The Benefits Of Adding Compost To Your Lawn
For the incredible effect of having really lush landscapes – adding compost to your lawn is essential. Anyone who intends to support the radiant health of your landscapes – will need to generate compost for optimal organic fertilization.
What Exactly is Compost?
Compost is used for lawn seeding, and for enhancing your soil with life-affirming nutrients that cause your landscapes to glow. Adding compost to your lawn, also known as top dressing, is a natural fertilizing method that can be done by you or a professional for healthier grass. It is a very simple process to learn. The Grounds Guys® can help get your composting project started.
All you need are kitchen scraps, including:
- vegetable and fruit peelings
You can also use household waste, such as:
- paper towels and napkins
And you can use your yard waste:
- raked leaves
- dead plants
Do Not Use These Items:
- Pet waste
The Secret “Glowing Lawn” Recipe
Left alone in nature, all organic matter eventually decomposes. But to speed things up a bit, use a recipe that includes “browns” and “greens” in a certain mix. “Browns” are things like dead leaves that are high in carbon, and “greens” are things like vegetable peelings that are high in carbon.
As close as possible, maintain a compost pile with a ratio of 4:1 — 4 parts of “brown” ingredients and 1 part of “green ingredients.” With these proportions, the components decompose quicker and lack offensive odors.
Top Dressing: The Benefits of Composting for Your Lawn
How Much Compost For Your Lawn
So you want to add compost to your lawn and you arent sure how much you should add, it depends on the size of your lawn is the simple answer.
When you add compost to your lawn the idea is to have an even layer of fresh compost over the top of your lawn the nutrients in the compost will get absorbed by the soil that is underneath and this will then have many benefits to the root systems underneath.
When you add compost to your lawn you should spread it so that it is evenly spread and is only around half an inch thick.
If you get this right and its spread evenly it should mean that there is a thin layer of compost and the grass should be sticking out this fresh layer of compost and standing above the new topsoil.
When you are adding a layer of topsoil to your lawn, I personally think it is better to use too little than too much as if you have spread compost over your lawn and you havent used enough you can simply add more but if you put a ton of compost on your lawn and it turns out to be far too much you will have some difficulty getting it back off your lawn.
To decide if you should use compost or fertilizer
How To Apply Compost To A Grass Lawn
Your lawn may be looking a little lackluster after a wet spring or dry summer, so amend the turf with organic compost. Compost adds nutrients and may curb certain soil-based pathogens and diseases. Cornell University recommends a silty, smooth, plant-based or poultry-manure compost with a mild pH of 6 or 7. Avoid composts with soluble salts, because these may burn portions of the lawn and encourage weed growth. To prevent smothering of the turf, lay a 1/4-inch compost top dressing onto the lawn.
Determine how many cubic yards of compost you need to lay a 1/4-inch dressing of compost. Measure the lawn’s length and width in feet, and multiply the totals to determine the area. Multiply the area by 0.25, the desired depth of the compost, and by 0.0031. For example, if your lawn measures 9,000 square feet, multiply this by 0.25 and 0.0031 to get 6.975. Round up to the nearest whole number to get the total cubic yards needed. In the example cited, a 9,000-square-foot lawn area needs 7 cubic feet of compost for a layer that is 1/4 inch thick.
Water the lawn with approximately 1 inch of water one day before you aerate the lawn and add compost. To determine how much water your lawn is getting, place an empty tuna can in the yard and turn on the sprinkler. When the tuna can is full, turn off the sprinkler.
Water the lawn lightly to moisten the compost and encourage it to seep into the soil.
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Icular Top Dressings And When To Use Them
You can also use particular composts and other top dressings to change the acidity or drainage of the soil.
For example, it is common practice to add a top dressing of sharp sand to improve drainage, especially after spiking the lawn in autumn, or if your lawn suffers from waterlogging in winter.
And adding a peat-based compost, which you can buy from compost suppliers, can acidify the soil and discourage worms. So if your lawn seems to have excessive quantities of worm casts, top dress with peat.
