The Best Time to Add Compost to Your Garden - Backyard Boss
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The Best Time to Add Compost to Your Garden

Every avid gardener knows that compost is an essential ingredient for a healthy garden. But did you know there’s a best time to add compost to your garden? Adding compost at the right time can help your plants thrive and produce better flowers and vegetables. So, when is the best time to add compost to your garden? Keep reading to find out!

When to Compost

hands holding compost above the composter with organic waste
Image credits: Jerome.Romme via Shutterstock

Spring is a great time to add compost to your garden, as it can help reduce water evaporation from the soil, retain moisture, and give your plants a nutrient boost at the start of the growing season. With that in mind, fall is the perfect time to start composting since it allows the material to break down over winter and be ready to use in spring.

But is spring the only time you can start composting?

How to Compost in the Spring or Fall

green waste compost bin
Image credits: Ben_Kerckx via Pixabay

While spring is an excellent time to add compost to your garden, that doesn’t mean you have to wait. When you add compost to your garden in the fall, you feed your soil nutrients it needs to replenish. Remember, that soil did a lot of work all spring and summer!

Composting is easy and can be done using a variety of methods. You can purchase a commercial compost bin or build your own using a plastic trash can or wire mesh enclosure.

Once your compost bin is set up, to speed up the composting process, be sure to chop or shred your materials into small pieces. You can also add a compost activator to your bin, which will help to break down the materials more quickly.

Once you’ve added your materials to the bin, turn them regularly to aerate and keep things moving. In general, you should have finished compost as quickly as six months.

When your compost is ready, it will be a dark brown color and have a crumbly texture. Add it to your garden beds and potting mix, or use it as a top dressing for your garden.

Alternatively, you can buy it from a gardening store or online. Both have their pros and cons, so it’s important to weigh your options before deciding.

What (Not) to Compost

Hand Holding Shovel Full of Compost, Home Composting
Image credits: Onfokus via Canva

When it comes to composting, there are a few things you should always keep in mind. First and foremost, you need to have the proper ratio of browns to greens. Browns are items like dead leaves, twigs, and branches, while greens are things like grass clippings and vegetable scraps. This ratio is important because too many greens will make your compost pile smell, and too many browns will make it take longer to break down. As a general rule, most gardeners suggest a higher proportion of browns.

Another thing to remember is what NOT to put in your compost bin. You should avoid putting anything in there that is diseased or has been treated with chemicals. You also want to steer clear of meat, bones, and dairy products, as these will attract animals.

So, what can you compost? Here are some things that make great additions to your bin:

  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves
  • Twigs and branches
  • Vegetable scraps
  • Coffee grounds
  • Eggshells

These items will break down quickly and help create nutrient-rich compost that your plants love.

Benefits of Composting

Image credits: Artur Pawlak via Pixabay

Composting is a simple process that anyone can do, and it has many benefits for both your garden and the environment.

When you compost, you’re recycling organic matter back into the soil. This process helps improve soil quality by adding essential nutrients and improving drainage. Since compost helps keep your plants healthy, they’re better able to suppress diseases and pests.

In addition to the benefits for your garden, composting reduces the amount of waste that goes into landfills. This is good for the environment because it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Landfills are a significant source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. By composting your waste, you can help to reduce methane emissions and slow down climate change.

In Summary

Spring may be when most people think about adding compost to their garden, but fall is also a great time to add this nutrient-rich soil amendment. Besides being great for your plants, composting is easy and a great way to reduce your environmental impact. If you’re not already composting, start today!

If you have any tips or tricks of your own, be sure to share them in the comments below!