Do I Need To Mix Compost With Soil?

Well, How you make use of your compost for your soil is dependent on several factors, such as the type of soil and its structure.

One challenging part of gardening for most gardeners is ensuring that the plants have all they need to grow healthily. Over the years, many farmers have resulted in various things to ensure this, both organic and inorganic. One thing that has, however, remained constant and effective is the use of compost.

While a lot of gardeners have hacked the benefits of compost and are enjoying this, some are still in the dark about what compost is, its importance, and how to use it.

On the subject of how to use compost, there have been a lot of questions on the proper usage of compost. Should you spread it over? Or should you mix it with the soil? 

Compost Explained

Compost is simply decayed organic matter such as tree bark, eggshell, fruit, etc. Compost contains a huge amount of beneficial nutrients and organisms that feed the soil.

There are various ways to get your compost and one popular means is by the traditional means which includes storing up dirt in a container and covering it up for a long while. Compost can also be purchased in bags at different nurseries or garden centers.

Compost is also referred to as black gold and this is because it adds so much value to the soil.

What to Use Instead Of Mulch
Image: @adhgraphicdesign via Twenty20

Why Should You Add Compost To Your Soil?

The benefits of composts to the soil are enormous. In most cases, the gardener only needs to get compost and his plants are fine. The following are some of the reasons compost is added to the soil;

  • Compost reduces waste that goes to landfills. It is said that food waste and other organic waste makes about 30% of the trash in the landfill. Not all organic waste can indeed be used as compost; however, composting reduces these numbers. It also prevents the production of methane gas which contributes to global warming.
  • Compost supplies nutrients to the soil, and this reduces the need for inorganic fertilizers and pesticides. The production of fertilizers and pesticides includes the use of chemical substances which are harmful and damaging to the health of the plant, soil, and humans.
  • Composts help the soil stay healthy. Adding compost to your soil helps in neutralizing the soil’s Ph level, it helps sandy soil retain water, and it also helps clay soil soften its texture. This indicates that compost works well with all types of soil.
  • Compost increases the moisture retention of the soil, this prevents erosion. It also prevents diseases and pests, reduces fossil fuel emissions, and lastly removes carbon from the air.

Do I need to mix compost with soil?

How you use your compost is solely dependent on the type and quality of soil you are using as well as, the size of the land you are working on. The first thing to do to know how to use your compost with your soil is to find out the structure of your soil.

Below are ways by which you can use compost, according to soil structure;

1. Loamy Soil

Unlike other types of soil, loamy soil does not require much amendment; hence it is alright to spread the compost over the soil, instead of mixing it into the soil.

This way, the compost not only performs the role of compost but also does the work of mulch and prevents weed from showing up. Over time, with the help of rain and earthworms, the compost and the soil will mix. Ensure the compost is properly distributed around the soil.

2. Clay Soil

Unlike loamy, clay soil is a little more challenging. Due to this, it is best to mix the compost with the soil to ensure that the amendment is properly done. If you are working on a large piece of land, you should make use of a tiller; either hand or machine operated.

However, if you are working with a small garden, you can mix by double digging.

Final Thoughts

You must identify your soil structure before you add compost. Compost can indeed solve several problems for your soil/ plant, however, knowing the ideal soil to compost ratio will guide you and prevent under or overuse of compost.

We also recommend that you make your compost in your home, as this allows you to monitor what goes in and what doesn’t.