When Do You Put Compost In Your Garden? Here's Our Answer

Written By James
Updated May 16, 2021 by James

When Do You Put Compost In Your Garden? Here's Our Answer

Compost is a key ingredient in any healthy garden. In fact, it is the secret ingredient to a thriving garden.

It helps the soil retain moisture, it unlocks nutrients in the soil that help plants grow, and it adds organic matter to the soil, which improves overall soil structure.

When you want to add compost to your garden, you should use it as top dressing or mix it into the top six inches of soil.

However, adding compost to your garden is not a one-size-fits-all process. You need to add compost at the right time and in the correct amounts to your garden.

The best time to spread compost around your plants is just as soon as you finish harvesting the last of the season's veggies from your garden beds.

The ideal time to spread compost is right before your plants will be going into their winter hibernation phase.

This ensures that the compost has time to break down and become humus, which will help to keep your plants' roots healthy during the winter.

What is compost?

Composting is the process of converting natural organic materials into soil-like material to enrich the soil for growing plants. Composting is a natural process that occurs all around us everyday.

Leaves and other plant matter fall to the ground and decay over time. Bacteria and fungi are the primary workers of this process.

They break down the organic matter, returning nutrients to the soil.

Composting is not only an easy and cost-effective way to fertilize your garden, it also helps divert food waste from landfills.

Composting is simply the decomposition of organic matter by microorganisms and other processes.

To make compost, all you need to do is find a large enough container, toss in the food scraps that you would usually throw in the garbage, and in time usually 4-6 weeks you’ll have the soil for your garden.

Types of composting pile

  • Green waste composting 

Green waste composting is a waste management technique that converts organic waste into compost by allowing anaerobic digestion to occur.

It is the same process as composting, except that a facility provides the initial processing of the waste by aerating it and allowing the waste to decompose to a greater depth.

The waste is then turned into compost.

  • Brown waste composting

Composting brown waste is a method of recycling material such as fallen leaves, woodchips and sawdust.

All of these materials can be composted, although they do require very different methods.

  • Worm composting

Worm composting is a great way to recycle your kitchen scraps, garden waste and even paper into something great for your garden.

Worms are great little recyclers and are a perfect addition to your garden. 

Instead of using traditional soil. Put simply, you set up a bin with a mixture of castings, worms, and food scraps, and the worms eat your food scraps and poop out castings.

You dump out the castings onto your plants and water, and the plants grow. 

Benefits of compost

Compost is a great way to improve your garden. Composting is an excellent way to reduce waste and improve soil composition for your garden.

The resulting compost can be added to any soil as a fertilizer to improve its structure and water retention.

Knowing how to make your own compost can save you money on expensive gardening products, and re-using natural waste reduces your carbon footprint.

Composting can also help you deal with waste and unwanted items you can't recycle properly. 

Other benefits:

  •  Helps soil retain moisture
  • Helps fertilize plants and trees
  • Helps reduce the amount of trash sent to landfills
  • Reduce water consumption
  •  Save electricity
  • Helps prevent plant diseases
  • Can be used as a fertilizer

Can Composting helps deter pest and disease?

Composting can be a valuable component to organic gardening. It can help get rid of disease and pests.

Composting provides a natural way to fight off disease and pests by stressing them out and giving your garden healthy bacteria.  

Compost is an excellent soil conditioner and an important source of food and shelter for garden pests and disease acting as a natural form of pest control.

Composting adds nutrients and beneficial bacteria to the soil.  Having a soil with many microorganisms helps keep disease and pests at bay.  

Composting can also reduce the amount of chemicals you add to your garden.  

The addition of compost stimulates the earthworms to come up to the surface and aerate the soil, which allows for better drainage in the soil. 

Is compost good for all plants?

Compost is an organic fertilizer that can be used to improve the quality of your soil while also reducing your use of chemical fertilizers.

Compost can also help your plants become healthier, more resistant to disease, and more effective at absorbing nutrients.

However, compost is not as beneficial for all plants. Some plants perform better in soil with few or no compost additions.

And some plants require compost that is made from specific ingredients.

Compost can benefit any plant, but you need to aware of its content, the pH levels caused by this content, and the needs of your specific plants.

As long as you are aware of the contents of your compost, it will always be a great way to improve the quality of your soil and increase the health of your plants. 

Please be aware that too much compost can hurt your plants, especially manure base compost. 

Too much compost can add high levels of phosphorus back into the plants.

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James

My father, and his father before him, and his father; for the past 3 generations, my family have always been into gardening. The green fingers is a gift passed down to me and I thoroughly enjoy it! I also have worked in the manufacturing department for Bosch and DeWalt so I like to think I know a thing or two about tools and such!
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