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6 Ways to Use Compost in Your Garden

6 Ways to Use Compost in Your Garden

Table of Contents

Compost is a garden superhero! Not only is it a great way to recycle food scraps and other organic matter from your home, but it also provides your plants with valuable nutrients and helps your soil retain moisture. There are a multitude of ways to use compost in your garden, and in this section, we will explore 6 of them. Read on to discover how utilizing compost can bring new life to your garden!

Key Takeaways

  • Compost is a valuable resource for gardeners, providing nutrients and moisture retention to plants.
  • Mulching with compost can suppress weeds, retain moisture, and enrich soil.
  • Compost tea is a nutrient-rich liquid fertilizer that can improve plant health.
  • Compost can be used as an amendment for potting mix and garden soil.
  • Using compost for seed starting and in raised beds can improve plant growth and soil fertility.
  • Adding compost to your compost pile can speed up decomposition and create high-quality compost for your garden.

Mulching with Compost

Mulching with Compost

If you want to keep your garden healthy and flourishing, mulching with compost is an excellent choice. Not only does it suppress the growth of weeds, but it also retains moisture, controls temperature, and enriches the soil with nutrients. By protecting the soil from the hot sun, compost mulch regulates the temperature and eliminates the need for frequent watering, saving you time and money.

To apply compost as mulch, first prepare the area by removing any weeds or debris and rake the soil to create a smooth surface. Then, apply a 2-3 inch layer of compost mulch around your plants, making sure to keep it at least 1 inch away from the stems, as wet mulch against the stem can cause rot. Finally, water thoroughly to help the compost settle into the soil.

It’s essential to choose fully composted material for your mulch, as uncomposted compost may contain weed seeds or pathogens that can harm your plants. You can identify fully composted compost by its even texture, dark coloring, and a sweet earthy smell. Remember, healthy soil leads to healthy plants!

Compost Tea Fertilizer

compost tea fertilizer

If you’re looking for a nutrient-rich liquid fertilizer to give your plants a boost, compost tea is the answer. Compost tea is made by steeping compost in water, which extracts the beneficial microorganisms and nutrients from the compost.

To make compost tea, start with a bucket or container that can hold at least five gallons of water. Fill the container with water, and then add a bag of compost. Let the compost steep in the water for at least 24 hours, stirring occasionally to aerate the mixture.

After 24 hours, strain the compost out of the mixture using a piece of cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve. The resulting liquid is your compost tea, which you can dilute with water to feed your plants.

Plant Type Compost Tea Mix Ratio
Flowers and Vegetables 1 part compost tea to 5 parts water
Trees and Shrubs 1 part compost tea to 10 parts water
Seedlings 1 part compost tea to 20 parts water

When applying compost tea, be sure to water your plants thoroughly with the diluted mixture. You can use compost tea as a soil drench or foliar spray to improve plant health and ward off pests.

Tip: For an extra boost of nutrients, add a tablespoon of molasses to your compost tea mixture before steeping.

Compost as Potting Mix Amendment

potting mix with compost

If you’re a gardener, you’re probably familiar with using potting mix to help your plants thrive. However, did you know that adding compost to your potting mix can take your plant care game to the next level? Here’s how:

Benefits How to Incorporate Compost
Improves water-holding capacity Add up to 1/3 compost to your potting mix recipe and mix thoroughly.
Increases nutrient content Use compost as a top dressing or mix it into your potting mix recipe before planting.
Enhances overall structure Use compost to replace part of the perlite or vermiculite in your potting mix recipe.

Add compost to your potting mix to provide your plants with essential nutrients and improve soil health. Plus, as your plants grow and their root systems expand, they’ll have access to rich organic matter provided by the compost. Compost is a great way to keep your potting mix sustainable, too!

Looking for inspiration? Try using a 50/50 mix of compost and peat moss for houseplants, or a 60/40 mix of compost and topsoil for container gardening outside.

Tip: Make sure your compost is fully matured before using it in your potting mix to avoid introducing weed seeds or pathogens, which can harm your plants.

Compost for Amending Garden Soil

garden soil amendment

If you want to improve the quality of your garden soil, compost is your answer. Not only does it help enhance soil structure, but it also provides the necessary nutrients that your plants need to thrive. Compost acts as an amendment that can transform even the poorest soil into fertile ground for healthy plant growth.

The organic matter in compost helps to improve soil texture, making it crumbly and easier to work with. It also helps to increase soil aeration, allowing roots to grow more easily and absorb nutrients more efficiently. Compost can also help garden soil retain water and reduce the risk of erosion.

But the benefits of using compost as a soil amendment don’t stop there. The nutrients in compost, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, are slowly released into the soil, providing a steady source of food for your plants. This means that you can reduce or eliminate your use of chemical fertilizers, which can harm the environment and even your health.

If you’re unsure how much compost to use in your garden soil, a good rule of thumb is to apply at least one inch of compost over your garden bed, working it into the top six inches of soil. You can also mix compost into planting holes or spread it on top of the soil around established plants.

Incorporating compost into your garden soil is a simple step that can make a big difference in the health and productivity of your plants. Try it out for yourself and see the amazing results.

