Composting is a natural process, transforming your household waste into nutrient-rich food for your garden. There is so much goodness that can come from composting, here are the top 8 benefits to bag from brilliant homemade substrate.
For the planet
1. Home composting allows organic waste to get straight back into the soil as soon as possible rather than having it stuck on a site taking much longer to decompose. Research by WRAP in 2018 showed that in the UK, we throw away 6.6 million tonnes of household food waste a year. A staggering 70% of that could be eaten – enough food to fill 3,600 Olympic sized swimming pools!
2. Another eco-win for compost warriors is that home composting for just one year can save global warming gases equivalent to all the CO2 that your kettle produces annually. Home composting allows oxygen to decompose waste aerobically. So, hardly any methane is produced in the process compared to sending waste to landfill.
For your garden
3. Once applied to your garden, it will help soil structure by improving drainage in clay soils and water retention in sandy soils. It’ll provide the necessary nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
4. Composting will improve the biodiversity in your garden by utilising worms, fungi, and insects to break down waste. These beneficial bugs will make your garden less likely to be wiped out by pests and weeds. Research has shown that plants that are more susceptible to insect damage if the soil is unhealthy.
5. Growing your own nutritious food, encouraged by the addition of your compost will benefit your physical health. This is because planting and harvesting your own food will benefit your body because you consume the tasty produce. Harvesting your fruit and veg at your fingertips means you make the most of the fresh taste and the maximum nutrients available.
For your wallet
6. Your source of nutrient-rich soil will be useful in your garden as a natural fertiliser, helping your prized plants flourish. This natural alternative will attract beneficial nitrogen-producing bacteria. Therefore, you won’t have to fork out loads of money for fertilisers and pesticides.
7. By consciously focusing on the food that we throw out of our homes, we become aware of the produce that we’re chucking out. In turn, this can influence our cooking and buying decisions. By making the most of the food that we buy, we’re saving ourselves loads of money. The average family of four could save just over £60 per month by reducing food waste. So, saving food is saving money.
For the water
8. Finally, keeping your lawn and garden looking rosy can add a lot onto your water-bill, especially if you have poor-quality soil. Compost helps to absorb water and slowly release it to your plants and grass, so once you apply your home-made compost, you won’t need to water as much as you did before. Which is a win for water, your wallet, and your garden.
So, these benefits of composting should arm you with enough motivation to get started on your journey. Not to mention you will have the wonder and amazement of watching your household waste turn into something useful and productive that can go on to help your garden flourish.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
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