You’ve toiled away at your compost for weeks, months, maybe even years. Now that you finally have finished compost, you’re feeling overwhelmed by how to use this valuable black gold that you worked so hard to make.
Fear not, using compost is pretty easy. The hardest part about using finished compost is deciding where to use it. We try to give a little compost love to all our plants by sprinkling just a lit bit on the top soil of each plant. That’s not the only way to use finished compost though, read on to find 7 easy ways to use finished compost, and one thing you definitely don’t want to do with your compost!
How to use Finished Compost 7 Different Ways
The first thing you need to know is that your compost is highly concentrated in nutrients. While it might not look like much, it can go a long way! You don’t want to dump all of your compost in one plant. Instead, ration it out and use a little bit sparingly.
Here are 7 ways to get the most out of your compost:
- Sprinkle a little bit directly on the top soil of established house plants.
- Put an inch of compost into your garden soil to amend the soil.
- Add a handful to the base of houseplants when repotting.
- Make your own potting soil by mixing 1 part compost to 2 parts sand.
- Enhance potting soil by adding 1 part compost to 2 parts potting soil.
- Treat bald spots in turf by adding 1 inch of compost and reseeding.
- Add a layer of compost over the top inch of a newly planted tree or shrub.
The one thing you shouldn't do with your finished compost
Don’t add compost to the base of a hole when planting a tree in the ground.
While it’s fine to use compost at the base of a pot for your houseplants, it isn’t a good idea to throw compost into a hole when planting trees. It can act as a barrier to the roots, making it hard for the tree to establish itself. Make sure to add some compost to the top soil instead.
How to store finished compost
The simple answer is: don’t store your compost!
Use it right away.
The batch that I left for you is ready to use and has a community of microorganisms ready to enhance your plants. Use it as soon as you can!
If you don’t have a use for it right now, leave it in a shady spot and stir it once a week to keep it aerated.
How do you know when compost is "finished"
Compost is finished when it looks, smells, and feels like wet, crumbly, dirt.
It shouldn’t smell like ammonia or rotting food.
One easy way to tell if your compost is ready is to put a small bit in a plastic bag and seal it. After 3 days, open it and if it still smells like dirt, you are good to go. If it smells like ammonia, it needs to cure longer.
Another way to tell if it is ready is to do your own germination test. Add a seed to a pot of compost. If it germinates with green, healthy, leaves, then you are good to go. If it germinates with yellow leaves, it needs more time. Doesn’t germinate at all? Try again with another seed and if it still doesn’t germinate, give it some more time.
Want more compost tips?
Read this posts to get more tips and tricks for composting: