Every homeowner wants his garden to look healthy and more beautiful than his neighbour’s. Although it can be hard to make sure that your plants and flowers grow in the best way, it is not necessary to be a professional gardener to keep and maintain a beautiful home garden.
Some of you are more experienced at gardening while some of you are still new to this and are not perfect yet. Many things need to be kept in mind while gardening. Using compost or mulch in your garden is essential, and you should know about them in detail.
In the following article, we will get to know about mulch, compost, the difference between the two and which is safer or better to use in your home garden.
What is Compost?
Compost is actually nothing but decomposed organic matter and can be made easily by piling up kitchen waste, garden waste, lawn clippings, etc. and let them decompose. The process will take almost a year, and you can stir the pile frequently to speed up the lengthy process of composting.
To make sure the compost pile is breaking down quickly, you need to focus on the mixture in the pile. The ideal ratio is one part of green compost and two parts of brown.
Brown compost includes wood, straw, dried leaves, grass, etc. while green compost includes kitchen waste, fresh grass, plant and weed clippings, etc.
Apart from stirring the pile, you can even water the pile to keep it moist and fasten the process. After total decomposition, it will turn into humus that has a pleasant smell. At this moment, the compost pile will be ready to use in the garden.
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What is Mulch?
Mulch is nothing but the protective covering layer placed on the soil made using organic materials. It works to reduce wind and rain erosion, lock the required moisture, insulate soil during extreme cold, and suppress the growth of weeds.
Over time, the mulch breaks down and improves the quality of soil by adding nutrients to it.
During the gardening season, you should apply mulch heavily in your garden using shredded leaves, straw, and grass clippings. The perfect way to do it is by using an electric shredder, but a good lawn mower will also be able to handle this task.
You should make use of cedar chips on perennial beds. They take longer to break down and will be there for multiple seasons. Apart from this, cedar chips appear and smell good while also keep a variety of garden insects and pests away from your beloved garden and soil.
The Difference between Mulch and Compost?
The main thing that distinguishes compost and mulch is the position from where they help the soil. Compost is usually laid within the soil while mulch acts as a blanket on top of the soil and works from there without actually entering the soil beneath the earth.
Compost is tilled in the soil to work as an additive that enhances the nutrients and strengthens the soil and increases quality. Plants will benefit richly from the added nutrient supply, and other microorganisms will also get much-needed help from the compost.
Earthworms consume the nutrients in the compost while inside the soil and make the soil loose and less compact. This allows the roots to extend inside the soil.
Mulch acts as a protective layer on top of the soil and keeps the moisture in the soil intact. Leaves, grass, straw, wood chips, etc. stop the growth of weeds in your garden and soil.
Mulch even provides some nutrients to the soil but not at the same level as compost does. You need to reapply mulch after a certain period because certain materials used as mulch can decay soon.
Uses of Compost and Mulch, Which is Safer to Use?
Compost or humus has many uses and can be dug or mixed into the garden beds while turning over soil. However, plants can get too comfortable when the roots are covered just by compost, so it is better to use a combination of natural soil and compost.
You can also use compost for the plant’s side-dressing and add it to the mixture while planting new crops or seeds.
On the other hand, mulch is good at retaining moisture for the soil, fighting naturally against unwanted weeds and regulating the temperature so that the plants grow nicely in the outdoor conditions.
You may be confused as to which one between mulch and compost is better to use in your garden. Most experienced gardeners don’t go with one and use the right combination of both mulch and compost.
With compost, you will increase the speed and production of plants while more flowers will bloom.
Mulch will help to control soil erosion, retain moisture, and limit the growth of weeds. All of these things are vital to gardening, and thus it is best to use a combination of mulch and compost in your garden.
Gardening is an enjoyable hobby, and we all want our garden to look elegant and beautiful. Some people new to gardening do not have proper knowledge and experience.
It is vital to know that both compost and mulch are hugely beneficial. In the above article, we read about both and learned their uses and importance.
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