Compost: The Foundation of Healthy, Living Soil

Compost is nature’s fertilizer. Think of walks in the forest. The soil is dark and spongy and smells like Earth; that is because forests feed themselves by composting their dead material and creating a nutrient rich loamy topsoil. That is what we make every day at Soilutions. So ditch the chemical nutrients and ‘enhanced’ bagged soils from the box store and let nature do what nature does.

Compost is alive and filled with beneficial nutrients and microorganisms. It is the soil that feeds the plants, and it is the compost that feeds the soil. Compost supplies organic matter to feed the soil organisms that are necessary for plant health.

Not only is compost sustenance for plants, it helps improve the condition of the soil. In New Mexico our soils are deficient in organic material and microbial life. Soils in NM are typically sandy (relatively large particle size) or clay (relatively small particle size). Compost is effective in improving either soil. It breaks up clay soil and improves drainage, aeration, and tilth. In sandy soils it reduces drainage and conserves water and nutrients.

Compost is created when micro-organisms feed on organic materials and begin the biological process of breaking them down into a form that plants and soil organisms can reuse. It then recycles those nutrients back into the Earth to serve as rich nutrients for actively growing plants. Heat is generated by the metabolism of the micro-organisms that are eating the plant material (above 130°F), which kills seeds, insects and plant pathogens. This process also breaks down the chemical compounds in insecticides and herbicides that may be on the plant material.