Home Vegetable Gardening Feed Your Garden Naturally by Topdressing with Compost – joe gardener®

Feed Your Garden Naturally by Topdressing with Compost – joe gardener®

Feed Your Garden Naturally by Topdressing with Compost – joe gardener®


A more healthy garden comes with more healthy soil, and there’s no higher approach to enhance soil well being than by including compost. You’ll be able to feed your garden naturally by topdressing it with compost.

Compost comprises the first vitamins — nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium — and an array of micronutrients to naturally feed a garden. However there are lots of different advantages as nicely.

Topdressing a garden with compost provides natural matter to the soil, which gives for correct drainage and higher tilth.  That natural matter additionally hosts helpful microorganisms that flip natural fertilizer and minerals within the soil into plant-available vitamins that may be taken up by roots.

You’ll be able to topdress with compost at any time when the bottom just isn’t frozen, however should you topdress proper after aerating a garden, you will notice even higher outcomes. One other nice time to topdress with compost is when overseeding a garden. Making use of compost and seeds on the similar time will enhance germination and moisture retention.


Joe Lamp'l topdresses his lawn with compost

By following correct garden administration like topdressing with compost and making use of natural fertilizer, my garden areas stay wholesome and inexperienced all yr. I by no means deal with them with a chemical, and I don’t have to offer supplemental water.


Step 1: Decide How A lot Compost You Want


When topdressing a garden with compost, you need to use sufficient compost to be efficient however not a lot that the compost smothers the grass. Purpose to make use of between 1 / 4 inch and a half inch layer of compost. For the utmost depth, that’s one cubic foot of compost for each 25 sq. toes of garden.

One cubic foot is a well-liked dimension for bagged compost, however baggage might be smaller or bigger. However regardless of the bag dimension, while you discover you want greater than 10 baggage of compost for a mission, it usually makes extra sense to purchase bulk compost. Bulk compost is bought by the cubic yard, and there are 27 cubic toes in a cubic yard.


Step 2: Select the Compost


Select compost that was produced by a scorching composting course of, by which the warmth given off by the organic exercise of microbes reached greater than 140°. The excessive temperature ensures that weed seeds and pathogens that had been within the compost inputs have been neutralized. In case you purchase industrial compost or use municipal compost, you need to be all set in that regard. In case you plan to make use of your home-made compost, take a look at the compost pile with a soil thermometer whereas it’s nonetheless energetic.

You need to see and contact the compost your self earlier than inserting an order. It is freed from rocks, glass and plastic. Does it have that earthy odor? While you squeeze the compost in your hand, does it clump collectively nicely but additionally break aside simply? If the compost doesn’t cross these exams, don’t purchase it.


Step 3: Distributing the Compost


Fill a wheelbarrow with baggage or unfastened compost, and dot the garden with small piles of compost, evenly distributed. The piles ought to be no bigger than three or 4 shovelfuls every. The concept is to area the piles so that when the compost is unfold out, the garden has full protection, with no gaps.


topdressing with compost

My garden has by no means seemed higher since I’ve been persistently including a topdressing of horse manure and licensed compost every fall.


Step 4: Rake the Compost into the Garden


You’ll be able to unfold the compost with nearly any rake, however a metallic rake with sturdy tines will work greatest to scratch up the soil floor and incorporate the compost. At every pile, rake the compost out in all instructions, 360°. Rake till the purpose that the grass blades are nearly totally seen by the compost.


Step 5: Water In


Water within the compost with a sprinkler. A delicate utility of water will assist the compost work its approach all the way down to the soil and can expose grass blades which might be lined, in order that they gained’t be smothered. It’s necessary to not apply a heavy quantity of water over a brief time frame as a result of that ought to trigger the compost to run off as a substitute of staying the place the garden wants it.


lawn irrigation after topdressing with compost

After making use of compost, you’ll want to water in with a sprinkler.


Different Pure Vitamins to Feed Your Garden


The most effective nutrient sources for the grass in your garden is the grass itself. Recycling grass clippings can present 25% of your garden’s nutrient wants over the course of a yr. It’s apparent when you consider it: Grass clippings comprise the precise ratio of vitamins that grass requires. Plus, the clippings assist the garden retain moisture whereas shading out weed seeds, which retains these seeds from germinating.

