It is not a new thing that compost makes a lot of contributions to plants’ growth and development. Not only does compost promote the healthy growth and development of plants, but it also helps to retain nutrients, discourages plants diseases, pests and weeds. The benefits of compost to plants are explained below:
1) It Suppresses Pests and Disease
Compost gives plants greater resistance to insects and pests and also, suppresses diseases. The protection from pests is based on the fact plants are more vulnerable to those menaces when nutrients are not balanced.
With compost, vegetation stands up to those pests. Also, diseases generally fare worse in compost and this is because of elevated temperatures needed for feedstocks to decompose into compost.
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2) It Discourages Certain Weeds
Compost is known to discourage certain weed types which benefit the plants. How does this happen? First of all, the high temperatures created in making compost end up deactivating many weed seeds, thus, rendering them harmless.
Apart from that, weeds are known to grow in imbalanced nutrient ecosystems which the compost corrects. An example is giant ragweed which grows better in soils having low potassium. By adding compost to the soil, the nutrients in the soil are balanced thus, discouraging the growth of giant ragweed.
3) It Aids in Nutrient Retention
Compost helps to add nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus including micro-nutrients Luke manganese, iron, zinc, and copper. Even though these micro-nutrients are required in small amounts, they contribute greatly to the plant’s overall health.
Asides from that, these commercial fertilizers used do lack the micro-nutrients most often thereby giving compost a higher advantage. Compost is ideal for boosting the health of your plants.
As compost rots, certain materials break down more rapidly compared to others, in effect it becomes a kind of slow-release fertilizer. The greater variety of ingredients present in the compost, the greater variety of the nutrients that will be released.
Amending the soil using compost will help neutralize both alkaline and acidic soils thus, bringing the pH levels to range levels considered ideal for nutrient absorption by plants.
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4) It Brings and Feeds Diverse Life in the Soil
The addition of compost to soil helps to feed organisms such as bacteria, worms, insects, fungi, e.t.c which are known to support healthy plant growth. Organics are broken down by compost bacteria into plant-available nutrients. Certain bacteria also convert nitrogen from the air into a plant available nutrient.
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Apart from the benefits explained in this article, compost is known to provide some other benefits to plants one of which is improving and boosting the soil’s ability to retain nutrients and thus, making them available to plants.
In other words, compost boosts the Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC). If the CEC is low, it means that the soil has a low capacity for retaining nutrients and if the CEC is high, it means there is a greater capacity to retain nutrients. In conclusion, the benefits of compost to plants could be direct or indirect.