Why Your Yard Loves Compost: The Science Behind Healthier Plants

To the uninitiated, compost may be synonymous with just soil or dirt, but compost is its own special landscaping and gardening tool.

Rather than soil, compost is food for the soil that our lawns, hedges, flowers, and vegetables grow in. And by feeding the soil in your yard, which is very much alive with all sorts of vital and amazing organisms, you can magically boost the health and beauty of the landscaping that you plant in it.

What is compost?

If its not just dirt, then what is compost? Scientifically speaking, compost is a nutrient-rich, biologically-stable soil amendment.

But a more fun way to think about compost is that its like feeding your soil a hearty, nutritious, and balanced meal that boosts its overall health and resiliency.

We arrive at this magical collection of stuff through the composting process, which is just the managed process of decomposition.

But more specifically, composting is the careful breakdown of carbon-heavy material, namely food waste, and nitrogen-heavy material such as wood mulch or leaf mulch.

Add in moisture and time, and you’ve got yourself a gorgeous full meal of compost for the soil in your yard and, ultimately, for your landscaping.

How does compost improve your yard’s soil?

Compost adds vital nutrients and material to your soil, namely nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, beneficial fungi, and organic matter that the organisms in your soil love to chow down on. In addition, healthy compost contains valuable micronutrients like zinc and iron.

In addition to adding nutrients to the soil in your yard, adding compost to your landscaping routine improves the soil’s ability to hold on to those nutrients.

This nutrient-retention benefit comes from improving the soil’s cation exchange capacity, which is more easily remembered as “CEC.”

Put simply, by improving the CEC of your soil, you’re making it a magnet for nutrients. And if your soil is flush with nutrients, the landscaping we plant in it will we be able to take advantage of that!

How does compost improve your landscaping?

By doing a lot for the health of your soil, compost does a lot for the health of your landscaping.

  1. First, compost make nutrients available to your landscaping when it needs them. Synthetic fertilizers throw super concentrated amounts of nutrients at your plants for immediate absorption, wether or not the plants need that much of the nutrient. Compost on other hand slowly releases nutrients into the soil and makes them available to plants when they need them and in the right amounts for each particular plant.
  2. Second, compost improves the density of your soil. If your soil is too tight, compost can loosen it up. And if your soil too loose, compost can help bring it together. Either way, improved soil density makes it easier for plant roots to develop and absorb nutrients. Pretty magical, right?
  3. Third, compost can help balance your soil’s pH. That is, compost can keep your soil from being overly acidic or not acidic enough. This improved soil pH makes it more habitable for a wider variety of plants.
  4. Fourth, compost is great at absorbing water. Improved water absorption makes water readily available for plants when they need it, but doesn’t drown your plants if they aren’t thirsty.
  5. And last, by balancing your soil’s nutrition, and therefore your landscaping’s nutrition, compost makes your plants more resistant to some pests and diseases. Just like us humans fare better during cold season when we’re practicing a healthy and balanced diet, our landscaping does too!

Compost is Magic

There’s a reason Crown Town Landscapes regularly incorporates compost into our installation projects and maintenance routines. It’s magic!

Compost provides important nutrients to soil and plants, improves soil density, balances soil pH, acts like a sponge for water, and increases the resiliency of plants. And compost becomes this magical landscaping tool through an environmental friendly process.

If you need help figuring out how to incorporate compost into your landscaping, give us a call! Crown Town Landscapes specializes in landscape design, installation, and maintenance, all with an eco-friendly approach. In other words, you can think of us as your mission-driven landscaper.