Composting helps keep millions of pounds of organic wastes out of landfills, transforming raw organic materials into a product that benefits the yard and garden. By adding compost to the soil in your beds and gardens adds organic matter which improves the soil structure – a benefit which is so valuable it’s hard to put a price on. Here are seven ways composting can clearly save some dollars and cents on your home and garden expenses.
Reduce purchases of trash bags and other containers
Composting your leaves and other yard wastes keeps you from putting them into bags for pickup or disposal. That saves you the money of buying those bags. It also keeps the bags out of the solid waste stream, especially bags made from plastics that decompose less easily. Composting fruit and vegetable trimmings and other kitchen wastes also keeps those out of the trash which helps you use fewer trash bags – and usually makes the garbage heavier.
Save on disposal fees
Some homeowners are charged extra to dispose of extra wastes. Although many landfills and recycling centers accept yard wastes without charging a dumping fee, home composting can save you a trip – or avoid paying someone to pick up and haul off compostable wastes.
Spend less on mulch
Mulch is one of the most common items used to maintain yards and gardens. Mulching around plantings with finished compost is one of the best ways composting can save you money. Mulching is one of the best ways to use brown compost, which contains a larger proportion of high-carbon organic material (like shredded leaves). And using mulch made by composting in your backyard also saves you from making a trip to buy the mulch.
Save on soil amendments
Not to sound trite, but making your own compost saves you money on compost. Soils benefit from regular additions of organic matter. While compost is reasonably priced and easily available from garden centers, making your own compost can mean a little more money available to buy some new plants or other additions to the home landscape.
Save on surprises
Making your own compost means you know everything that has gone into the compost. Unwanted pests, diseases and even pesticide residues can be transferred in compost and other soil amendments. By making your own compost, you know exactly what went into the compost, which could save the expense of replacing plants or getting rid of unwanted insects and diseases. Another benefit is that any weed seeds that aren’t killed during your home composting process will be weeds already present in your yard – not new, unwelcome invaders.
Less potential fertilizer expense
Compost can be used to make compost tea, which can be used as a liquid fertilizer for some plants. Incorporating compost into the soil has little direct effect as a fertilizer, but it does help create soil conditions that promote plant root growth and nutrient uptake. That means plants can get more out of the soil, resulting in less additional fertilizer needed.
Make your own potting soil using finished compost
Finished compost can be used to mix up your own potting soil. Combine equal parts pasteurized compost, peat moss, and sand (or perlite) to make potting soil which can be suited for starting seeds and other potting needs.