Q. What is the value of adding compost to my garden in the spring?
Soil plays a critical role in the life of a plant. It anchors a plant, supplies nutrients, water and oxygen. Soil is an aggregate of sand, silt and clay. They have different properties, with the larger particles of sand providing good drainage while the fine particles of clay retain moisture. Healthy soil means healthy plants; plants grown in fertile soil are less prone to pest and disease problems.
Adding compost to your garden enhances the structure and nutritional health of the soil. While compost is sometimes referred to as "black gold" because of all the benefits it provides, remember that all you are doing when you incorporate compost into your garden is repeating a process that nature does on her own. Composting is simply recycling organic material - breaking it down - and returning it to the environment.
Leaving leaf litter to decay on its own is a healthy and natural way of composting. In more cultivated garden areas or areas that are more ornamental, it is important to remember to replicate these processes by adding compost and/or by mulching.
For more information on how to add compost and mulch to your garden see our guide Compost Days.
Courtesy of the NYBG Plant Information Service