Many gardeners eschew the many types of chemical fertilizers lining the store shelves in favor of using compost to enhance their soil and mulch their plants. Whether they buy ready-made compost, or make it themselves in a bin in the backyard, compost has clear advantages over chemical fertilizers.
Compost feeds the microfauna in the soil. Chemical fertilizers are unable to do this. The microfauna, in turn, provide nutrients to plants over a long, sustained period, reducing the opportunity for the roots to be burned by excessive nitrogen.
Compost increases the tillage of the soil, making it easier to work. Heavy clay soil is lightened by the presence of compost, which allows it to breathe easier and avoid clumping. Sandy soil is bonded together more tightly, allowing better water retention and less opportunity for the surface to blow away.
Compost is nature's way of recycling organic material back into the environment. Adding fallen leaves, cut grass and kitchen waste to a compost pile instead of sending them to a landfill returns to the earth those nutrients the plants took out.
- Photo Credit outils de jardin image by Claudio Calcagno from Fotolia.com
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