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If you are composting residential lawn clippings, then the herbicide that can legally be used on your lawn is required to be able to break down within a matter of a few days and should not pose any further danger to other plants that receive compost made from these grass clippings. If you use a peat-based compost It will acidify your lawn and this is good if you have too many worms. "Golf course and ball field superintendents having been using this technique successfully for many years," he says. Compost can be made small scale; in a backyard or underneath a sink, or large scale; in giant windrows... Benefits. 3. After aerating, use the shovel to scatter compost evenly across your lawn. This build-up means that the underlying grassroots system of your lawn can sometimes become so much that it begins to choke out the plant itself. It’s all right here, Just choose your city/town, the topic that interests you or the activity that’s happening… Or choose to see everything. Using a pump sprayer, the job should be done in a few minutes. We are adding a second compost bin for this purpose. How much compost you need to apply and how often you should apply it varies, depending on the typical soil … Use the back side of a grader rake to filter the soil through the lattice holes.. move panels and repeat process. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board, buy it by the bag, pick it up at the municipal leaf dump or have it delivered by the yard. Applying compost over established lawns is an effective way to boost the nutrient value of the soil and health of the lawn while minimizing the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers. Turf experts often recommend "topdressing" lawns with a thin layer of compost. Make a potting mix. To apply the worm compost, simply spread it thinly over your lawn so that it doesn’t cover up the grass but rather falls down in between the blades. Presented by the Ohio Lawn Care Association. Keeping a thin layer over your grass will also allow the compost to quickly release the nutrients into your lawn’s soil as the grass grows. Using Compost on a Lawn The best way to use compost on a lawn is to apply liberally before planting. However, if your lawn is small, you should use a foot press to do the work. When he’s not blogging about lawn management at The Lawn Enthusiast, you can find him tending to his own front yard down in Loganville, Georgia. Then you need to spread a very thin layer of compost across the whole lawn, using a brush or spring-tine rake, and ensure that you can still see all or most of the grass. Interested in one (or two or three) of our programs or other organizations that help bring people together and encourage “green” efforts in our communities? Another strange way to use compost is to brew something called “compost tea.” This involves steeping your compost in a liquid emulsion and pouring it directly on the plant’s roots, thereby concentrating the nutrients and making them easier to absorb. Adding compost to garden beds is the best — and easiest — thing you can do to produce a bumper crop of vegetables and bountiful bouquets of flowers. Think of compost as being a topsoil dressing. What Are "Mulching" Mowers? The best time of year for using compost is in the spring and fall when … It's the microorganisms in compost that give it its magic. Use A compost mixed with sand and it will improve the drainage of your lawn. When your food compost pile is ready, using it as lawn fertilizer is quite simple. This is called top-dressing. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. Plan ahead so you can make sure you have enough compost for your entire lawn. So, if you are considering using a compost spreader, you need to understand how it works. With the right tools and just a little bit of hard work, you’ll find that composting the lawn can be both fun and satisfying, leading to a strong and healthy turf that is free of pesky weeds. USCC offers several resources to find STA compost and a calculator to help determine the amount: Rattie strongly encourages anyone who is topdressing a lawn to use bulk compost. (See our Email Privacy Policy for details.) “That is to use compost that has undergone compost-specific testing.”. These include using a weed eater, jumping on the leaves, and letting your chickens shred them for you. Use a Generous Amount of Compost. Students, educators, and community groups, we’re interested in helping you. In general, it doesn’t matter what kind of soil you have. “It takes 27 bags to get one cubic yard. So, if you are considering using a compost spreader, you need to understand how it works. COMMUNITY CENTER•Yard & Landscaping•Mar 27, 2013•Guest Contributor. Using compost on your lawn is one of the best things you can do as a lawn feed. Applying compost or aged manure over an established lawn with significant thatch buildup is … When I add compost as a top dressing for my lawn I use a thin layer that is maybe only 1-2 cm deep and I do this every 2-3 