|  Share | Cite


compost, substance composed mainly of partly decayed organic material that is applied to fertilize the soil and to increase its humus content; it is often used in vegetable farming, home gardens, flower beds, lawns, and greenhouses. Compost usually is made from plant materials (e.g., grass clippings, vegetable tops, garden weeds, hay, tree leaves, sawdust, and peat) together with manure and some soil; lime, superphosphates, and nitrogen fertilizers are often added with manure to reinforce the compost and hasten its decomposition.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on compost from Infoplease:

  • compost: meaning and definitions - compost: Definition and Pronunciation
  • Walt Whitman: This Compost - Something startles me where I thought I was safest, I withdraw from the still woods I loved, I will not go now on the pastures to walk, I will not str
  • User's Guide to Environmental Language - User's Guide to Environmental Language acid rain: Rain contaminated with pollutants such as ...
  • Glossary of Chemical Terms - C - calorie · calorimeter · carbocyclic · carbohydrate · carcinogen · catalysis · catalyst · cathode · cation · caustic · chelated · chiral · chlorofluorocarbons · chlorophyll · chromatography · colloid · combustion · composting · condensation · couples · covalent bond · covalent radius · critical pressure · critical temperature
  • leaf mold: meaning and definitions - leaf mold: Definition and Pronunciation

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Agriculture: General