Compost adds valuable organic matter to soil, improving its structure and making it easier to work with and be more productive. It can be added to sandy soil to increase moisture-holding capacity and to heavy clay soils to improve aeration and drainage. In addition, compost introduces beneficial microorganisms to soil and makes slow release nutrients available to plants.
Recommendations For Use
Although your plants will love our compost, best results are achieved when it's amended into good quality soil with a relatively neutral pH or a pH appropriate for specific plants. Although we don't recommend planting directly into compost, we know some gardeners do. If this is your preference, we recommend trying a small pilot plot and observing the results before embarking on a major garden project.
Application rates will vary according to soil type, condition and the plants you will be growing. Generally, sandy soils with little organic matter, or heavy clay soils that don't drain well, benefit from a heavier application of compost. Typically, two to three inches of compost amended into the top six to twelve inches of soil will be appropriate in sandy or heavy clay soils. One inch of compost in a good quality loam soil will usually be adequate.
In order to improve soil structure, many authorities recommend allowing your soil and compost to lie undisturbed together for a week or two before planting. Even better, add compost the season before planting will occur.
Make sure that your plants' other needs are taken care of. These include adequate moisture, appropriate exposure to the sun, adequate nutrients and protection from frost and insect damage. And remember, planting too early or late in the season can make a profound difference to many plants.
Mulches are used to add beauty to landscapes, suppress weeds, conserve moisture and control erosion. In addition, they help moderate soil temperatures and attract earthworms. As they slowly break down, mulches provide additional organic matter and a modest input of nutrients to the soil.
Generally, a layer of mulch 2 to 4 inches deep is sufficient if refreshed annually. Mulch can be applied with a garden fork and evened out with a rake. Be careful to keep mulches several inches away from the trunks of trees or the stems of smaller plants and shrubs. After application, gently water in mulches. This will "set" the mulch and keep it in place in windy conditions or on steep slopes.
How Much Compost, Mulch or Top Soil?
Enter the dimensions for the area to be covered and click the "How Much?" button. If the area is relatively small, you may get a "0" (zero) result indicating less than 1 yard of material may only be needed.