The Benefits Of Compost In Your Garden

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At Southern Sodgrass, we offer Organi-Post, which is sourced from only High-Grade food waste and is the highest-quality compost available. 

The first question you may ask yourself is, what exactly is compost? Well, compost is a mixture of ingredients used as plant fertilizer to improve soil’s physical, chemical, and biological properties. It is commonly prepared by decomposing plants, food waste, and recycling organic materials and manure. 

At the simplest level, composting requires gathering a mix of ‘greens’ (green waste) and ‘browns’ (brown waste). Greens are materials rich in nitrogen such as leaves, grass, and food scraps. Browns are woody materials rich in carbon, such as stalks, paper, and wood chips. The materials break down into humus in a process taking months. 

Compost FAQs


How long does it take for compost to break down into soil?

Decomposition will be complete anywhere from two weeks to two years depending on the materials used, the size of the pile, and how often it is turned. Compost is ready when it has cooled, turned a rich brown color, and decomposed into small soil-like particles.


Can I leave compost on top of soil?

You can sprinkle compost on top or mix it into your flower and vegetable beds, gently rake compost into tree beds, blend it with potting soil to revitalize indoor plants, or spread it on top of the soil on your lawn as a soil amendment.


Is it OK to plant directly into compost?

You can plant in straight compost, but incorporate it into your sandy garden soil or mix it with other additives if you want to use it for container plantings.


Do you need to fertilize if you use compost?

If you consistently use compost and maintain soil health, your plants won’t require fertilizer. Instead, they’ll get their nutrients as they’re slowly released into the ground by compost. A rapid feed is rarely necessary for a healthy garden, where the soil is well-balanced and can provide nutrients on its own.


Is it better to mix compost with soil?

In vegetable gardens, compost not only adds a low level of nutrients, but it also adjusts the soil’s moisture-holding capacity, increasing the soil’s ability to shed or retain water. Potted plants, flower gardens, and new trees and shrubs all require specific ratios of compost to soil. 


How deep should compost be?

The general rule of thumb is 1/4 to 1/2 inches if applied to the top of the soil and 1 to 2 inches amended to 6 to 8 inches when amending into the soil. Recommended maximums are 25% to 30% compost in a soil blend, but no more than 25% compost in containers or raised beds.


Can I fill a raised bed with just compost?

No, you should never fill a raised bed with only compost. It should account for 30-50% of your garden soil when creating a soil blend for your raised beds. While compost will give your plants plenty of nutrients, the soil will drain away too quickly, washing away the nutrients, and causing your plants to starve.


Benefits Of Compost


Compost improves soil structure and fertility

Compost adds micronutrients, which are essential to plant growth. It also helps the soil retain moisture for plants and reduces nutrient leaching. Strong plant roots can develop in healthy soil, allowing the plants to be able to absorb nutrients more efficiently. It also helps the soil retain those nutrients for a longer period of time. Healthy soil and the plants that grow in it are also better at fending off pests and diseases. 


Composting adds nutrients to the soil in between successive crops

Adding compost to your garden before succession planting late-summer or fall crops will put valuable nutrients that those new plants will need to thrive back into the soil.


It’s great to do this task in the fall so the beds are ready to plant early-spring crops. But you can add it in the spring, as well. Spread a layer before you’re ready to sow vegetable seeds or dig in plants.


Compost helps to amend hard-packed or sandy soil

One of the benefits of composting is that it can improve even the most challenging soils over time. Rather than tilling, adding a layer every year will eventually work to transform it into loose, friable soil. Adding compost can also amend sandy soils, holding in moisture for the plants to access, rather than quickly draining away.


Composting can eliminate the need for chemical lawn fertilizer

Top-dressing your lawn with compost cuts out the need for chemical fertilizers. These chemicals, as well as chemical pesticides, can be washed into our sewer systems and waterways. Compost’s slow-release nutrients can help your lawn thrive and allow you to garden organically.


Compost can help with soil erosion

Heavy storms can ruin a garden or yard. Adding compost can help minimize soil erosion. It can help loosen heavy soils and increase water retention in sandy soils. 


Composting can be used in environmental projects

On a larger scale, compost helps with restoring wetlands and habitats affected by poor soil. And it helps in areas where trees are being replanted. It can also help with remediating soil that’s been contaminated with hazardous waste.


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Southern Sodgrass is committed to providing our customers with the highest quality products available along with the best customer service in the industry. Come by and see us, email, or call us to learn more about how we can help your lawn look its greenest. Using compost in your garden is one of the most powerful actions we can take to reduce our trash, address climate change, and build healthy soil. By contacting Southern Sodgrass, you can feel confident that you’re getting the best.



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