Adding a garden to your home gives you the chance to plant vegetables and herbs you can enjoy later and gorgeous flowers that add a touch of color to your home.
Though you can use potting soil and other supplies that you buy at the store, compost is one of the best ways to ensure that your garden looks beautiful and that you get the crop you want.
Keep reading to learn more about compost as well as how and when to use it!
What is Compost?
If you're new to outdoor or indoor gardening, you may not know about compost. Compost is essentially organic materials that you add to your garden. The combination of ingredients will help flowers and other types of plants thrive.
A good mixture will include both brown and green materials along with some water. Brown materials can include twigs and small branches. Green materials can include coffee grounds and food waste that you usually throw away.
How to Compost at Home
It's easy to compost at home because you just need the right materials and a way to store them. Any airtight container will work, but you'll find some containers that you can use on your counters or in your cabinets.
If you live in a warm area, you might store some in the freezer. There are also containers that you can use outside to store your compost. You can compost everything from eggshells and tea bags to old fruits and vegetables and yard waste.
When Should I Add Compost to My Vegetable Garden?
The best time to add compost to a vegetable garden depends on where you live.
- If you live in a cool climate, you'll want to add compost in the late fall. Cooler climates have a short growing season that only runs from spring to the early fall. You can simply apply a layer to the ground and walk away. Your garden will absorb all of the nutrients from the compost by the time you come back next spring.
- If you live in a warm climate, you'll want to apply compost at least twice a year. When to add compost includes once during the cooler season when the temperature drops and once during the warmer season when the temperature rises. You'll usually want to apply compost in February or March, which marks the beginning of the warm season, and again in November or December at the start of the cool season.
How to Put Compost in Garden
Even if you don't have much experience, it's easy to put compost in your garden. It's helpful to test your soil and find out if it has a lot of organic materials. If your soil has less of those materials, you should use a minimum of four inches of compost up to six inches.
Sprinkle the compost on top of the ground, making sure that you cover any exposed plants. You do not need as much compost if your soil has a high concentration of organic materials.
Though as little as an inch can help, you can use up to three inches of compost.
How Often Should I Add Compost to my Plants?
One of the nice things about compost is that you can use it over an entire garden or on a single plant stored in a container.
Compost has a rich and nutty smell and crumbles in your hands. It's easy to grab a handful and sprinkle it over the base of your plant, but you can also wear gloves to keep your hands clean.
You only need to add compost once a year if you live in a cooler climate and twice a year if you live in a warmer climate.
Compost Tips and Tricks
Landscaping companies can help you decide if your garden needs compost and also help you find the right type of compost to use. If you prefer doing the work yourself, there are some simple tips and tricks that will help you compost at home:
- Use a nice mixture of both carbon and nitrogen materials. Carbon materials include cardboard and dryer lint. Nitrogen comes from old flowers and garden weeds.
- Avoid using old fish bones and meat in your compost mixture. These materials can attract pests when used outside.
- Never use banana peels or the rinds from oranges as these fruits may contain pesticides that damage your plants.
- Use a shovel to mix your compost at least once a week. If you want to skip this step, look for compost containers that have a built-in turning mechanism.
Keep your garden healthy and thriving with compost that you make or buy. Using compost even once a year has some big benefits to your plants.
Need some help tending to your garden and yard? Contact a local landscaping company and request a free quote!