posted on March 13, 2014 14:17
Benefits of Composting
Think Compost This Spring!
by Patrick Geraty
Are you a victim of “green guilt?” According to a 2010 survey of residents in 15 countries, more than one third of the developed world feels they aren’t proactive enough when it comes to recycling and conserving water. If you are among the many looking to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle, the solution starts in your own backyard. By simply incorporating all-natural compost into gardening and lawn maintenance routines you can help conserve water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
For many, planting a backyard vegetable garden is the ultimate way to go green. Fresh produce comes direct from the garden to your table, cutting out the middle man and, subsequently, reducing carbon emissions associated with food transportation. As any seasoned vegetable gardener will attest, the best strategy for boosting yields is to build a better soil by conditioning with compost.
Compost delivers four major benefits to the gardener, all of which help the environment:
Compost improves plant/turf quality. Compost reduces spring transplant shock and, longer term, decreases plant stress response to drought, disease and insects. Because of the intense heat generated in compost piles, compost contains no weeds, insects or insect eggs/larvae. Compost also reduces salt damage and provides nutritional balance.
The benefits of compost are long-lasting. Rain and watering cause chemical fertilizers to leach out of soil stripping it of its nutritional properties. Conversely, compost binds with the soil and releases its nutrients over a multi-year period.
Compost strengthens soil structure. Compost reduces the compaction of heavy soil, enhances sandy soil and increases both top-soil and soil fertility while rebuilding worn-out soil. Over time, compost makes any type of soil easier to work.
Finally, compost can hold six times its weight in water, which reduces the need for irrigation during periods of drought.
But, perhaps more important to remember when planting spring beds is that using all-natural, STA-certified compost is part of a 100% efficient recycling cycle. All material that enters the composting process is natural and full of the essential nutrients – nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium – that form the foundation of productive soil. The same natural material promotes the proliferation of beneficial microorganisms that help humus to form and enable roots to flourish and more readily absorb nutrients. After garden pros use compost to grow prize-winning produce, any spent plant material and food waste can be incorporated back into a new composting cycle. Join the sustainable living movement – get hands-on with a heaping helping of compost this spring!
It would be an understatement to say that R3 St. Louis is a fan of St. Louis Composting. We like what they do and support their mission. We encourage you to call them and learn more at 636-861-3344 or visit their website at: www.stlcompost.com. St. Louis Composting is the largest composter in the St. Louis region and their compost holds the Seal of Testing Assurance (STA) from the U.S. Composting Council (USCC).