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What is Compost?

Compost is a product that results from naturally decomposing organic matter. It can be made from yard waste, decomposing leaves, fresh grass clippings, food waste, mulch, plant stalks, manure, and almost any other natural, decaying organic matter. These materials create an environment where beneficial bacteria and microbes are introduced to the soil and help your plants, trees, and garden grow strong and vibrant. 

Frequently Ask Compost Questions

Why Do I Need Compost?

There are many benefits to composting. According to the US Composting Council, the benefits of composting include: 

  • Improved soil structure
  • Balanced pH of the soil
  • Enriched soil with valuable nutrients
  • Reduced need for fertilizer
  • Increased water for nearby plants
  • Reduced pests, weeds, and diseases

Whether you are just tending to your own personal garden or have a farm, composting is a great way to ensure the highest yields of produce for your efforts and keep your soil healthy for years to come.  

How Is Compost Made?

There is no one way to make compost. Depending on the size of the soil and how much compost is needed, the composting methods will vary. However, five things are always needed when making compost: 

  1. Organic matter
  2. Nitrogen
  3. Microorganisms
  4. Water 
  5. Oxygen 

At home, you can create compost by leaving a mix of green (natural plant materials) and brown (waste materials such as cardboard or egg cartons) in a shaded spot, keeping it moist, and waiting for it all to become dark with no remnants of food. Commercially, there are several ways to develop large quantities of compost such as the in-vessel method, shredding feedstocks, and vermicomposting.

What Is the Best Compost to Buy?

If you’d rather buy compost instead of making it, here are some tips on what to look for: 

  • Check the ingredients. Are they all-natural, organic materials? Ideally, you’ll want organic, pesticide-free ingredients.
  • Does it smell? While compost is made out of decomposed organic matter, it shouldn’t smell like trash if made correctly. 
  • Determine what type of compost you want. This will vary depending on your needs such as do you need more aeration in your soil or do you want more nutrient-dense compost.
  • Buy local. If you’re in Florida, Gaston Mulch & Soil is more than happy to help you begin your composting journey! 

Is Garden Soil the Same as Compost?

No, garden soil is not the same as compost. Soil may offer some nutritional benefits to your garden, but soil is more used for structure and composition. Compost can be added to soil to help enrich the garden further. 

Receive Nutrient-Dense, Organic Compost with Gaston Mulch & Soil’s Products!

We have been in the landscaping and gardening business since 1972 for Florida nurseries, farms, and local gardens. We provide delivery of bulk products across the state for your convenience. If you’re ready to empower your soil with the benefits of organic composting, find your local Gaston Mulch & Soil facility or search our online shop today!