It’s that time of year again. The ground is warming and the days are getting longer. It’s time to bring your compost bin back to life or maybe even start a new one.

So why compost? Well, here is a short list of the benefits of those magical brown crumbles.

  1. Enhance the fertility and structure of your soil, especially clay soils!
  2. Feed those hungry and hardworking soil microbe allies. Compost provides food for essential organisms that break down organic material and release nutrients for plant growth. For an added kick, mix some rock dust or seaweed into your compost to up the micronutrient content. Most commercial fertilizers are lacking in this area and plants suffer because of it.
  3. Capture and store water in the added organic material to save water and reduce runoff.
  4. Save money by eliminating the need to buy fertilizers or other soil amendments.
  5. Divert solid waste from entering the landfill. When food is disposed of in a landfill, it rots and becomes a significant source of methane – a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Landfills are a major source of human-related methane in the United States, accounting for more than 20 percent of all methane emissions. Source: epa.gov
  6. Protect the environment by eliminating the need for chemical fertilizers that can harm people, pets, wildlife, and our local creeks and bays.

Lastly, don’t forget your mycorrhizae. Mycorrhizal fungi are a primary mechanism for nutrient uptake in a plant. The benefits of compost use in your garden are more likely to occur, if you establish a mycorrhizal net in your garden soil.  Your compost is almost certainly devoid of any mycorrhizal spores so adding them to your plants’ root zones is a must.