Benefits Of Composting: How It Enhances Your Garden & Planet

vegetables composting into soil for garden

Every gardener wants a backyard that thrives and blossoms. However, achieving this takes work and a few essential items to help along the way. One thing that all gardeners need to ensure that their plants grow is compost. But have you considered making your own compost? 

Here, we’ll explain everything you need to know, starting with what composting is before discussing the many benefits of composting for your garden and the planet. 

What is Composting?

So, first, let’s explain what is composting. Composting is a natural process that involves breaking down organic matter into nutrient-rich soil. 

Organic matter used to create compost usually includes a combination of food scraps and plant materials. Examples of organic matter used for composting often include the following items:

  • Fruit and vegetable peelings
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds and tea leaves
  • Grass cuttings
  • Weeds
  • Fallen leaves

Transforming these items into compost is an organic process of decomposition. Microorganisms and fungi all contribute to creating compost, and creatures such as worms and woodlice feed on the material as it decomposes. 

The Benefits of Composting for Your Garden and the Planet

Now we know what composting is, it’s time to examine the benefits of composting. Composting offers distinct benefits for both your garden and for the planet. Here’s what you need to know:

Composting Benefits for Your Garden

Here are just some of the many benefits that your garden can enjoy when you start composting:

Can improve crop yield

Growing your own fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to enjoy the freshest produce while also reducing your food miles. 

Composting at home can really help improve your crop yield, helping you to grow even more delicious fresh produce. This is because compost enriches the soil to create the perfect environment for your plants to thrive. Your yard will benefit from the nutrient-rich compost that contains nitrogen, phosphorous, and carbon. These nutrients can help boost the growth of your crops and improve their long-term health, helping you to get impressive yields year after year.

Improves the quality of soil

As well as helping you to increase your crop yield by providing vital nutrients, composting also improves the overall quality of your soil. Using your homemade compost in your flowerbeds, pots, and vegetable patches helps to enhance your soil’s long-term ability to retain nutrients. This is known as your soil’s Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC). 

Improves water retention of soil

Keeping your plants watered is essential for their health. However, during hot weather, it can be challenging to water your plants as regularly as you would like. Adding compost to your garden helps with this issue. The compost helps your soil to retain water more effectively. This helps the soil to disperse water better and ensures that your plants have continual access to hydration. Compost is also beneficial during times of excessive rainfall, as it can help absorb surface water and minimize flooding.

How Does Composting Help the Environment?

As well as having a significant positive impact on your garden, composting is also extremely positive for the environment. Here’s how composting is good for the environment:

Generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions

When we throw away food waste and garden trim, these items are often disposed of with the garbage and deposited in landfills. In the landfills, this waste starts to rot, but as it is deprived of oxygen, it begins to release methane as it decomposes. Methane is a greenhouse gas and a major contributor to climate change.

The United States Department of Environmental Protection (EPA) states that food waste generates more methane emissions than any other type of landfilled material. Figures show that food waste causes 58% of methane emissions from municipal solid landfills. 

In contrast, when you choose to compost your food waste, oxygen is used to organically decompose the food waste. This allows the food waste to rot without releasing harmful methane emissions.

Reduces carbon footprint

Along with reducing methane emissions caused by decomposing food waste in landfills, composting also provides further environmental benefits. Choosing to compost your waste can help to reduce your household’s carbon footprint. 

As compost is widely known to offer many benefits to plants, lots of gardeners choose to buy compost to spread in the garden and use it to plant pots and containers. However, choosing to make your own compost not only benefits your garden but also the planet. Composting at home reduces the packaging and carbon footprint generated by purchasing store-bought compost. This is because no packaging is needed and the compost doesn’t need to be transported to the point of sale or to your garden, which significantly cuts vehicle emissions.

Attracts Wildlife

Wildlife plays a crucial role in the decomposition process needed to create compost. Insects and worms feast on the decomposing organic matter, helping to further decay the materials and speeding up the process of compost creation. While the compost provides the mini beasts with an abundant food source, the mini beasts themselves provide a food source for hedgehogs and other wildlife.

Composting Facts: What You Need to Know

Now we’ve uncovered many of the reasons that composting is a beneficial activity for both your garden and the environment. Here’s a recap of some key composting facts that highlight the importance of home composting:

  • Composting reduces harmful methane emissions generated from food waste in landfills.
  • Composting improves the nutrient content of soil, helping to improve crop yield and producing healthier plants.
  • Composting eliminates the need to buy store-bought compost and eliminates associated packaging and transport emissions.
  • Composting reduces the need to use chemical fertilizers to grow produce.
  • Composting helps to save you money, as it costs nothing to do.
  • Composting encourages sustainable food production, allowing people to grow their own organic fruit and vegetables.

Why not start composting today and see the benefits it brings to your garden?