What is the best way to use compost?

Q: I started composting my kitchen waste and yard clippings about a year ago, probably something I read here. It's basically just a pile that my husband rotates from time to time but it has made some very nice dirt at this point. What is the best way to make use of it now? I have quite a few house plants, a flower garden, a hedge and a small vegetable garden.

Hardiness Zone: 7b

DeeAnn from AK

A: DeAnn,

Compost can be used as nutrient-rich soil builder everywhere you have something growing. Here are a few suggestions:

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The Yard: Layer it on 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick annually followed by a thorough watering.

The Gardens: Lay 1/2 inch to 1 inch on the top of the soil and till or dig it in to a depth of 8-10 inches. For poor soil use 2-4 inches. When establishing new gardens, mix 4-6 inches of compost in with existing soil.

Trees and Shrubs (1 or 2 times per year): Apply 1 inch around trees from 1 foot around the trunk and extending out past the drip line. Layer compost 2 inches deep under shrubs. Water.

Potted Plants: Pot plants in a mix of 1/4 to 1/3 compost and high-quality potting soil, or sprinkle compost on top of existing pots (1/2 inch thick) and water thoroughly.

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

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October 23, 20050 found this helpful

I dig my compost into my veggi garden spring and fall. I grow wonderful veggies with it. I compost all year round even though it almost freezes in the winter. It over winters a lot of worms. I am in Canada. If you put it in your flower garden be prepared for some tomato seeds to sprout. they will grow quite well among the flowers and it makes a good conversation peice.

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