Perhaps you’ve heard of the power of composting, but we bet you didn’t know how truly incredible this magical, mushy spread is for your landscape.
Rich compost can not only make your grass greener and thicker, but it can also help your garden thrive beautifully— oftentimes better than any store-bought fertilizer. Or, it can be used in tandem with your granular fertilizer for an extra boost of nutrients.
Here are six worthwhile benefits to composting:
1. Nutrient-Dense Soil
Perhaps the most motivating reason to start composting is because it enhances your soil structure. But what exactly does that mean?
The vitamins and organic matter found in compost get absorbed deep into your dirt and help to hold your soil particles together, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
Homemade compost is composed of an incredible array of minerals and micronutrients— the mighty three macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium) as well as manganese, copper, iron and zinc, to name a few.
In addition, compost also contains friendly fungi and bacteria that help to create a healthy, balanced ecosystem, attracting earthworms (AKA the earth’s greatest recyclers!), helping to maintain moisture and more.
2. Balanced PH Levels
Soil PH can be a confusing topic, but we’re here to simplify it. Your soil can become too acidic or alkaline for a number of reasons, such as from heavy rains that leach minerals away or fertilizers that “over-fertilize.”
Simply put, off-balance of PH levels can kill your lawn/plants or lead to overgrowth (either they’re not getting enough or they're getting too much of what they need to grow!). That’s why it’s so important to get a soil test to understand the state of your soil— and to understand which minerals and nutrients it’s lacking or retaining in excess.
With professional care, a fertilization expert can whip up a nourishing limestone solution for your property. Sometimes, compost can do the job for you! Compost can help your soil retain a balanced PH, naturally, without needing to fertilize as frequently.
3. Reduce Waste Collection & Gas Emissions in Landfills
Landfills contribute to an insane amount of greenhouse gases, including methane pollution, and take up a massive portion of the earth’s land. In fact, our pollution continues to increase year after year, according to the EPA.
The more compostable materials— like food scraps, leaves, grass clippings, etc.— you collect and use on your landscape, the less “trash” on your curbside come garbage day.
Reusing these materials helps to lower your carbon footprint and environmental impact. So save those fruits and vegetables, sweep up leaves and mix some grass blades into your compost to go greener.
4. Save Money on Fertilizer & Insecticides
Fertilizers and insecticides can be expensive, but collecting food scraps and lawn debris doesn’t deplete your wallet, because recycling compostable organic materials is free!
Composting strengths your soil structure and provides the nutrients it needs to naturally fight off disease or insect attacks. When pairing composting with natural repellents— like these mosquito or tick-warding tips— you’ll need less insecticides to keep those buggers away.
Plus, composting can reduce your need for fertilizing. Liquid fertilizing solutions have to be applied often to achieve sustainable results, but even some store-bought organic fertilizers can’t compete with the freshly churned, diverse nutrients found in your home compost. Spend $20 on a DIY compost bin and you’ll have free nutrients for many years to come.
5. Less Chemicals
Think of compost as a slow-release fertilizer. Once that dense organic matter is laid down, it can take a few weeks to fully dissolve into your soil, slowly nourishing your landscape.
In contrast, chemical fertilizers are absorbed straight into your plants— right away. While this offers faster results, granular fertilizers are more sustainable and require fewer treatments. Organic granular fertilizers are even better, using naturally decaying materials (leaves, animal by-products, etc.) instead of artificial materials (petroleum or natural gas, broken down rocks, etc.) or harsh chemicals.
Compost contains similar nutrients found in organic fertilizers, without any chemical fillers or synthetic solutions. Chemicals from fertilizers and insecticides can pollute local waterways, be toxic to your family and are easier to over-fertilize with— so ditch the manufactured stuff and go natural.
6. Less Water Usage
Compost also helps your landscape to maintain moisture, so that your plants and grass will require less watering. Not only is composting an environmentally-friendly way to cut your household water usage, but it saves you time and hassle hauling around your watering can or hose.
This is not to say you’ll never have to water your landscape. In fact, proper hydration is necessary for the compost to break down. However, the thick organic matter found in compost will retain moisture and slowly release it to your plants.
Paired with Hydretain, or similar moisture management products, your property will have all the water it needs to prosper.
Become a Fertilizing Guru
Fertilizing your landscape can seem intimidating, but with the right knowledge and practice, you can create a richer lawn and garden.
Download our Ultimate Guide to Fertilization for more information on starting your own compost and grasscycling. It’ll also offer advice for choosing the best fertilizer, how to use a spreader and more.