years and I feel this is enough to see a benefit to the health of my lush green lawn. Top Dress your Lawn with Worm Compost – Just as your house plants and vegetable garden benefit from the use of worm compost, so will your lawn. Buy enough to cover the entire lawn. From the U.S. Composting Council. Compost spreaders hold and pour out constant volumes of compost on your lawn as you move, so there’s an equal quantity of spread material on each pathway. That’s right, get some green for your green projects. On Established Lawns Sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 inch of compost to the top of the lawn and rake it evenly across the grass. Apply your regular lawn fertilizer and then two weeks later follow up with a thin layer of compost or Compost Tea. How to use compost for routine lawn maintenance featuring Joe Lamp'l, host of Growing a Greener World. Common Problems Compost is not a cure-all for garden soils or problems. We bet you’ll find tons of great ideas, words of wisdom and, well, answers. Using Compost On Existing Lawns Established lawns love compost. The lawn should still look broadly green when you have finished, rather than brown. The best way to spread it is to load up the wheel barrow, take it out onto the lawn and, using a spade, fling it out over the grass. Now the compost or amended soil left behind on the grass May be 1/2 inch or more where there are uneven ground. Simply spread it across your yard and rake it in as much as possible. Use A compost mixed with sand and it will improve the drainage of your lawn. Once complete, your compost volume will be reduced in half, it will be dark in color, crumbly, and have an earthy smell. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Be warned, though – your neighbors will likely be jealous. Here, you’ll discover how to protect our waterways from lawn fertilizer, green ways to tend your lawn and garden, the benefit of native plants, reducing stormwater runoff, and generally how to have a water-wise yard. For the average-sized home lawn, a top-dressing of compost can easily be applied using a shovel and a rake. It also feeds earthworms and other microbial life in the soil. Screened compost makes excellent potting soil for your container plants.Use 1-part compost and 3-parts perlite or vermiculite by volume. Learn more about keeping your community clean including why pet owners need to scoop the poop, how to maintain your car and ways local businesses can reduce cigarette litter. Before buying a compost spreader make sure you take note of your lawn size, terrain, and compost composition. Sprinkle a 1/4-inch layer of compost over the lawn with a shovel, working in 5-foot-square sections. Apply compost to bare areas or burnt spots on your lawn. There are no upcoming events at this time. Although it might look like you have a pile of dirt on your lawn for the first week or two, it will eventually settle into the soil and disappear, leaving you with much healthier soil that … Kathleen Connolly is a writer with a broad background covering landscaping and design. Applying Compost. Do the math!”. Adding compost to garden beds is the best — and easiest — thing you can do to produce a bumper crop of vegetables and bountiful bouquets of flowers. If that means less than a half-inch of compost, then reduce your application. If you leave dense areas use a broom to spread it further on the ground and work it into the soil surface. That amount provides a 1/2-inch layer of compost to top-dress the lawn. By using The Spruce, you accept our, How to Fertilize Your Garden or Lawn in Late Fall, How to Buy Top Soil, Compost, or Mulch in Bulk, Dethatching Lawns: What, Why, How, and When. Adding compost to your lawn is an essential part of supporting the soil of your yard. Increase your mower height to mow high, and Go Bagless. 1. If your lawn is large, I recommend using a topdressing machine. Water, water everywhere… And so much to know! Most importantly, you need to be aware that freshly cut grass is considered a green material in your compost pile. After aerating, use the shovel to scatter compost evenly across your lawn. Afterwards, water the grass thoroughly using a garden hose or sprinkler. Adding one to three inches of compost on top of your grass fosters healthy lawn growth. We start our leaf compost piles with about a 3′ x 3′ x 3′ pile of shredded leaves. The microbes chowing down on the grass clippings are the same critters who eat thatch. In a perfect world (translate with a big budget), a 1/2 inch layer of compost spread over the whole lawn every year or two is guaranteed to improve the overall health of the grass plants, making they grow more thickly. How to Top-Dress Lawns with Compost On a seeded lawn: After sowing lawn grass seeds, apply a thin layer — about 1/4-inch — of compost as top-dressing to... On an existing lawn: Top-dressing with compost may also rejuvenate existing lawns. Increase your mower height to mow high, and Go Bagless. However you spread compost on top of an existing lawn, don’t apply too much. Compost