Exploring the Distinctions Between Compost, Mulch and Fertilizer

Understanding the roles and differences of various soil amendments is crucial for healthy plant growth and a thriving garden.

Three standard terms that often cause confusion among gardeners are compost, mulch, and fertilizer.

While they all play vital roles in nurturing your plants, they have distinct characteristics and functions.

What is  Compost

Compost is a dark, crumbly substance resulting from decomposed organic matter.

It is often called “black gold” in gardening circles due to its rich nutrient content and ability to improve soil structure.

Compost is made by combining a mix of kitchen scraps, yard waste, and other organic materials, which are then allowed to break down naturally over time.

What is Mulch?

Mulch is a protective layer of material spread over the soil surface around plants.

It is a natural cover, providing many benefits to plants and the surrounding environment.

Mulch can be made from various organic and inorganic materials, and its primary purpose is to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, moderate soil temperature, and enhance overall soil health.

What is Fertilizer?

A fertilizer is a substance or a mixture of substances that supplies essential nutrients to plants, promoting healthy growth and development.

These nutrients, such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), are vital for plants’ overall well-being, as they play critical roles in various biological processes.

Fertilizers come in different forms, including granular, liquid, and organic, each with advantages and specific applications.