What kinds of nutrients are there in compost soil that aren’t there in regular soil?



  1. 0 Votes

    Compost will contain the big 3 – nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and you would want your soil to provide these as well, but frequently soil has had nutrient loss, or it they have leached out of the soil so we use compost to replenish it.  You could just use a commerical fertilzer, but there are additional micronutrients and trace minerals that are not found in these, but are in compost: 
    sulfur, carbon, magnesium, calcium, boron, copper, iron, iodine, zinc and maganese. 

    There are differences in compost as well, for example – the remains from the huge sardine kill in Redondo Beach CA, this past week, went to an “organic” compost facility.  So you don’t always know what is in a commercial compost.  Home made compost will contain the most nutrients and best ingredients to grow whatever it is you are growing.

    Although you can just use topsoil which will fill space, accept amendments, it can be slower and you may not have all the nutrients your specific plants need so your plants may be unhealthy as well. 

  2. 0 Votes

    As long as there is organic matter being recycled through your soil, it probably has the same nutrients (albeit in a less concentrated form) that exist in your compost.

    Still, as valkyrie pointed out, soil loses nutrients over time, especially if no organic matter recycles through it (the reason behind the practice of leaving plants to die in fields after harvest, or letting the fields lie fallow). Further, some nutrients – like potassium – are often hard to get to because they settle below the root systems of most plants. In this case, a potassium-heavy compost or natural fertilizer can be a boost to crops.

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