If you're an inexperienced gardener, you may be confused by the difference between composting and mulching — both processes use waste organic matter. The difference is in the use. Composted materials are dug back into the soil to enrich it and to enable the plants to use the nutrients that have been released by the decaying process. A mulch is a layer of material spread over the ground or around plants to provide protection from heat or cold, to retain soil moisture, or to maintain a certain soil temperature. Compost stays in the soil and eventually becomes part of it; a mulch is removed when the protection it provides is no longer needed.
Was this article helpful?