How to Use Compost and Soil Blends
For flowers, vegetables, lawns, potted plants and more.
Do I Need Soil or Compost?
This is a common question. Are you comfortable with the soil you currently have? If your soil is 'too compact', 'poor' or 'worn out' then you likely need 100% Black Earth Compost. This gives you more bang for your buck because you are putting all your dollars towards 100% compost which will add nutrients, microbes, and improve water retention in your soil. However, if you are concerned about metal or oil contamination in your soil, then you want to buy a soil blend to cover over and act as a barrier to your current soil.
Compost is not a
soil replacement, it is a soil amendment!
Planting and Maintaining Flower Gardens and Landscaping
Annual Beds– Add 2-3 inches of compost (4-5 inches for poor or new beds), then mix it with shovel or tiller until it is incorporated.
New Plantings – Dig a hole where you want to plant and save the excavated loam. Mix the loam 50/50 with Black Earth Compost and use this blend in the bottom of the planting hole and to pack in around the plant.
Trees, Shrubs and Perennials – To feed established plants, put 1-2 inches of compost in ‘drip zone’ of the tree shrub or perennial. Keep compost away from the trunk or stem.
Installing or Patching a Lawn
Seeding New Grass - Apply a approx. 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick layer of compost. Spread grass seed heavy. Then use a spring rake to incorporate the seed into the soil. Seed will still be visible when you are done. Keep soil moist during first 2 weeks of germination!
Starting a New Lawn - Spread 2-4 inches of New Lawn Blend over disturbed area. Seed as above.
Patching a Lawn - If lawn is just thin but needs a reseeding, follow this procedure but with 100% Black Earth Compost, otherwise use the New Lawn Blend. Wheel barrow enough New Lawn Blend to cover existing soil by 1/2 inch. Use spring rake to distribute it between blades of grass and bare spots. Then seed as above.
Sod - Apply 1 inch of 100% Black Earth Compost down first, then lay down sod.
Installing or Reviving a Vegetable Garden
New Raised Bed - Fill to slightly above the brim with the Raised Bed Blend.
Existing Raised Bed - Top off with Raised Bed Blend. If your topping off 4 inches or less or the bed has been neglected, you can top off with 100% compost instead.
New Vegetable Garden Bed - Cover over an existing surface with the Raised Bed Blend to create new growing space. Before adding, break up and loosen original soil surface for better results. The idea is to break up any barrier to root penetration.
Existing Vegetable Garden Bed - Add 2-3 inches of compost (4-5 inches for poor or new beds), then mix it with shovel or tiller until it is incorporated.
Planting or Fertilizing Potted Plants
Planting or Re-potting Potted Plants – Mix our compost 50/50 with another soil or loam. For example you can blend our compost with your potting soil from last year. You can also blend it with loam from your yard, or a retail potting soil that you purchase. Black Earth Compost will give your soil a boost to keep flowers and new growth coming into the fall.
Top Dressing: This can be used as an alternative to re-potting a plant. Scrape away top 1-2 inches of potted soil, making sure not to disturb roots. Replace with compost.
Brew Your Own Compost Tea
Compost Tea – Compost can be mixed with water to create a liquid fertilizer to feed plants. Mix equal parts compost and water and let sit for 5 days. Strain the liquid from the compost and apply immediately.
How Much Do I Need?
One bag of compost is one cubic foot. One bag of compost would cover 14 square feet with a half inch of compost.