Difference Between Compost And Mulch

mulchNow compost as well as mulch are terms that are familiar to people who know anything about gardens and gardening, however they are sometimes (erroneously) used interchangeably whereas in fact there are several points of difference between the two:

  • The main difference is that compost is mixed with the soil and goes into the earth; while mulch is spread on top of the soil
  • Compost enriches the soil and adds nutrients that aid plant growth and increase or improve yield. It is organic in nature. [how to make compost]
  • Mulch could be organic or inorganic and its main function is to improve water retention of the soil and to check growth of weeds.
  • Mulch is also used to act as a barrier which protects the plant from the winter cold, offering a layer of insulation.
  • Compost is made from household waste and animal waste and garden waste, whereas mulch may be made from inorganic matter such as stone chips, black plastic and geotextiles as well as other organic matter.
  • Summer mulch is for checking evaporation and weed  growth whereas winter mulch is for the insulation of the plant

So the points of difference in mulch and compost are in the way that they are used as well as the manner in which they are produced.