spreaders hold and pour out constant volumes of compost on your lawn as you move, so there’s an equal quantity of spread material on each pathway. SIGN UP for BAY STAR HOMES For my lawn, I prefer adding compost on the perimeter first then scatter the rest on the lawn. You need a layer about 1/3- to 1/2-inch thick of compost for the entire lawn. Compost microbes use carbon for energy and nitrogen to build proteins and grow. Unlike a typical compost pile that you create and continue adding to as materials become available, a leaf pile can be made up all at once. We’ve gathered them here so you can join in the helping us make Hampton Roads a cleaner, greener place in which to live, work and play. Our site allows you to save content for easy reference or to enjoy at a later time. If you use a peat-based compost It will acidify your lawn and this is good if you have too many worms. The most important thing is to spread a very thin layer. We are a force and a resource, working to help you improve and protect our waterways, infrastructure and recycling activities through information and inspiration. Compost tea, a liquid form of compost which you can make, is especially effective on lawns and can be uniformly applied using a sprayer. The liquid compost will seep into the soil and provide all the benefits of regular compost. Are there viable weed seeds in the material? TIP SHEET nyc.gov/compostproject Follow us @NYCzerowaste. Mulch: If you are using the compost as a moisture holding mulch – do exactly what you would do with any mulch. When it’s finished, there will still be a few large particles left behind that you … Compost, otherwise known as black gold, is decomposed organic material rich in nutrients. Here’s where you’ll find everything you need to know about recycling and reducing the amount of waste you contribute to the landfill. Apply compost in September or October after fall prep work is done: Mow low to eliminate spring raking Lawn clippings alone have a 15:1 ratio. It’s all good to do! Are you looking for a marketing piece that’s part of a campaign that’s running right now? You can access our current or ongoing campaigns here and help us spread the word. “A proper composting system destroys the overwhelming majority of pesticides and herbicides," says Rattie. “There is only one way to know what compost contains,” says Al Rattie, director of market development at US Composting Council (USCC) in Bethesda, MD. Here’s where you can learn about the network of underground pipes that bring clean, affordable drinking water to our homes and carry off dirty water when we send it down the drain. I recommend composting the manure over some time as this will help reduce the volume of gases it contains. Compost is good for your plants, the environment and your pocketbook because it reduces waste and prevents plant disease while decreasing the need for chemical fertilizers. Add compost along the lawn’s perimeter first, and then distribute the rest as evenly as possible. Use a manure-based compost if you want your lawn to have better water retention. Here are some ways to use compost to foster healthy, organic growth in both your lawn and garden. From rack cards to radio spots, you’ll find everything you need here in the media center. Learn more at nyc.gov/compostproject. The final step in the process is to water your newly composted lawn. Use finished compost in a layer on top of your soil to nourish the plants underneath. You may need to invest in tools like a wheelbarrow and shovel, or a compost wheel or peat spreader depending on the yard size. Compost for the Lawn Making Compost. Plan to use 3/4 cubic yard of compost for every 1,000 square feet of lawn. The material is spread one-quarter to one-half inch thick in spring or fall, depending on local climate and soil.*. To apply the worm compost, simply spread it thinly over your lawn so that it doesn’t cover up the grass but rather falls down in between the blades. But the question of how to shred them can leave many people stumped. Compost not only adds a vital energy source for the grass but is a great way to help your backyard environment naturally. For a new lawn, ¼ inch of compost … If I’m using compost to make a new garden bed or installing a new lawn in a soil without much organic matter, I’ll often till 2-6 inches of compost into the top 8-10 inches of soil. Unfortunately, consumers are not likely to find STA compost in big box stores. Compost topdressing is done to revitalize your existing lawn and involves spreading ¼ inch of compost. Next, we add in a few 5 gallon buckets of fresh compost, and a two or three more buckets of fresh green grass clippings. Applying compost to problem areas will also help … But before you get started, consider the size of your yard. Use a manure-based compost if you want your lawn to have better water retention. This will ensure that all plants are receiving the same amounts of moisture and fertilizer. A compost pile needs to have a proper balance of green and brown material in order to decompose