When To Add Compost To Your Garden

Any gardener knows that compost is essential for healthy plants. It provides nutrients that help plants to grow, and it also helps to regulate moisture levels and prevent weed growth.

In addition, compost can also help to improve the structure of the soil, making it more resistant to erosion. It also contributes to healthy soil and can really improve your yield.

The addition of beneficial microorganisms to any type of soil will help your garden plants grow stronger.

One way to add compost to your vegetable garden is to create a compost pile.

This can be done by layering organic materials such as leaves, grass clippings, and kitchen scraps. The pile should be aerated regularly to keep it from becoming too wet or too dry.

Once the compost is ready, it can be added to the soil around your plants.

I made my first compost in a tumbling composter. It only produced a small amount the first year and I applied it to my corn plants.

The area that had been modified with compost was several inches taller than the other corn plants!

With a little effort, you can provide your plants with the nourishment they need to thrive.

While adding cow manure to a garden can also be very helpful in raising nitrogen levels, cow manure often contains weed seeds. Too much manure can also cause elevated levels of ammonia (especially with fresh manure), and cause plants to burn.

I prefer compost and green manures as ways of building the health of my garden soil.

wheelbarrow of compost

Why is Compost So Good For Your Garden

Compost is an excellent addition to any garden bed. It helps to improve drainage and aeration while also adding vital nutrients to the soil.

In addition, compost helps to break up hard clay soils and makes it easier for plant roots to penetrate the ground. As a result, plants are able to grow more easily and produce healthier fruits and vegetables.

Compost also helps to reduce the amount of water needed for irrigation, making it an ideal soil amendment for drought-prone areas. In short, compost is an essential tool for any gardener looking to create a healthy and productive garden.

How Is Compost Made?

Compost is a type of organic matter that is broken down into a rich, crumbly soil amendment. It is made by combining different types of organic material, including leaves, grass clippings, and fruit and vegetable scraps.

Pine needles can also be composted.

The composting process accelerates the natural decomposition of these materials, resulting in a nutrient-rich end product. Compost can be used to improve the quality of any type of soil, and it is an excellent way to recycle yard and kitchen waste.

There are many different methods for making compost, but all involve combining organic material with air and water. One popular method is to build a compost pile in an open area of the yard.

The pile should be at least 3 feet wide and 3 feet tall and should be turned regularly to aerate the material and promote decomposition.

Another method is to use a commercial compost bin, which can be purchased at most garden centers.

These bins typically have aeration holes and handles for turning, making them easy to use. Whichever method you choose, composting is a great way to turn waste into a valuable resource for your garden.

There are also two main types of composting; Hot heap composting and cold heap composting. Hot composting produces compost in a relatively short amount of time, while cold composting can take several months.

compost in a pile

How Should Compost Look

Ready compost looks like rich, dark soil.

It has a pleasant smell that smells rich and earthy. Compost is simply decomposed organic matter, such as leaves, grass clippings, and food scraps. The key to successful composting is achieving the right balance of carbon and nitrogen.

Carbon-rich materials, such as dead leaves and twigs, provide the energy bacteria need to break down the organic matter.

Nitrogen-rich materials, such as fresh grass clippings and kitchen waste, provide the bacteria with the nitrogen they need to grow. The ideal ratio of carbon to nitrogen is 30:1.

Too much carbon will result in a slow-moving compost pile, while too much nitrogen will produce an unpleasant odor.

The best way to achieve the perfect balance is to layer your compost pile with alternating layers of carbon-rich and nitrogen-rich materials.

The compost should be moist but not wet, and it should be turned every few weeks to aerate the material and encourage bacterial growth.

With a little care, you can have rich, homemade compost that will help your garden thrive.

3 Times Compost Can Be Added To Your Garden

Before planting, in the early spring

Many gardeners choose to add compost to their gardens in the springtime, before planting. Adding compost to your garden can help to improve drainage and aeration, as well as increase moisture retention.

It can also provide a slow-release source of nutrients for your plants. If you are planning to add compost to your garden, one of the best times is before planting.

This will give the compost time to break down and mix with the soil, improving its quality and giving your plants a head start on the growing season.

In Fall, after harvesting

After a long season of harvesting, your garden may be in need of some extra nutrients. One way to add nutrients to the soil is by adding compost.

Compost is made up of decomposed organic matter, such as leaves, grass clippings, and food scraps. It can be added to the soil in the fall, after harvesting, to help improve drainage and aeration.

It also helps to break down toxins in the soil, improve soil structure and add important microorganisms that help plants to grow.

As a result, adding compost to your garden in the fall can help to improve the health of your plants and prepare them for the next growing season.

During the growing season, as a soil amendment or fertilizer

Soil is essential for growing healthy plants. Not only does it provide nutrients and support for roots, but it also helps to regulate moisture levels and prevent weed growth.

However, soil can quickly become depleted of nutrients, making it difficult for plants to thrive. Adding a side dressing of compost to your garden during any part of the garden season is a great way to replenish the soil and promote healthy plant growth.

During the growing season, adding a layer of compost to the soil surface can help to add nutrients and improve drainage.

Another option is to make a compost tea and feed it to your plants through foliar feedings. As a result, your plants will be better able to withstand stressors like heat and drought.

Adding compost to your garden can also help to suppress weeds. As a result, adding compost to your garden can help you achieve a healthier, more productive garden.

compost around base of plant


Spring is the perfect time to start fresh in the garden. The soil is warm and loose, making it easy to work with. However, adding compost to your garden can give your plants a boost at any time of year. The best time to give add compost to your garden is whatever time works best for you!

Compost is rich in nutrients and is beneficial any time of year. For ease, I would recommend adding several inches of compost in the springtime, or in late fall.

For a new garden bed, add a thin layer of compost in the fall. This will give the compost time to break down even further, and give you a heads-up in spring.

For best results, add a layer of compost that is about two inches deep. You can spread it over the entire garden or mix it into each planting hole.

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