A word of warning
It takes a while for any top dressing to settle into the lawn. Try to avoid walking on it immediately afterwards, and prevent children and pets from playing on it for at least a few days, and preferably longer, until the top dressing is no longer obvious. This is not to save your lawn, which will not be affected by the use, but to avoid the risk of carrying compost into the house and dirtying floors! Peat-based composts, in particular, are very dark in colour, and can mark carpets and floors.
If you thick you lawn is beyond repair or you require some turf to patch it, visit our specialist Turf Growers website.
We have been producing and supplying quality compost and topsoil products since 2007.
Our screening and blending plant is an indoor opperation, ensuring your topsoil and compost is low in moisture all year round, this means your not paying for water, just quality compost and topsoil.
Best Way To Spread Compost On Lawn
People spread compost on their lawns in different ways using different equipment and garden tools. For many, spreading with a compost spreader may be ideal, for others, hand spreading and raking would be a much better idea. But theres always a never-ending debate on gardening forums about the simple and effective ways.
In this article, we seek to highlight some of the best ways people have been spreading compost on their lawns. So, lets begin.
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How To Fix Too Much Compost On Lawn
If you have done the disastrous thing that is adding far too much compost to your lawn so that the grass is completely covered, you really do have to take emergency action as your grass will deteriorate due to lack of light.
There are really only two ways you can remove excess compost from your lawn the first one is to simply brush and scrape it up and remove it from your lawn.
The easiest way to fix the problem of having too much compost on your lawn is to make sure you dont apply enough in the first place, it is easier to add extra compost if you havent added enough the first time than to remove any excess compost which is a hard task, believe me, Ive had to do it in the past.
How Use Compost Soil Mix For Lawn
You may have known that compost is very beneficial to soil and would love to apply it to your lawn. In this article, youll learn how to use compost soil mix for your lawn.
Composting or topdressing grass can be highly useful. When organic matter is added to soil, it improves the soil structure and adds nutrients, providing a variety of benefits. The act of putting a thin layer over the surface of anything is known as a top dressing.
Were applying a thin coating of compost to the lawns surface in this example, and it doesnt take much to get the job done. You want to apply just enough compost to provide your lawn a decent balance of nutrients and helpful bacteria, but not so much that it becomes suffocating.
You just need to apply ¼ to ½ inches of compost over the grass when top dressing it. Rain, wind, soil organisms, and human actions all help to carry compost down through the lawn and into the soil, where it may do its function.
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When To Supplement With Fertilizer
Though adding compost and mulching grass clippings and leaves will reduce the need for supplemental fertilizer, these practices cannot completely replace fertilizer. A slow-release fertilizer like Milorganite will feed the lawn continuously for many weeks, with none of the nutrient-burn concerns that come with synthetic fertilizers.
Fertilizer will help the grass grow and will give the lawn that deep, emerald green color. The lawn will be denser, which withstands foot traffic and stops weeds from taking hold.
In northern regions, where cool-season grasses dominate, apply Milorganite once or twice between Labor Day and Thanksgiving, waiting 8-10 weeks between applications. Apply again, once or twice, between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.
In southern regions, where warm-season grasses thrive, apply in the spring after the grass breaks its winter dormancy, and then again around Memorial Day. In the fall, apply once or twice between Labor Day and early October.
How To Compost Grass Clippings: 4 Easy Methods
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Did you know that grass clippings make up nearly 20% of the solid waste that collected in communities? And thats a year round average, not just the summer months. In fact, during summer months the grass clippings of some communities can make up a staggering 50% of collected waste! Now, grass is obviously far more environmentally friendly than plastics glass or metals but it still means that millions and millions of pounds of something that could easily be composted and add to the environment end up in a landfill.
In fact, by 2017 numbers 37 million tons of yard waste was disposed of by Solid Waste Management. And in case you need some zeros to help visualize it, thats 74,000,000,000 pounds or the weight of 82 million lawnmowers.
