Master gardeners believe compost is the black gold for their lawns and gardens. For one reason the compost is so rich in nutrients that it improves the fertility of your soil, making all of your plants healthier. Compost is a virtuous cycle for your soil. Food is grown, consumed, and then the scraps go into the compost bin. The finished compost is then used to nourish the soil once more.
When you are finished making compost, what do you do? The answer is really simple. Use compost just as you would all other sorts of fertilizer or potting soil its up to you whether you want to use compost while its fully decomposed, or even where there still are bits of straw, hay, twigs and such in the mix. You can always put it through your compost sifter if you want it broken up.
Four of the leading uses for compost are: 1. A moisture retaining mulch 2. A soil addative. 2. A compost tea. 4. A lawn dressing.
Mulch: If you are using the compost as a moisture retaining mulch do just as you would do with any mulch. Spread it around plants, trees, shrubs the usual entities in your garden or lawn. Just make sure there is at least 2-3 inches on whatever the surface, and you will be good to grow. Just like store bought mulches from organic materials, it breaks down over time. You will need to keep adding to it once or twice a year, and youll soon have the healthiest lawn you have ever had, as your compost will continually increase the fertility of the soil.
Soil Additive: If you use compost as a soil additive, just dig anywhere from 2 to 4 inches down and then place your compost in there, and mix it in with the rest of the soil at planting time. Your flowers, plants, in this area will thrive.
Compost Tea: Compost tea is the liquid matter released by the compost. Sometimes, compost produces the tea by itself, but you can also make your own compost tea by steeping a shovel full of compost in a 5 gallon bucket for a few days. When it is ready, simply pour it on your flowers or plants. If you want to keep the compost separate from the liquid, put the compost into a burlap sack when you place it in the bucket.
Lawn Top Dressing: Top dressing? This is just adding a layer of compost on top of your grass, where it will work its way into the soil as the grass grows. Apply anywhere from 1 to 3 inches of compost to the lawn and rake and water it in. At first it might look like you have a pile of dirt on your lawn, it will eventually settle into the soil and disappear, leaving you with richier, healthier soil that will also water better and promote a greener grass. Continuing to rake it in also makes it blend in faster. Early spring is a great time to add compost like this, or the end of the season. And another benefit: youll need less fertilizer, or possibly no fertilizer at all when you use compost as a top dressing.
Now that you are using compost around your yard in any or all of these ways, youll notice healthier plants, soil, and a greener lawn. You will also cut down on waste in the home. The nutrients that are provided in compost will have an amazing effect on the output of plants, vegetables, and overall appearance of your lawn and garden.
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