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Benefits Of Compost Mulch

Different Types Of Mulches & Their Uses (Part 4)

benefits of compost mulch

What Is Compost?

Compost is essentially decomposed organic matter. Compost can be made from any kind of organic matter from food scraps and lawn clippings to straw and manure.

 

What Is Compost Used For?

Compost is often used as a fertiliser to improve the structure of garden soil and add nutrients. It is also ideal for use as a mulch as not only will it improve water retention and reduce weed growth, it also comes with the added benefit of improving the soil below.

Compost can be applied on top of the soil as a mulch or worked into the soil to more quickly improve the structure of the soil and add nutrients.

 

How To Apply Compost

When applying compost as a mulch simply spread the compost over the top of the soil and around any plants and trees. Ideally, the compost should be applied to a thickness of 50 mm to 75mm. This will prevent weeds from growing in your garden bed, improve water retention, and add much needed nutrients to the soil below.

Note: You will need to add additional layers in summer as the compost will slowly work its way into the soil.

Conversely, if using compost to enrich grass, apply to a thickness of around 7 mm as too much can smother the grass.

 

Benefits Of Using Compost

Improve Soil Structure

One of the benefits of using compost as a mulch is that it improves the structure of the soil below thanks to the microorganisms present in the compost. Compost also slowly releases nutrients into the soil below whenever you water your garden.

Increase Water Retention

Another benefit of using compost as a mulch is that increases water retention. This means that the water is held in the mulch and soil for longer providing essential nutrients to the plants.

Reduce Weed Growth

Additionally, compost can reduce weed growth. This is because the compost layer on top of the garden soil prevents the seeds of weeds from embedding in the soil below. Plus, any weed seeds that are already in the soil are prevented from growing as the mulch blocks the sunlight that they need to grow.

Make Your Own

make your own compost

Another benefit of using compost as a mulch is that you can create your own mulch for free using your kitchen scraps and lawn clippings. This means that you can improve the growth of your garden without breaking the bank.

 

Considerations When Using Compost

Loses Volume

One consideration when using compost as a mulch is that as it degrades over time it loses volume. This can cause hollows to form and eventually create recesses in the top of the garden. This can negatively impact the look of the garden and can also allow water to pool in the recesses, affecting water flow.

 

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Related articles:

Part 1: Red Cypress Mulch | Different Types Of Mulches & Their Uses

Part 2: Tea Tree Mulch | Different Types Of Mulches & Their Uses

Part 3: Sugar Cane Mulch | Different Types Of Mulches & Their Uses

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