If you’ve been wondering whether it’s safe to put or apply compost on top of the soil, well, you’re safe. Adding compost to soil leads to healthy soil, which is the foundation of any successful garden. You don’t have to use any new-fangled tools or apply any miracle potions.
Follow along with this handy article for detailed step step guide.
What Is composting?
Composting is the natural process of turning organic matter like leaves and food scraps into a beneficial fertilizer that can benefit both soil and plants.
Moreover, the greatest and simplest way to generate a bumper crop of veggies and many bouquets is to add compost to your garden beds. Depending on the normal soil properties and whether you plant year-round, you’ll need different amounts of compost and apply it at different times.
If you reside in a milder climate, such as the Northeast or Midwest of the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom, where there is only one significant growth season from late spring to early fall, apply compost once a year.
Before the ground freezes, lay partially decomposed compost on vacant beds in the fall and let it degrade during the winter. All of those wonderful nutrients will be waiting for you to plant in the spring.
If you live in the South or Southwest of the U. S., where the weather is warm enough to allow year-round gardening, you’ll need to add compost twice a year to satisfy two diverse growing seasons: one cool and one warm, with various annual flowers, vegetables, and herbs planted and thriving in each.
Soil microbes in warmer areas work all year, plowing through organic matter faster than their cool-country counterparts because the earth never freezes. In addition, some gardeners in warm climates deal with native soils that are typically deficient in organic matter.
Read also: Can You Compost Hair?
How To Apply Compost Where Year-Round Gardening Is Possible
When year-round gardening is possible, here’s a standard schedule for adding compost:
Add compost in late August or early September, when the cold growth season begins around mid-September and lasts until April.
Warm-season planting (which overlaps with the existing cool-season growth phase) begins in mid-to-late-February and lasts through March, with warm-season plants continuing to grow well into the summer.
Before spring planting season in your location, add completed compost. Alternatively, if your garden is unused during the hot summer months, lay compost over the bare soil to prevent erosion, weed growth, and moisture retention.
Tip: For more details about this, check these best books about composting
How To Determine If The Soil Is Organically Rich
The following are ways to determine if the soil is organically rich and how to apply your compost to it.
Soil with little organic matter: Before each planting season, apply 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) of compost to soil that isn’t organically rich.
Organically rich soil: If you garden in organically rich soil, 1 to 3 inches (3 to 7 centimeters) of fresh compost will serve each season.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a garden with soil that is already loose, easy to dig in, and drains well, you can layer compost on top of it and dig it in to a depth of 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm) in one step.
If the soil is compacted, the drainage is poor, or you’re gardening above a layer of hardpan (an impenetrable subsoil that prevents water movement and root growth), you’ll have a better chance of growing a healthy garden if you dig and loosen the soil to a depth of 12 inches (30 centimeters).
Then, at a depth of 6 to 12 inches, spread your compost on top of the soil and turn it under (15 to 30 centimeters).
Read also: Can you compost weeds?
I hope this article helps you understand whether you can add a compost on top of your garden soil. I would like to hear from you. So, let me know if you have any questions. (Tip: learn more on how to make liquid fertilizer from kitchen and garden waste)