Using Compost as Mulch
Mulching is the practice of applying a layer of material above the soil and around your plants to help prevent weed growth and to retain moisture in the soil. Home compost, or even shop bought multi-purpose compost is a great choice for a mulch as it improves your soil over time.
Have less weeds
Adding a thick layer of compost (about 2 inches) to your garden border, flower bed or even containers will:
- Take away the light the weeds need to germinate which means they will struggle to grow in the first place
- Mean the seeds cannot get to the soil where they like to make their home
Water your plants less
To make the most of mulching, give your plant beds a good soaking, and we mean good! Once you have drenched the beds, give them a 2-inch thick layer of compost. This will lock the moisture into the soil and prevent the sun/heat from evaporating. This ensure the water can trickle down deeper and encourage healthy root growth that goes deeper. This trains the plants root to keep growing downwards where it will find more moisture.
Feeds your plants
Over time the compost will further break down and add nutrients to your soil. This reduces the needs to further fertilise your soil.
There is really no downside to using compost as a mulch. If your compost is home made, you will also feel a deep sense of pride!
The views expressed in our blog are those of the author and not necessarily lowimpact.org's