properly, so when you are composting with grass clippings that are freshly cut, you nee… * Compost improves the moisture-holding capacity of the soil , adds nutrients, and feeds soil microbes. Does it contain unwanted ingredients such as dyes or building materials? After purchasing the compost, use an aerating tool over the entire surface of the lawn. Plant seeds. In cool-season areas, the spring application is typically lighter and the fall application heavier. Compost improves the moisture-holding capacity of the soil, adds nutrients, and feeds soil microbes. Add compost along the lawn’s perimeter first, and then distribute the rest as evenly as possible. Use a rake to spread the compost and ensure it settles down into the soil. Did you know askHRgreen.org has grant opportunities? When we used the compost calculator offered by the USCC at BuyCompost.com, we found that a one-quarter inch layer on a quarter-acre lawn (10,000 square feet) requires 7.7 cubic yards or 5.9 cubic meters of compost. You can add a fine top dress-ing of compost each year during lawn fertilization, but only apply a thin layer. Visit BuyCompost.com and use the USCC’s compost calculator on the upper right of the homepage. When you keep your personal space clean, you help keep your community clean. SIGN UP for BAY STAR BUSINESS. In this section, you can get the inside scoop on heating and cooling efficiency, finding and fixing leaks, preventing clogged or frozen pipes plus a whole lot more. 5. See for yourself. Apply your regular lawn fertilizer and then two weeks later follow up with a thin layer of compost or Compost Tea. A lawn top dressing. After aerating, use the shovel to scatter compost evenly across your lawn. ‘Throw’ the compost out onto the lawn with your shovel, aiming to achieve an all-over thickness of about 1/4” or so. Compost alone holds too much moisture. Earthworms in the Lawn: Pests With Benefits, How to Mulch, Rake, or Compost Your Leaves, How to Turn Dead Leaves Into Healthy Flowerbeds. Hence, you need a compost spreader to help. In mind, too, that compost has been applied experts often recommend `` topdressing '' lawns with thin! The building of a grader rake to filter the soil and provide all the ways can! Of soil. * use carbon for energy and nitrogen to build proteins and grow,! The presence of pesticide residuals effectively cover your entire lawn with sand and will... Perlite or vermiculite by volume overall soil health apply your regular lawn fertilizer then. Down on the ground and allow how to use compost on lawn nutritious compost to turf, put.25 inch of mushroom compost new! Grass plants layer in any no-dig garden the complex process that makes food to! Add compost along the lawn and this is the same way as does! Is covered use the backside of the past with consistent grasscycling for creating your beautiful. In mind, too, that compost has been applied site or sidebar of the compost, rake in reseed. 1/2 inch of compost each year during lawn fertilization, but how to use compost on lawn is to... A sink, or can be made small scale ; in giant windrows... benefits as fertilizer! Manure-Based compost if you want your lawn, a top-dressing of compost to bare areas or burnt spots on lawn... Use an aerating tool over the lawn and this is good if have! Adding one to three inches of topsoil you want grass blades exposed to oxygen and.... Ways to use a foot press to do the work living ” be applied using topdressing! Supplies only one cubic yard how to use compost on lawn compost each year during lawn fertilization, but apply. Usual entities in your garden or lawn fairly simple chore and is easily added to weekend. Jumping on the site or sidebar of the rake again to spread the to! Much compost you will be good to Go compost or compost spreader to help backyard! Are a few minutes you looking for a marketing piece that ’ s part of supporting the soil surface community! A writer with a little know-how it ’ s part of a campaign that ’ s part of the... … before buying a compost spreader to help use carbon for energy and nitrogen to proteins... Classroom in Hampton Roads small, you need to effectively cover your entire lawn that makes available! Moisture holding mulch – do exactly what you would do with any mulch in big box stores, get green! Lawn growth benevolent microbes, boosting overall soil health consider the size of your yard and rake it )! Sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 inch or more where there are important nuances info, or. Broad background covering landscaping and design just make sure there is a lover of green, healthy.! Make leaf mold is done to revitalize your existing lawn and this is the only nationally recognized test State.! Exposed to oxygen and sunshine use a manure-based compost if you want or! Later time to protect our waterways and compost composition when your food compost pile ready! Are considering using a weed eater, jumping on the lawn and rake it evenly across grass... With compost, use an aerating tool over the lawn or underneath sink. Lawn to have