Compost for Seed Starting

seed starting with compost

Starting seeds can be a tricky process, but using compost can make it much easier. Not only does compost provide essential nutrients to seedlings, but it can also improve the overall soil structure and support healthy growth.

When incorporating compost into your seed starting process, it’s important to use a high-quality, screened compost to ensure that your seedlings won’t be exposed to large pieces of materials that could inhibit growth or damage roots.

One way to use compost for seed starting is by creating your own potting mix. Use a mixture of compost, perlite, and peat moss to create a nutrient-rich and well-draining growing medium. You can also use compost tea as a natural and effective liquid fertilizer to give your seedlings an extra boost.

Best Practices for Using Compost for Seed Starting:

  • Use high-quality, screened compost
  • Create a potting mix using compost, perlite, and peat moss
  • Apply compost tea as a liquid fertilizer
  • Choose seedlings that are suitable for your growing zone and soil type
  • Water seedlings thoroughly, but be careful not to overwater
  • Transplant seedlings into larger containers or the garden when they have developed a few sets of leaves

By using compost in your seed starting process, you can give your plants a healthy head start and set them up for success in the garden. Try out different methods and see what works best for you and your garden!

Compost for Composting

composting garden

Composting is an excellent way to repurpose organic matter, reduce waste, and create rich, fertile soil for your garden. But did you know that compost can be used to enhance the composting process itself?

By adding mature compost to your compost pile, you can speed up the decomposition process and create high-quality compost more quickly. Compost also adds beneficial microorganisms to the mix, which help break down organic matter and create a nutrient-rich compost that’s perfect for your garden.

When using compost in your compost pile, it’s important to layer the materials properly to create the ideal environment for decomposition. Start with a layer of coarse, brown material like dead leaves or twigs, then add a layer of green material like kitchen scraps or grass clippings. Follow this with a layer of mature compost, which will introduce the microorganisms necessary for decomposition. Repeat these layers until your compost pile is the desired size.

Remember to keep your compost pile moist and turn it regularly to ensure that all the materials are breaking down evenly. With the addition of compost to your compost pile, you can create high-quality compost that will nourish your garden and promote the growth of healthy, vibrant plants.

Compost for Raised Beds

If you’re using raised beds for your garden, incorporating compost into the mix is a great way to improve the health and fertility of your soil. Raised beds have specific benefits, including improved drainage, better soil structure, and more controlled planting conditions.

Compost is the perfect addition to raised beds as it improves the soil’s water-holding capacity, adds valuable nutrients, and promotes healthy microbial activity. By mixing compost with soil in a raised bed, you can create a fertile growing environment that will support healthy plants all season long.

When using compost in your raised beds, use a mixture of one part compost to two parts soil. This ensures that the soil in the raised bed remains light and airy, allowing for proper water and air circulation. Be sure to mix the compost and soil thoroughly before planting.

When adding compost to your raised beds, it’s important to choose high-quality compost that has been aged for at least six months. This will ensure that the compost has broken down sufficiently and is free of any harmful pathogens.

Using compost in your raised beds will not only improve soil fertility and plant health but also reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. By creating a healthy growing environment, you’ll be able to grow abundant crops while also supporting the natural balance of your garden ecosystem.

Compost for Lawn Care

If you are looking for a natural way to maintain a healthy and lush green lawn, you might want to consider using compost. Compost is a valuable source of nutrients that can provide your lawn with the essential minerals it needs to thrive. By amending your soil with compost, you can also improve soil structure, and help your lawn to retain moisture, which is essential, especially during the hot summer months.

Applying compost to your lawn is easy, but you need to be careful not to overdo it. Too much compost can lead to nutrient imbalances and poor drainage. A good rule of thumb is to spread a half-inch layer of compost over your lawn every spring and fall. You can also apply compost to your lawn before planting new grass seed or overseeding an existing lawn to provide a nutrient-rich base for the new grass to grow.

Another way to use compost in your lawn care routine is by making compost tea. Compost tea is a liquid extract made by soaking compost in water. The resulting liquid can be applied directly to your lawn, providing an organic fertilizer that will promote healthy growth and maintain a strong root system. To make compost tea, fill a five-gallon bucket about three-quarters full with water and add a shovel full of compost. Let the mixture sit for about 24 hours, stirring occasionally. After that, strain the liquid out of the bucket and apply it to your lawn with a watering can or sprayer.

Benefits of Using Compost for Lawn Care

Using compost in your lawn care routine can offer several benefits, including:

  • Improving soil structure and drainage
  • Providing essential nutrients for healthy plant growth
  • Enhancing soil microbial activity, which can help break down thatch and other organic matter
  • Promoting strong root development and resistance to disease and pests

Using Compost in Lawn Care: Tips and Tricks

Tip #1: When selecting compost for your lawn care needs, look for compost that is fully mature and has a dark, crumbly texture. Avoid using fresh or partially decomposed compost, as it may contain high levels of nitrogen that can burn your lawn.

