soil with valuable nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, as well as many trace elements. It doesn't stop there, though — compost also attracts microbes to the soil, and these organisms play a significant role in bringing the nutrients directly to the tiny root hairs that take them up into the plant. Because compost does not contain harsh chemical compounds and because nutrients are slowly released by compost, it won't burn or otherwise damage your plants.
Compost Helps Keep Weeds Down
A good layer of compost in your flower and vegetable beds or around the base of trees and shrubs help to keep weed seeds from becoming fully-fledged weeds. This happens because the layer of compost shields the sunlight from the seeds, preventing them from being able to grow. Some types of weed seeds may sprout, but if the layer of compost is two or more inches deep, the sprouts won't be able to photosynthesize enough to grow.
Compost Helps Aerate Clay Soils
Clay soils are difficult to grow things in because clay particles are so extremely fine that they don't leave any room for aeration and easily become waterlogged. Compost particles are substantially larger, and working them into clay soils improves soil texture and allows a greater degree of aeration that helps prevent them from becoming overly saturated.
Compost Protects Roots From Extreme Temperatures
Hot summer sun or subfreezing temperatures in winter have the potential to damage plant roots if there isn't any protection in place. A layer of compost provides a buffering shield between outdoor temperatures and the roots of your plants that helps regulate soil temperatures so they don't get into either hot or cold danger zones.
Compost Adds Aesthetic Appeal
Compost also adds aesthetic appeal when it's placed around trees and shrubs and in flower and vegetable beds because it provides an even, uniform appearance. Most compost is a rich, dark brown color that complements any landscaping theme.