The benefits of using compost are abundant. Compost is decomposed organic material that adds incredibly beneficial nutrients to the soil, acting as both a fertilizer and a soil conditioner. It builds good soil structure; helps the soil to maintain an ideal pH; protects plants from environmental stressors, disease, and pests; protects against drought; and enables the soil to retain nutrients, water, and oxygen. Knowing how composts differ can contribute to improved plant growth.
All soil types can benefit from the addition of compost and it typically can be added any time of the year. Because it’s naturally “slow-release” in its fertilization efforts, it will not burn plant material. Of course, in order to gain all of these benefits, you’ll need to find (or produce) a great compost.
Some people do make their own compost but this takes time and patience. A high-quality compost doesn’t happen overnight. It first requires obtaining the materials necessary to get started, including a compost bin. Then, it takes many months for materials (like weeds, vegetable and fruit peels, and lawn trimmings) to begin the natural process of decomposition. Some experts believe that a truly high-quality compost can take a year or longer.
For this reason, many people turn to purchase compost. Although it might seem as though all composts would be the same, this simply isn’t the case. The quality of the compost that you purchase is going to have a direct impact on your results, so it’s important that you choose wisely.
Ideally, you should seek out organic compost. Choosing one that is OMRI-Certified will give you peace of mind that you’ve found a good quality product.
Seeking out OMRI certification is your assurance that the compost upholds certain standards. The last thing that you want is to end up with compost that has a lot of plastic pieces or garbage in it. That’s why you should seek out compost products that are “OMRI-Certified.” OMRI—the Organic Materials Review Institute—is an organization that determines which products are allowed for use in organic production and processing.
More specifically, this gives you the assurance the product is safe to grow food and is also safe for your family, pets, and the environment. It should also give you confidence that this is a top-quality compost. Compost that contains a lot of excesses, or unwanted material that hasn’t broken down isn’t going to get you the results you’re after.
One of the easiest ways to apply compost to your plant beds or your garden is to mulch with it. We recommend spreading the compost in a thick layer on top of exposed soil and mulching over top. This will help reduce the evaporation of moisture from the soil and also suppress weeds.
If you have any questions about the application process or how composts differ, the professionals at Nature’s Mulch are always here to guide you. One of the biggest benefits of purchasing lawn and garden materials from a professional supplier is the access to expert advice. Unlike purchasing at a big box store, where you’re on your own, we can help assist you in ensuring that you achieve success. In the end, that gives you peace of mind that you’re not only investing in product but in support, too.