Feeling a bit overwhelmed by what you can do with finished compost that you worked so hard to make? Let our experts share with you some hints to exploit this valuable black gold. Now, let’s get started!
Grow Squash, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Tomatoes, And Melons
These plants share one thing in common – they are all heavy feeders that require an insane amount of nitrogen to grow, thrive, and fruit.
You can plant them directly on your finished compost or add some to the planting holes during transplanting and then, growing season a couple of times.
Spread finished compost on your lawn
Might you know it or not, finished compost helps implement the soil’s organic matter while decreasing a turf’s demand for water and nutrients.
If you have an established lawn, add a <1” layer of finished compost on there once per year.
For those who intend to grow a new turf, prepare the soil by tilling 5”-8” deep to it and sprinkling around 4”-6” of finished compost there. Wait for around 2 or 3 months before growing grasses. The results will surprise you!
Add To Raised Garden Beds
The max amount of compost recommended adding to a raised bed is 25%.
If you intend to amend the soil, add 1”-2” of compost, and if you want to just top up the surface, add ¼”-1/2”.
Before the rainy seasons come, sprinkle finished compost along with the topsoil so when it rains, nutrients will be washed down to the plant root level. Here is where the earthworms come into place by pulling the organic matter into the soil.
It’s best to add compost twice per year to your raised beds.
Add To Fruit Trees
Adding finished compost to a fruit tree garden helps prevent diseases efficiently, retain the water, adjust nutrients, and improve the soil quality.
Nutrients in compost will gradually release into the soil so you might only need to fertilize it once per year. Add compost to the planting site before digging a hole and avoid adding it directly to the planting hole.
The best time to fertilize is during spring and summer if your crop is harvested in the fall.
Make Compost Tea
What is compost tea?
This is a liquid organic fertilizer, made by soaking a sack of finished compost in a water bucket until it releases a light tea color fluid. Using this fluid on your plants will speed up their nutrient absorption to grow faster.
Besides, it adds to the soil many beneficial microorganisms for long-lasting improvements.
Compost tea can be sprayed on plant leaves, poured in the soil, or watered any veggies, flowers, and houseplants.
Take note that compost tea can’t be stored for a long time so if you decide to make it, consider the quantity.
Feed Spring Bulbs
Before starting new spring crops, add some finished compost to their planting holes to boost them to come out of their winter dormancy.
Feed Autumn Perennials
To extend the bloom time of your autumn perennials, as well as provide them with enough nutrients, feed 3 or 4 cups of finished compost to their planting hole.
Use As Mulch
This way helps prevent weeds, retain warmth and moisture in the soil while adding nutrients to it.
Compared to other types of mulching materials, using finished compost gives you a big plus – as it has already been decomposed, it won’t remove nitrogen from the soil.
There are two notes when using finished compost as a mulch are 1) to keep it away from your plant trunks or stems around ½” to 1”, and 2) to add 3”-4” of mulch around trees for the best results.
Mix It With The Soil
Mixing finished compost into your soil helps provide nutrients to your plants, increase the soil’s water retention, and underground ventilation.
With Potting Soil
Mix soil, sand, and finished compost in equal parts. Remember to screen the compost through a ½” mesh to smoothen its texture.
Next, you can either add a thin layer on top of your houseplants or repot them.
With Earth Soil
Test the soil for pH levels and nutrients before deciding the amount of finished compost to add to it.
The poorer the soil, the more compost required.
You can either add some compost to the planting hole or seed furrow before starting a new crop or add a 6” layer (as a maximum) of compost to the soil every year.
Store Your Finished Compost
If you don’t plan to use this pile of finished compost, store it either in your compost bin, in plastic bags, or on the ground, based on the scale of your compost, how much free space in your yard, and your preference.
For those who choose to keep it in plastic bags, check your compost’s moisture level regularly and stir it up using a fork.
Same as when you store it in a compost bin. If the compost pile gets drier, spray some water and give it a good mix.
If you have some free space in your yard, store your finished compost there and cover it with a tarp or plastic sheeting. The biggest benefit of this option is that some worms might live here and leave their rich castings behind.
In a nutshell, there are lots of things that you can do with finished compost, based on your garden’s current needs and your plan. We hope that this post comes in handy for you to take care of your plants. Thanks for reading!