Improve Soil with Compost
Is your soil cracking under the hot sun, or is it draining slowly or hard to dig, no matter if wet or dry? Adding organic material improves the ability to hold nutrients and water. For clay soil, compost addition improves drainage and aeration; it also helps it dry out and warm up faster in the spring and fall months.
Lawn King’s Secret
To add the correct amount of compost to your garden for growing vegetables, follow these tips to ensure your soil has enough nutrients and water to feed your plants.
- New Garden: In addition to lime and fertilizer, apply a generous 3-4 inch layer of compost. It’s critical to not over-fertilize, as you’d be undoing everything and potentially burning your plants. Make sure to incorporate these materials into the top 8-12 inches of soil with a tiller, shovel, or digging fork.
- Existing Garden: Usually, you would add lime and fertilizer as needed throughout the year; it’s good to also add about a quarter-inch to 1-inch deep layer of compost to the mix. Make sure to incorporate these materials into the top 8-12 inches of soil with a tiller, shovel, or digging fork.
- Framed Garden: If you are dealing with raised beds enclosed by retaining walls, refrain from filling the beds with compost. Instead, use a soil mix and spread 3-4 inches of compost over the area you wish to plant in. Do your best to mix the compost into the soil.
Using Compost to Improve your Lawn
If you want to improve your lawn’s growth and thickness, follow these few guidelines to ensure you obtain the lushest grassplot.
- New Lawn: Before you seed your lawn, add a 1-2 inch layer of compost to the area. Rake or till the compost into the soil. After seeding, apply another layer, but this time, one-quarter to one-half inch deep to cover the seeds. Do the same when you’re preparing to install your sod.
- Existing Lawn: The challenge here is to add compost but not suffocate your grass. In order to do so, only apply about a quarter inch layer of compost over the grass. The trick now is to work it into the soil’s surface and around your grass. Do so by using an aerator or a rake (gently, of course.)