It's ready! Using your compost

If all has gone according to plan the compost you have been diligently working on over the past 6 months or longer will be ready.  Depending on your garden plans you may want to use it now or leave it until the spring but whenever you decide to use it here are my top tips for getting the best from your home-grown soil conditioner.

Your lovely fresh compost will be full of nutrients that will help improve your soil structure, maintain moisture levels and manage your soil's PH balance.  It also includes nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus to help your plants and flowers.

On flower beds Dig a layer of compost into the soil before planting or spread thinly around the base of existing plants.  Nutrients will work their way down to the roots and your plants will enjoy the benefits.

Enriching new borders Spread a layer of compost over existing soil and worms will quickly get to work mixing it in for you.

As mulch To create mulch use compost that isn't quite finished, mix it with normal soil and then scatter over flowerbeds and around shrubs.  This will help prevent soil erosion and replenish nutrients, a thin layer should do the trick.

Around trees Spreading 5cm around tree roots can help provide important nutrients and protect against drought and disease.  Avoid the base of the tree and do not spread too close to the trunk.

In pots & containers A few centimetres of compost will give your plants a boost

Growing herbs & veg Compost is excellent for growing herbs such as chives, parsley and mint.  Your vegetables will also benefit from compost added to the soil, particularly potatoes and carrots.

On your lawn Remove any large twigs or egg shells from the compost, mix the compost with some sharp sand to help it spread and then sprinkle a layer on to your lawn.  Mature lawns will hugely benefit from this, but be aware that newly seeded lawns or turfed lawns could suffer.

The composting process can take up to 18 months until the compost is ready to use in your garden but whenever you decide to use it I hope my top tips have helped...and if you have top tips of your own let me know! Annie


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