If you are a post pandemic plant grower as well, chances are the difference between the characteristics of Compost, Mulch and Fertilizer might be lost on you too. Let's dive into what makes them different and which one you should use when?
What is Mulch?
Mulch is only to be used on top of the plant soil. It should not be mixed in the soil like compost. Mulch is usually helpful in controlling weed growth while balancing soil temperature. It also conserves water. Boosting the plant health in the process.
Mulch is found in two types:
Organic: Wood-chips, grass, leaves and straws.
Inorganic: Stones, plastic, fabric, and rubber.
What is Compost?
Compost is useful in elevating the nutrients in soil. It can be used by mixing in soil, which helps improve the structure of soil as well. It can be store bought or home-made by using food wastage. Compost also promotes the existence of worms in the soil, which in return create pockets of air in the soil where water and air can reach easily. This is beneficial for root health.
Compost creates a hospitable environment for living organisms to provide nutrition to plants which results in a fertile plant ready to have flowers, fruits and vegetables and seeds.
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What is a Fertilizer?
Fertilizers are organic or chemical compounds used to nourish plants. Fertilizers consist of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. These are supposed to be vital minerals for plants to boost their productivity. Fertilizers provide plants with supplements that are often missing or in short supply. They help plants in growing faster and healthier. Unlike compost, fertilizers are advised to be used according to a plant's requirement.
Fertilizers too come in two varieties: Organic and chemical. Organic fertilizers help boost soil preservation. Chemical fertilizers should be used cautiously.
Should I use Fertilizer or Compost?
Compost and Fertilizer can be considered two sides of a coin as their roles are pretty similar except fertilizer provides nutrients to the plants and compost is used to nourish the plants. Consider it the difference between water and food.
Compost can be used in place of fertilizer but it releases nutrients slowly over time. So be careful if your plant seems to be in need of an immediate boost of health, as fertilizer can provide an instant dose of nutrients to the plants.
Yet, if you have been giving your plants compost regularly and they seem healthy, your plants probably don't need the fertilizer.
Conclusion: Mulch vs Compost vs Fertilizer
Let's be clear: Compost, Mulch and Fertilizer are all very different from one another.
Compost’s definition is “an aerobic method of decomposing organic solid wastes.” Fertilizers are a material that is added to plants to provide nutrients. Mulch is solely used to improve soil conditions.
All three of these come together to form a perfect environment for your crops to stay healthy and thrive in. Their shared purpose is to help agriculture and cater aspiring gardeners in achieving the perfect results.
To find garden supplies, seeds and customized grow kits, you can visit AllThatGrows store.
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