Most gardeners are aware that compost is widely used to boost plant growth and development. Basically, gardeners mix them with their plant’s soil, which then allows the compost to do its work such as providing nutrients, retaining soil moisture, fend off pests, and many more!
If you are considering to use compost, then I highly suggest you finish the whole article because aside from learning the 5 effective ways to use compost, you will get to know more of what compost is and what it is capable of.
However, composting is not merely sprinkling the compost on the topsoil. Composting involves several processes in order for it to be effective. I made my mistakes back then, which is why I want to guide you to a great start so that you won’t go through the hassles I went through.
After many months of experiments and failures, I am happy to share with you the 5 effective ways to use compost that I know for sure will help you give your plants the best health!
5 Effective Ways To Use Compost
For starters, you have the option to either buy compost or make compost. Before you apply one or more of the ways below, make sure that the compost you purchased is high-quality, which you can easily get from trusted garden centers.
On the other hand, if you are planning on using your own compost, see to it first if your compost is ready to be applied or not. I personally make my own compost with the use of a compost bin, where I just dump in my food scraps, dead leaves. grass clippings, and other waste into the bin for it to decompose.
1) Plan Ahead
Use compost the same way you use mulch and fertilizers. You must be consistent when it is the right time to add compost to your soil. Another important factor you should consider is maintaining the good condition of your plants and soil. This is because the healthier it is, the faster the process of composting.
2) Wait For The Compost To Be Ready
Whether if your compost is bought or made, it will take some time for your compost to be ready. This means that you will let time do its job while you wait and observe your compost.
One of the common giveaways to know if your compost is ready or not is that you will notice your compost starts to shrink, and its appearance is totally different. In terms of its temperature, it will no longer be hot since the temperature only rises during its process of decomposing.
You can expect to see your compost to be dark and somewhat soil-looking with an earthy aroma. It is vital that you wait for your compost to turn into this because unprepared compost will cause its microbes to compete with the plants which will only stress them.
3) Separate Big Particles
After your compost is ready to use, you must separate large particles first. I once included large particles in my garden-raised bed and it prevented my soil from maximizing its benefits since it was yet to fully decompose.
Another important element to remember is that compost is a soil amendment, not a soil replacement. Using compost entirely as soil will cause a lot of soil problems. Its drainage alone holds too much water which will easily ruin its structure in just a matter of days.
4) Store Reserved Compost
As mentioned, you must be consistent in composting in order for your plants and soil to be healthy. This means that you can easily run out of compost if you do not keep track of it. This is why you should have reserved compost ready just in case you run out.
5) Mix Compost With Your Potting Mix
Compost absolutely goes well with potting mix, it does not matter if it is purchased or self-made as long as it is high quality. However, since compost can hold too much water, I highly recommend adding perlite or vermiculite to balance the water retention in your potting mix.
Final Thoughts On The 5 Effective Ways to Use Compost
Composting is not necessary for all plants but for the majority, it is a very beneficial soil amendment that helps improve the soil’s structure, water retention, and aeration. When it comes to its effects on plants, it promotes good health by providing your plants rich nutrients, a favorable environment, and many more!
I highly recommend following these 5 effective ways to use compost rather than just sprinkling compost into your soil. Moreover, organic soil will do well with compost.
Maybe you have other ways to recommend on how to effectively use compost? Let me know in the comment section below! Also, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask!