What is it?

Compost is a natural fertilizer or soil amendment obtained from the degradation of food scraps and plant residues (bio-waste) mixed with dry, ligneous materials that act as bulking agents.

Properties of compost

Chemical properties

Chemical properties

Increases the availability of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), iron (Fe) and sulphur (S)

Increases fertilization efficiency

Stabilizes soil reaction (pH, its acidity index)

Increases macronutrients and micronutrients

Inactivates pesticide residues due to its absorption capacity

Inhibits plant pathogenic fungal and bacterial growth

Physical properties

Physical properties

Promotes microbial activity

Acts as support and food for microorganisms

Increases moisture retention capacity

Retains calorific energy

Improves soil porosity, permeability and air circulation

Allows for more sponginess and water retention

Biological properties

Biological properties

Reduces soil erosion

Increases water retention capacity

Uses of compost

Compost has different uses depending on its level of maturity and the type of plant or crop it is intended for. The best seasons to apply it are spring and autumn because the soil is warmer and adding compost boosts microorganism activity and plant growth.

Fresh compost is the one that has gone through a short maturity period and contains material that has not been yet decomposed. It is used mainly as a protection against temperature and humidity changes, especially against frost. Moreover, it improves soil characteristics and prevents weed growth.

Mature compost can be identified by its earthy texture, dark colour, and forest-like smell. It is mainly used as a fertilizer for crops, gardens and house plants.

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