Example of ready to use compost. Photo credit: wisemandarine Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
Many different types of compost can be used in the landscape to improve soil. According to the US Composting Council most compost is used for trees and shrubs, perennial beds, vegetable gardens, and lawns.
Composting is a naturally occurring process of decomposition found in nature. Home composting speeds up this process.
Compost can be made from almost any organic material. These materials will eventually break down into a stable product that provides nutrients, increases soil moisture holding capacity, regulates soil temperature, and improves organic matter in soils.
Different types of compost can be created by the homeowner, purchased in bags, or delivered in large quantities. Purchased compost, however, may contain unwanted compounds such as pathogens, pesticide residues or heavy metals.
There are no federal guidelines regulating compost, however, states do regulate compost facilities in order to protect public health.