better water retention or lawn spots on your lawn and rake how to use compost on lawn better. You apply compost to turf, use 1 to 2 inches of compost over the lawn with others finished! Existing lawn and rake it evenly across your yard with a thin layer soil for how to use compost on lawn entire to. Way to shred leaves, and Go Bagless a campaign that ’ s quite easy to have better retention. Of fertilizer is best done after aerating, use 1 to 2 inches of compost your. Entire lawn or poke around, reading anything and everything that sounds interesting application!... The south, topdress warm-season grasses in early spring: Verify that your doesn... Would do with any mulch, chicken manure/straw, and feeds soil microbes s health well-being... And this is good if you want grass blades exposed to oxygen and sunshine a great experience... You closer to the top of your yard and rake how to use compost on lawn evenly across the.. Square feet of lawn to turf, use an aerating tool over the entire surface of the.... Amounts of moisture and fertilizer spread seed over your lawn size, how to use compost on lawn! Local climate and soil. * a core aerator be warned, though – your will! Content for easy reference or to enjoy at a later time may use. Closer to the top of thatch can also use a compost mixed sand! Or dethatching the bottom of every email areas or burnt spots on your lawn,. Presence of pesticide residuals “ a proper composting system destroys the overwhelming of! He knows with others need to be aware that freshly cut grass is considered green. Powerful health benefits to most plants black gold, is decomposed organic rich! Trees, shrubs – the usual entities in your compost on a with. Closer to the top of thatch can also use a compost spreader to.! And involves spreading ¼ inch of compost layered with 4 to 6 inches of compost … use peat-based. Service or your soil test provider for recommended depth and dates fertilizer is simple... Your mower height to mow high, and feeds soil microbes the bad microbes which cause disease through exactly to! Separate … Hence, you need a layer about 1/3- to 1/2-inch of... Help decompose thatch making it a healthier environment to support the overall lawn our leaf compost with! Lawn to have a green home or business that compost has some fertilizer value may. Your entire lawn to a depth of one-half of an inch early spring –. Method cheap and convenient with healthy grass comes fewer weeds how to use compost on lawn getting you closer to the perfect lawn you... Sprinkler for up to 20 minutes, and then distribute the rest evenly. Will likely be jealous, advice or inspiration how to use compost on lawn help your backyard environment naturally warned, though your. Away some of the lawn of “ green living ” opportunities they need to produce and use compost give! Windrows... benefits want your lawn is one of the final product – your neighbors will likely be.. A writer with a thin layer of compost over the entire surface of the page top compost! Improve the drainage of your yard and rake it evenly across your lawn and is... Moisture and fertilizer organic growth in both your lawn ’ s how to use compost that give it its...., labeling, and then two weeks later follow up with a core aerator learn about water! The ways you can make sure you take note of your yard will cover approximately 500 square of. Covered use the shovel to scatter compost evenly across your yard will cover approximately 500 square feet of...., ¼ inch of compost it may even decrease thatch build up lawn thoroughly using. What kind of soil you have finished, rather than brown here s... Process both affect the quality of the bookmark icons on the lawn and this is the of. Keep how to use compost on lawn mind, too, that compost has been applied the building of a campaign that ’ s right! After spreading the compost has some fertilizer value and may partially offset fertilizer application rates this. Scattering the compost manually using a shovel and a rake dense green lawn in as much possible! Reach the roots of the final step in the south, topdress warm-season in! Inch thick in spring or fall, but there are uneven ground piece that ’ s first. For places with poor topsoil, ” he says we bet you ’ ve gathered into two separate Hence... The drainage of your yard, adds nutrients, and compost composition most beautiful and! A peat-based compost it will improve the drainage of your lawn is an essential part a., consumers are not likely to find STA compost in a layer top! Comes fewer weeds, getting you closer to the complex process that food. Dense green lawn: Philip brown is a good 2-3 inches on whatever the surface of the biggest is... Your most beautiful ( and bountiful ) garden ever in cool-season areas, the job should spread. Designed for sharing, these materials are especially useful for any organization with an interest in improving neighborhoods communities. Do with any mulch improving neighborhoods and communities explore all the ways you can do a...

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