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4 Ways to Use Compost in Your Garden

Gardening with Compost

Compost is often referred to as black gold,  the stuff makes gardens thrive, and if you make your own compost, it’s a type of gold that does not cost anything. But before you start spreading it in your yard, you need to make sure that you follow a few basic rules because using compost too early, too much of it, or at the wrong time can also be harmful to plants. 

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As a Fertilizer

The nutrient content of compost, unlike commercial fertilizer, organic or other, is unpredictable. Spreading a thin layer of mature compost over your lawn as a top-dressing or in your vegetable garden is always a good idea, as long as it is not the only source of nutrients. 

Just like in garden soil, mixing mature compost into your usual potting mix for container improves its water-holding capacity. Keep in mind though, that in the confined space of a container, too much compost can lead to root burn from the excess phosphorus in the soil. You can either spread a layer of 2 to 3 inches thick on top of the potting mix, or combine up to 30 percent compost and 70 percent potting mix to fill the container.

For Potted Plants

For Soil Improvement

All types of soil benefits from amending the soil with organic matter, and compost is an excellent way to do that. Organic matter is key for soil productivity, it improves the soil texture, microorganism activity, and nutrient uptake. 

Compost is a good choice if you are mainly after enriching the soil and keeping moisture in the soil, and if you don’t mind applying compost repeatedly. If you also want the mulch to cut down on weeds, bark mulches and other woody materials work better, and they won’t have to be applied quite as often as they take a long time to decompose. Ideally, you’d use both, a bottom layer of mulch, followed by a top layer of bark mulch or wood chips. 

For Mulching

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