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How To Use Compost

Some General Guidelines:

For new vegetable beds: or to rejuvenate an old bed, add a two-inch layer of good compost to your soil, and work it in to a depth of six inches.

For existing beds: add one inch of compost each year.

Transplanting seedlings: fill each hole with a double-handful of compost mixed with a good organic fertilizer, and plant in that.



1) Bed Preparation

When you start a new bed, work about two inches of compost into the top six inches of soil. I build box beds about eight inches deep, and fill them with three parts topsoil, one part compost. One cubic yard of compost will cover 150 square feet of bed two inches deep.

2) Transplanting seedlings

Dig a hole for each seedling, and place a double-handful of compost mixed with a good organic fertilizer in the hole. Set the plant.

3) Give your gardens a mid-season feeding

Give your plants a boost during the growing season by mixing a quart or two of good organic fertilizer or alfalfa meal into a wheelbarrow full of compost. Top-dress around each plant, or side-dress along a row. See "Why Use Compost" for an example of the results.

4) Seven Pounds of Potatoes From One Cutting

This is a variation of the "stack of old tires" method. Build a frame of wood and set it on the ground. Plant a potato cutting in soil (mixed with compost, of course!) inside the base of the frame.

compst uses

compost uses


As the potato plant grows, add walls to the box and keep adding compost around the plant until the whole box is full.

Later, in the early Fall, or when the greenery has died back... dig 'em Up. I got seven pounds from this one plant.

compost usescompost uses


5) A substitute for wood mulch

Wood mulch can create problems for your beds. As wood decomposes, it steals nutrients from the soil. Some research suggests that a two-inch layer of compost may be just as effective at weed-suppression.


Between 60 and 80% of everything we send to landfills is compostable.
When this material decays, it produces methane - a greenhouse gas.
You can help change this. Join the Composting Circle.


Compost Products for the Yancey / Avery / Mitchell Region of North Carolina

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