Understanding Compost And Its Benefits

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

The greenest grass grows because it comes from the most fertile of soil. The secret to keeping soil healthy and productive for growing everything from grass to consumer crops is to blend it with some form of fertilizer. Compost is something that farmers have utilized for thousands of years in order to improve the appearance and the yield of their fields. Read on to find out more about compost and the benefits it can provide.

How compost is created

Compost is the result of decomposition created when organic material is broken down into its most basic elements. This fertilizer is created as a byproduct of the aerobic microorganisms responsible for the decomposition. The microorganisms multiply and speed up the process of returning plants, animals, and waste to nature. In many ways, composting is nature’s very own recycling program.

As the decomposition process begins within the soil, it generates heat, water, and carbon dioxide. Each of these elements nourish the soil in their own way. For example, the heat kills off harmful bacteria and speeds up the decomposition process. Heat also stabilizes the soil and creates a healthy environment that is welcoming and nourishing to the growth of new plant material. Also, simply increasing the amount of organic material within the soil can increase the water holding capacity of the soil by up to 5%. In drought-prone areas, this benefit can mean the difference between a crop that survives the summer and one that withers away. Compost also keeps plants healthier, which helps them resist diseases and pests that could otherwise kill them.

The many benefits of compost for soil

Compositing benefits the soil in many ways. As this fertilizer stabilizes the soil, it makes it possible for plants to grow stronger and faster. This strengthens the roots, which reduces soil runoff and erosion. Using compost is ideal for particularly sandy soils or those with high leaching rates. A strong soil bed is essential for keeping everything from retaining walls to landscaping right where you want it to be.

Compost helps reduce the density of clay soils, making it easier for roots to penetrate to the appropriate depths in a shorter period of time. This type of fertilizer is highly effective at enhancing water permeability and the gas exchange that plants require for strong, stable growth.

The cation exchange capacity of soil and other plant material increases with the use of compost. This process is the ability of plants to retain the nutrients they require for growth. Healthy compost provides a ready supply of nutrients by regulating the pH balance of the soil. Simply choosing the right compost is often all that it takes to give the soil the right pH level for the ideal growth of many plants.

As the soil becomes healthier, it also becomes more attractive for insects and animals that require healthy soil for their own survival. Earthworms and microorganisms such as fungi and protozoa proliferate and help fertilize the soil, breaking down natural plant matter within the compost. The process becomes a self-sustaining cycle that can reduce the need to fertilize and water by considerable margins.

How to make high quality compost

The best way to make large amounts of compost is to use a compost turner to form windrows. This method of creating fertilizer is meant for large scale operations such as farms and municipalities. Using high-quality, fuel-efficient compost turners to create windrows can help you be more productive and save money.

Knowing what goes into creating compost is important, but having the right equipment is another key step in creating the best fertilizer for your needs. Contact the experts at Scarab International today to learn more about how high-quality compost turners can benefit you. You can call us at (806) 883-7621 or Contact Us by email to learn more about our compost turners and our services. We offer new, refurbished, and used compost turners, as well as leasing options.