One the famous substance that people usually put onto the soil to increase the soil fertility apart from the fertilizer is the compost.
Compost is known to be able to provide the plants with nutrients for the plants growth. However, do you actually know what compost is?
In simple terms, compost is organic matters that have already decomposed. This means any organic matters such as the plants leaves, woods and your food waste that have already decomposed can be deemed as compost.
Actually compost is not a new thing. In natural the composting process have been running thousands of years naturally. The natural composting process usually takes longer time for the organic matter to totally decompose compare to the controlled environment methods nowadays.
However, because of the huge benefits of compost especially for gardening and agriculture activities, composting process have been developed by human to speed up the process so that we could use them in a large quantity and quickly.
The composting process in the composting center is being control by amending the temperature, moisture as well as adding beneficial microbes in order for the organic matter to decompose within short period of time.
It is from all these process that enable us to buy compost at the gardening shops or even online so that we can use in our gardening activities.
Using compost in our gardening activities especially in vegetable gardening could immensely help us to grow our vegetable plants healthily and vigorously.
This is because there are a lot of benefits that can be gained by your soil as well as your plants from the compost material if the exist within the soil.
One of the benefits of compost that are commonly known by many gardeners is that it can increase the nutrients availability within your soil.
There are many ways on how the compost increases the nutrients availability within the soil.
One of the ways is that the compost itself is already rich with nutrients in the form that can be taken by the plants easily.
This should not be a surprising to anyone as we all know that the ingredients within the compost are once living things like us that stored a lot of nutrients.
When the living things died and fully decomposed, it will release back all the nutrients that they contained into the soil which later can be taken by the plants.
The second way on how compost could increase the nutrients availability is through its ability to retain the nutrients within the soil. The nutrients will not be easily carried away by the running water if there is compost within your soil.
Another way on how compost could benefit your soil is that it could improve the soil texture and structure.
The compact soil such as the clay soil could be loosened by adding the compost. Loose soil such as the sandy soil could also be improved by adding compost into them.
That is why you see a lot of gardening experts when asked on how to improve the soil condition, they will advise you to add compost into you soil.
There are also many researches that have been done and have confirmed that adding compost to soil is a very good practice to be done in gardening activities.
By adding compost into your soil, it could help to improve the water penetration as well as the air circulation within you soil. Compost could also help your soil to hold more water.
That is the reason why clay and sandy type of soil could benefit a lot when you add compost into them.
The clay soil which does not have proper water penetration and air circulation could be refined by compost. Sandy type of soil that is well known not able to hold water could also be refined by the compost.
The third benefit of adding compost into your soil is that it could provide you soil with beneficial microorganism that could help to improve the soil as well as helping the plants growth.
One of the roles of the microorganism or microbes is that it could help to break the organic matters and eventually release the nutrients into the soil.
Without the soil microorganism it is hard if not impossible for the organic matters to be fully decomposed and release all the nutrients that it contained into the soil.
Some microbes such as the nitrogen fixation bacteria could help to fix the nitrogen from the atmosphere into the form that can be taken by the plants within the soil.
There are also microbes that help to improve the soil structure. This is usually done by the fungi type of microbe which they can bind the soil particle together.
Another great contribution by microbes especially the bacteria is that it could help your plants to fight certain diseases from infecting them.
This means you can easily increase the plants immunity just by adding compost into your soil.
Besides the microorganism, there are also soil organisms that associated with compost that can also help to increase the soil fertility.
Some of them are earthworms, beneficial insects and other type organism. Earthworms for example could improve the air circulation within the soil form its movement and it also excreting castings that highly rich in nutrients.
Some insects are predators to other insects. Having them around your plants could help to reduce the insects’ pest attack to your plants.
I think that is all some summary about the benefits of compost to the soils as well as to the plants.
It is actually more than that, however, you might need to read a book to have the full explanation regarding the compost and its benefit.
As you are looking for the best compost for your vegetable gardens, I have listed a few of them as below.
1. Encap 11177-70 Lawn and Garden Compost, 18-Pound
This is one of the compost that is available in the market and this compost has a quite good features.
This compost is made from the mix of decomposed leaf and cow manure. This mix could increase the nutrients availability within the compost that definitely good for your plants growth.
It does not matter what type of plants that you are growing, either vegetables or flowers, this compost is suitable to be used with them.
If you want to know more about this compost, please click here.
2. Dr Earth 803 1-1/2 Cubic Feet All Purpose Compost
If you are a seasoned gardener then this brand would be one of the brands that you are familiar with.
Dr. Earth brand has producing many types of gardening inputs including this compost.
This compost is made from various ingredients. Some of the ingredients that were used in making this compost are earthworm castings, valley grown alfalfa meal, cold water kelp meal and many more.
This could be a good clue for us to say that this compost is quite good to be used in our gardening activities.
Should you are keen to know more about this particular compost, please click here.
3. Prestige Marketing 01190 Organimax Premium Compost with Mycorrhiza, 1 Cubic Feet
This is another compost that I think is worth the money for you to spend and try it.
This compost comes with one ingredient that is not specified in the two composts mentioned earlier.
The ingredient that I am talking about is the Mycorrhizae root growth fungi.
If what is mentioned in the product description is true, then your plants could immensely benefit from this type of fungi as it could help your plants in various ways to grow healthily and vigorously.
If you are interested in knowing more about this compost, please click here.
As you can see, each type of compost that I have listed above has different composition of ingredients. It is up to you to choose which one is the best for your plants.
There nothing much to say about what type of brand is the best as generally all compost work almost the same.
The only thing that matter is the material that is used when making them that material will differentiate the quantity of nutrients and beneficial organism that the compost contained.
Should you need more clarification on the topic that we have just discussed, please feel free to ask in the comment section below.
I would also like to request any opinions from any experienced gardeners that would like to share their experience about the compost that they are using. Please also feel free to write it in the comment section below so that we could establish a healthy discussion.