Video:How to Add Compost to Soilwith Charlie Siegchrist
Adding organic matter to your garden improves the soil and overall fertility - so why don't you get started today? Learn how to add compost to your garden using a few different methods that are effective and easy to implement.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Add Compost to SoilHi, this is Charlie Siegchrist for About.com Home and Garden. Today I'm going to show you methods for adding compost to soil.
Compost Benefits in GardensCompost is a wonderful product to add to gardens. Organic matter will improve the porosity of the soil. That is, it will make water drain more easily. It will improve water holding in sandy soil. It acts like a sponge and releases moisture slowly. It is also a source of dilute fertility - not a product that you would get the same fertility as a granular fertilizer out of a bag, but it is a good longterm feed.
Compost Method: Boosting PlantsSo, composting the garden can be done in a number of ways. If we want to give these broccoli plants a boost, we can use the compost as a side dressing, where we shovel a band of it alongside the plants and we will come back alter and water the plants thoroughly which will dilute the fertilizer and feed the plants for a heavier harvest.
Compost Method: BroadcastingThe second approach is called broadcasting, where you simply spread the material evenly across the surface of the garden. And then there is a third approach to spreading it, where you take the wheelbarrow into the garden, and dump the material into a pile, and spread the pile out. It really does not make any difference to the final product. It is whatever is most convenient to you.
Get the Most From CompostTo make the compost more effective, we need to get it down into the ground, so there are a couple ways to do this. One is called double digging. Dig a trench and set the soil to one side, and then the composted material that we just spread on top gets flipped over into the trench. The compost is down in the root zone where the plant can best use it. Then we come through a second time and flip the composted material into that trench.
Compost With a Spade ForkAnother method for incorporating compost is to use a spade fork. This is a garden implement you can get at any garden store, so you can simply thrust this into the ground and give it a twist. You can incorporate the compost that way, as if it were the tines on a mix master. And this allows the compost to get down into the soil, aerates the soil, and aeration speeds the break down of the plant matter.
Determine Compost AmountsThe amount of compost you use depends on the fertility of the soil. Generally an application an inch and a half deep, well incorporated, will give your garden a real boost.
Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the Web at homegarden.about.com.