What is Compost?
Composting is nature’s process of recycling decomposed organic materials into a rich soil known as compost. Anything that was once living will decompose, such as yard waste, plant trimmings, leaves, grass clippings, soil with microbes and wet kitchen scraps (but not fat and meat). Basically, backyard composting is an acceleration of the same process nature uses. By composting your organic waste you are returning nutrients back into the soil in order for the cycle of life to continue. Finished compost looks like soil–dark brown, crumbly and smells like a forest floor.
With compost, the nutrients found in the organic matter it contains are released slowly. Plants grown with health and diverse compost will absorb a slower, steadier and more diverse set of nutrients than if they receive synthetic nutrients.
10 good reasons why you should compost:
- Yard and food waste make up 30% of the waste stream. Composting your kitchen and yard trimmings helps divert that waste from the landfill, waterways and water treatment facilities.
- You will significantly reduce pest problems–and your use of pesticides.
- Healthy plants from healthy soil look better, produce better and have a much greater ability to fight off pests and diseases.
- Adding organic materials to the soil improves moisture retention.
- Adding decomposed organic material to the soil feeds beneficial organisms.
- organic material amends both sandy and clay soils.
- Composting provides a balanced, slow–release source of nutrients that helps the soil hold nutrients long enough for plants to use them.
- Making your own saves money–you avoid the cost of buying soil conditioners, bagged manure etc.
- Feeding your plants well will improve your own diet. Plants grown in depleted soils have a reduced nutrient content.
- Home composting is a valuable tool in educating children about nature and the cycle of life.
Healthy soil equals healthy plants, that equal healthy people. So if the soil is healthy, common sense tells us, so is the plant that grows in it.
At Giordano’s, we carry ready-made products that are nutrient-rich and can often meet the needs of a plant for a year or more. (To reach the maximum growth and potential, however, you should apply it more often).
If you are planning to start your own compost, be sure to enrich it with a starter. The best starters contain microorganisms in the blend, which are the heart and soul of composting.
Caution: Avoid any compost made from bio-solids; they have been linked to heavy metals and human pathogens. This is also why you should not use fresh manure or animal waste on your soil. Raw manure may release ammonia, which is detrimental to plant health. Giordano’s carries commercial manure that has been composted for a long time and is safe to use in your garden.