Recycling grass clippings is definitely much less labor-intensive than the choice. Whereas bagging and disposing of or composting grass clippings takes additional work, utilizing a mulching mower means you don’t have to hold round and empty heavy baggage of clippings. The clippings stay in place, precisely the place they are often put to work feeding the garden.

You might already be mulching your grass into the garden, however do you know which you can additionally use a mulching mower on leaves? When leaves drop on the garden in autumn, even a median mulching mower can chop them as much as a dimension at which they are going to decompose shortly, feeding the garden as they do. A thick layer of leaves will take fairly just a few passes with the lawnmower earlier than the leaves are lowered to a dimension that disappears into the garden, however should you mow steadily, falling leaves will probably be simpler to handle. You’ll additionally save your self lots of work on raking!


grass clippings and compost

While you incorporate grass clippings into your compost heap, they are going to rework right into a wealthy supply of vitamins in your backyard.


When to Complement with Natural Fertilizer


Although including compost and mulching grass clippings and leaves will scale back the necessity for supplemental fertilizer, these practices can’t utterly exchange fertilizer. A slow-release, natural fertilizer like Milorganite will feed the garden repeatedly for a lot of weeks, with not one of the nutrient-burn considerations that include artificial fertilizers.

Fertilizer will assist grass develop and can give the garden that deep, emerald inexperienced coloration. The garden will probably be denser, which withstands foot visitors and stops weeds from taking maintain.

In northern areas, the place cool-season grasses dominate, apply Milorganite a couple of times between Labor Day and Thanksgiving, ready 10 weeks between functions. Apply once more, a couple of times, between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.

In southern areas, the place warm-season grasses thrive, apply within the spring after the grass breaks its winter dormancy, after which once more round Memorial Day. Within the fall, apply a couple of times between Labor Day and early October.



Fertilizer will assist the grass develop and can give the garden that deep, emerald inexperienced coloration.


Do you feed your garden naturally by topdressing with compost? Tell us within the feedback under.


Able to have extra of your garden and backyard questions answered? Enroll to obtain gardening sources, eBooks, and e-mail updates on the joegardener podcast and extra.


Hyperlinks & Assets

074- Have and Take care of a Wholesome Garden: Prime 7 Non-negotiables

joegardener Weblog: Yard Composting: A Easy Recipe for Making Nice Compost

joegardener Weblog: Natural Garden Renovation for Spring: 5-Steps To Your Greatest Garden Ever

joegardenerTV YouTube: Apply Pure Garden Fertilizers & What to Use

joegardener On-line Gardening Academy: Common programs on gardening fundamentals; managing pests, ailments & weeds; seed beginning and extra.

joegardener On-line Gardening Academy Excellent Soil Recipe Grasp Class: Discover ways to create the right soil surroundings for thriving crops.

joegardener On-line Gardening Academy Rising Epic Tomatoes: Tomato professional Craig LeHoullier joins me in main this course on the best way to develop more healthy, productive tomato crops and the best way to overcome tomato-growing challenges.

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Disclosure: Some product hyperlinks on this information are affiliate hyperlinks, which implies we get a fee if you are going to buy. Nonetheless, not one of the costs of those sources have been elevated to compensate us, and compensation just isn’t an influencing issue on their inclusion right here. The choice of all gadgets featured on this publish and podcast had been primarily based solely on benefit and on no account influenced by any affiliate or monetary incentive, or contractual relationship. On the time of this writing, Joe Lamp’l has skilled relationships with the next firms who could have merchandise included on this publish and podcast: Rain Fowl, Corona Instruments, Milorganite, Soil3, Exmark, Greenhouse Megastore, Territorial Seed Firm, and TerraThrive. These firms are both Model Companions of joegardener.com and/or promote on our web site. Nonetheless, we obtain no further compensation from the gross sales or promotion of their product by this information. The inclusion of any merchandise talked about inside this publish is totally unbiased and unique of any relationship.



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