Compost vs Mulch

Mulch and compost serve two different roles in the garden.

Compost is somethingyou want to become apart of your soil, rather than something that is intended to simply cover it like mulch.Compost is chock full of disease fighting organisms and  essential nutrients your plants need to thrive especially important if you’re an organic gardener, or simply trying to use fewer chemicals.  Compost needs to be where the roots are. If you place compost only on the surface, like mulch, it will help, but to really be effective, it needs to be incorporated where the action is.

Image: Created 6/12/2006 Photographer: Kessner Photography

Image: Created 6/12/2006 Photographer: Kessner Photography

Mulch on the other hand: mulch (for example leaves, shredded bark, or straw) , will eventually break down and add important nutrients to your soil, but the primary purpose of mulch is for it to cover your soil, to protect it and plant roots growing there from extreme temperatures, retain vital moisture, suppress weeds and soil-born diseases.

There are some great tutorials and information about composting available online.

Including:

http://urbanext.illinois.edu/compost/process.cfm
http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/composting/

Mulch:

Gorgeous Gardens From Garbage: How to Build a Sheet Mulch

2 thoughts on “Compost vs Mulch

  1. Pingback: Mulching Tips from the World of Ruth Stout « WHOLE LIVING WEB MAGAZINE GARDENING

  2. Pingback: How To Recycle Newspaper for a Terrific Mulch.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s