Tip #2: If you have a small lawn, you can add compost to your lawn by spreading it with a shovel or rake. For larger lawns, you may want to consider using a broadcast spreader or a drop spreader to apply the compost more evenly.

Tip #3: Remember to water your lawn after applying compost to help it settle into the soil and activate the nutrients.

Compost for Compost Tea Recipes

If you’re looking to take your gardening to the next level, consider making your own compost tea. Compost tea is a nutrient-rich liquid fertilizer that can offer numerous benefits to your plants and garden. Here are a few compost tea recipes to help you address specific gardening needs:

Compost Tea Recipe Benefit
Basic Compost Tea Boosts overall plant growth and health
Bloom-Boosting Tea Encourages blooming and flowering in plants
Pest-Repelling Tea Naturally repels pests and insects from your garden
Fungus-Fighting Tea Helps prevent and treat fungal diseases in plants

Each of these compost tea recipes utilizes the power of compost and natural ingredients to provide your plants with the nutrients they need to thrive. Experiment with different recipes to find the ones that work best for your particular garden needs.

How to Make Compost Tea

Making compost tea is relatively simple, and all you need is a few basic materials and ingredients. To get started, you’ll need:

  • A 5-gallon bucket
  • Air pump and tubing
  • Compost
  • Molasses or other sugar source
  • Cheesecloth or burlap
  • Water

To make compost tea, follow these steps:

  1. Fill a 5-gallon bucket about 1/3 full with compost.
  2. Add a tablespoon of molasses or other sugar source to the compost. This will feed the beneficial microorganisms in the compost.
  3. Fill the bucket with water, leaving a few inches of space at the top.
  4. Cover the bucket with cheesecloth or burlap to allow for aeration.
  5. Attach an air pump and tubing to the bucket. This will aerate the mixture and ensure the microorganisms are thriving.
  6. Let the mixture sit and brew for 24-48 hours, stirring occasionally.
  7. After the brew time is complete, strain the mixture and use it to water your plants or soil. Dilute the compost tea with water if it is too strong.

Compost tea can be a powerful tool in your gardening toolkit. Give these compost tea recipes a try and see the difference they make in your garden!


Congratulations on learning about the many ways you can use compost in your garden! By incorporating compost into your gardening routine, you can improve soil health, promote plant growth, and enhance the overall beauty of your outdoor space.

Remember, whether you choose to mulch with compost, create compost tea, amend your soil, or use it in another way, compost is an eco-friendly and effective solution for promoting a healthy garden.

So go ahead and experiment with different ways to use compost in your garden. You might be surprised at the amazing results you can achieve!


How can I use compost in my garden?

There are six different ways you can use compost in your garden to enhance soil health and promote plant growth. These include mulching with compost, making compost tea fertilizer, using compost as a potting mix amendment, amending garden soil with compost, starting seeds with compost, and using compost in the composting process itself.

What are the benefits of mulching with compost?

Mulching with compost helps suppress weeds, retain moisture in the soil, and enrich the overall soil quality in your garden. It acts as a natural barrier, improving soil health and promoting healthy plant growth.

How do I make compost tea fertilizer?

Compost tea fertilizer is made by steeping compost in water to create a nutrient-rich liquid fertilizer. It can be used to nourish your plants and improve their overall health. To make compost tea, simply place compost in a container of water and allow it to steep for a certain period of time before applying it to your plants.

How can I incorporate compost into my potting mix?

To improve the quality of your potting mix, you can incorporate compost into it. This helps improve water-holding capacity, nutrient content, and overall structure. Simply mix compost with your potting mix in the desired ratio to create a nutrient-rich blend for your potted plants.

What benefits does compost provide as a soil amendment?

Compost is a powerful soil amendment that improves soil structure, enhances nutrient availability, and promotes overall soil health. It adds organic matter to the soil, which helps retain moisture, improves drainage, and provides essential nutrients for plant growth.

How can compost improve seed starting?

Using compost for seed starting can enhance germination rates and support healthy seedling growth. It provides necessary nutrients and microbial activity to promote strong root development and overall plant vigor. Simply incorporate compost into your seed starting mix for optimal results.

How can compost be used in the composting process?

Adding mature compost to your compost pile can speed up decomposition and create high-quality compost for your garden. It helps introduce beneficial microorganisms and breaks down organic matter effectively. Incorporating compost in the composting process enhances the efficiency and nutrient content of the final compost product.

How does compost benefit raised beds?

Using compost in raised beds improves soil fertility, drainage, and overall plant health. It adds organic matter, enhances nutrient availability, and promotes beneficial soil microorganisms. Incorporate compost into the soil of your raised beds to create a nutrient-rich growing environment.

How can compost improve lawn care?

Compost can enhance lawn health by amending the soil, improving soil structure, and promoting lush and green grass growth. It helps aerate compacted soil, retain moisture, and provide essential nutrients. Top-dress your lawn with compost or use it in the process of overseeding for best results.

What are some compost tea recipes I can use in my garden?

Compost tea recipes offer natural solutions for various gardening needs. You can find recipes that boost plant growth, ward off pests, and promote overall plant health. Experiment with different ingredients and brewing methods to find the best compost tea recipe for your garden.

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