If you’ve just decided to start composting, you may not be completely sure what the best way to use your compost is. Different types of gardens have different nutrient requirements. Here’s a quick guide to using compost in the most effective way for your garden.
When is Compost Ready to Use?
It is important that you know when your compost is “ripe” or ready to use. A good general rule is that it will take at least three months from putting material into your composters to when you should add it to your garden, but depending on the type of composter you have and the materials that you are composting, the timeline will vary. Your compost is ready to use when it becomes dark brown or black in colour and has a crumbly texture and an earthy smell.
What Can You Use Compost for?
For the healthiest flowers possible, add a one-inch layer of compost to your flower beds in the spring and till it into the soil. In the fall, apply a layer of compost to flower beds to act as mulch and help protect fragile roots over the winter months.
For the best vegetable growing, add a two-to-three-inch layer of compost to the top of your vegetable beds in the fall and then work it into the soil in the spring. Add a little compost to each hole as you plant your vegetables as well.
In order to add nutrients to your soil and make it more suitable for growing any type of garden, you can amend it with compost. To do this, add a one-to-two-inch layer of compost to your soil and then work it into the top three to five inches of the soil.
Because plants in containers can only get nutrients from the small amount of soil that is in their planter, soil in containers gets depleted of nutrients more quickly than garden soil. To keep your container garden soil healthy and nourishing, add a one-inch layer of compost to the top at least twice a year.
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