Compost is something that we frequently hear about, but still often there are many uncertainties or confusion about what exactly compost is.
Compost is the beneficial product manufactured through controlled aerobic, biological decomposition of organic materials. The product produced from this controlled composting process has undergone monitored temperatures which significantly reduces the viability of pathogens, invasive species and weed seeds and stabilizes the carbon such that it is beneficial to plant growth and the environment.
When properly finished, compost is typically used as a soil amendment to contribute plant nutrients by releasing macro-and micronutrients while feeding the beneficial biological organisms in the soil. It also increases the porosity of the soil, helps conserve moisture, and is an integral recovered resource for improving soil health.
However, it is important to note that not all compost is created equal. Organic materials that are not composted or “cured” properly can have significant adverse effects when used back in the environment doing more harm than good. Spread of pathogens, invasive pests, noxious weeds, or unfinished and anaerobic materials can be a problem when sellers are utilizing the term compost when pertaining to any type of decayed organic matter in their advertising. Feedstocks also play an important role in the value of the compost material. Being aware of how and what a company composts can be a great indicator of the quality of the material you are buying and whether it will be beneficial for the plant and environment. Look for companies who tests according to the US Composting Council STA (Seal of Testing Assurance) program parameters to make sure they are looking at many of the potential issues that could render a product unsuitable for your needs. The biggest indicator to look for is the overall maturity of the material you want to use in your application.
Compost Testing and Benefits
Compost made at The Mulch Store facilities from yard trimmings and organic waste meets the United States Composting Council’s Seal of Testing Assurance Program (STA). This testing program is the best way to know that the product you are using is “finished” and safe for use. This quality compost product is also used as a soil amendment to The Mulch Store’s numerous soil blend and topsoil products.
All of our facilities are permitted by MN Pollution Control Agency and fully licensed in the Counties and Cities that we operate. Properly managed disposal of organic yard, tree and food waste is overseen to insure steps are taken to protect the environment. See the MPCA Compost Locator Map to know where to dispose of properly.
We talked a little bit about the benefits of composting to your soil, but did you know that the benefits of compositing go far beyond your garden? Click the headers below to find out how composting and using compost can make a much bigger difference than you’d think.
- Compost Use for Water Management and Erosion Control
- Compost Use in Turf Establishment and Maintenance
- Compost Use and Climate Change
Click each topic below to learn more
SET has all your compost solutions: