Garden Compost

Published 2013

Compost is a mixture of partially decomposed plant material and other organic wastes. It is used in landscapes and gardens to amend soil and fertilize plants.

The chief advantage of adding compost is its ability to improve soil structure. Adding compost to heavy clay soil improves drainage by improving soil structure. Compost also absorbs water and improves the water-holding capacity of sandy soils. To conserve moisture or develop a xeriscape, a landscape requiring little water, it is essential to have soil with good water retention.

In addition to improving soil structure, decomposing compost will slowly release plant nutrients, however, unless applied in very large amounts compost will not provide all the nitrogen that highly productive crops require. Organic gardeners can supplement generous compost applications with manure to produce good yields without the addition of other non-organic fertilizers.

Making and using compost allows the gardener to recycle kitchen, home and garden wastes, and reduce the burdens of trash disposal.

Publication Details


Sarah Browning


Lawn & Garden

Publication Date December 11, 2013
Last Revision Date December 11, 2013
Language English


Series NebGuide