How To Choose Between Compost And Fertilizer

Since there are advantages and drawbacks to using both of these products it is often confusing to know which to use especially for beginners. While you can buy bags of ready made compost it is usually something that you create in your garden, whereas fertilizer is a product that you purchase from the garden center. This article by Danielle McLeod which I found on the Backyard Boss website explains the pros and cons of each of these products.

If you are new to gardening, you know you have heard the words compost and fertilizer used in relation to your vegetation, but you might not know exactly how to use either of them, or what, exactly, they are truly for.
I know I?ve had my moments concerning the use of fertilizers on both my lawn, and in garden beds- such as when to use them, how to use them, and why exactly am I using them in the first place? And I?ve been equally confused as how to add compost to my garden beds when I don?t even have a compost pile (soon to be remedied).
Today I?m going to define the differences between these two, and explain how to best use them in your garden.

Compost: Why Bother?

Compost is a medley of organic matter, such as grass clippings, vegetable waste, raked leaves, coffee grounds, egg shells, etc?that has been mixed together and allowed to naturally decompose over time through microbial and bacterial (good) processes. When added into your soils prior to planting, or amended into your top layers, it provides a wealth of benefits for your vegetation to take advantage of.
In short, compost feeds the soils, and enriches them to provide the best atmosphere possible for your garden plants to thrive.


The perks of adding compost to your soils is a long and varied list, but the most important thing to remember is that plants uptake nutrients from the soils their roots come in direct contact with. Therefore it makes sense to pay attention to your soils as they are a very important part of the vegetative equation.

By amending, or improving upon, your soils through the addition of compost, you are providing a better atmosphere for your plants through an increase of oxygenated air and moisture retention. Soils will adhere to compost particles to form an overall better root environment, and in turn allow roots to grow deep and more easily uptake the many nutrients that will be present through the decomposition process.
Furthermore, soil bacteria create antibodies, some of which are utilized within your garden beds to combat many soil borne diseases to keep your plants healthy and producing.
See more at Backyard Boss