Soil's Most Trust Ally: COMPOST

 

In the Basics of Gardening series Rasika shares general steps and tips to encourage new gardeners to start their own backyard garden. In this part, Rasika shows you the most powerful soil amendment for building soil structure and fertility: compost!

What is compost?

Anything that grows decomposes eventually. Composting simply speeds up this natural process by providing an ideal environment for the soil microbiome (dynamic soil community of microorganisms including bacteria, archaea, and fungi) to recycle organic matter such as straws, leaves, twigs and kitchen scraps from plants. Compost is essentially decomposed organic matter turned into a rich humus material.

Significance in gardening

Organic matter plays a fundamental role in soil fertility. By adding organic compost, we are enhancing our soil and building its structure. Organic matter is both fuel and habitat for the biological activity of the many organisms that mineralize the soil making nitrogen, phosphors, sulfur and several other micronutrients available for plants. Thus compost builds and maintains healthy living soil to grow nutrient dense food.