Now that waste will, of course, break down. But knowing how to compost grass clippings will do far more that just decrease the volume of solid waste. Just tossing it is a huge missed opportunity!
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Can You Plant Grass Seed Over Dead Grass
Dont sow any seeds on top of dead grass. If you do it will just sit there when it needs to be on the soil surface where it can put down roots.
If you have any dead grass lying around, the best thing you can do is to rake it all out and put it through your composting system. This sort of material will make really good compost.
How To Spread Compost On The Lawn
Compost for lawns can be made from grass clippings, fruit and vegetable waste or even coffee grounds. You can also include things like dead twigs and leaves along with some water for extra moisture.
After the materials that have been composted break down, the material turns into rich, organic matter that helps gardens to grow. It is often mixed into soil and used as garden mulch, but can compost be used on lawns? If so, how is spreading it on your lawn best achieved?
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Compost Vs Fertilizer Lawn Care
When it comes to caring for your lawn, you probably want to get the greenest and most lush-looking grass possible. In fact, you may pride yourself on making your lawn look better than all of your neighbors lawns. If youve been using fertilizers to achieve these results, you may want to take a minute to learn about some of the benefits that compost can offer in addition to lowering the risks associated with chemical fertilizers.
At A1 Organics, we pride ourselves on being Colorados leader in organic recycling, and offering you the certified compost and premium mulch you need to help your lawn look its best. Contact us today to learn more about our closed-loop sustainable business, and access the high-quality, certified landscape products you need in Denver and across the Front Range.
Applying Compost To Your Lawn
Applying compost can be as simple as spreading raw compost as a top coat to your lawn, either in dedicated areas or full coverage. This method can be effective however, it is timely and labour intensive. Often compost is distributed unevenly, with some areas have too little and others too much.
Mulching by hand like this is ideal for small areas and garden beds where distribution is more easily seen and managed. However, to get the most from composting your lawn, you can optionally spread a pelletized compost using a broadcast spreader such as a typical seed broadcaster.
Pelletized compost, just as it sounds, is an organic compost that has been compressed into individual pellets, small enough to be easily used in a broadcast spreader. Using pelletized compost dramatically improves overall distribution and lawn coverage and takes a fraction of the time that would otherwise be spent hand spreading bags or yards of standard compost.
Pelletized compost also has the added benefit of being more discrete and visually appealing than traditional compost, which would otherwise sit as black patches on your lawn until the compost biodegrates into the soil.
Our teams at TLC Landscaping regularly use pelletized composting for our clients in early spring and late fall, and the results are fantastic.
Pro-Tip: Combine pelletized composting with slit seeding to supercharge the growth of your lawn. This pairing is an outstanding team to ensure you have a healthy and full lawn each season
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Using Compost To Improve Your Lawn
Regardless of whether youve just installed some brand-new lawn turf or have an existing lawn, compost can be used to achieve healthier, thicker grass.
On a newly-seeded lawn, you should apply a thin layer of compost to help keep the soil moisture consistent as the seeds begin to germinate and the grass seedlings establish. Top-dressing with compost is useful during dry spells as it stops new turf from drying out.
On an existing lawn, compost can be used to revitalise your grass, particularly if it has been damaged from foot traffic, mowing and wintry weather. Top-dressing an existing lawn works well if the turf is aerated prior to spreading the compost. This can be done manually or via machine if youre tending to a large patch of grass.
How To Use Compost For New Garden Beds
If Im using compost to make a new garden bed or installing a new lawn in a soil without much organic matter, Ill often till 2-6 inches of compost into the top 8-10 inches of soil. Thats generally too much compost to use more than once in the same garden, but for a soil that is low in organic matter, its useful to get that in there in the beginning.
I dont do a lot of tilling in my organic garden, but if Im putting in a new bed, I may till or double dig in a whole whack of compost to get the organic matter down deep.
I know this hurts my soil structure and many of the microbes and small animals living in it, but this will be fixed after a few years and the organic matter will be there for much longer. I dont want to do this damage every year, though.
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How Long Does Compost Take To Mature
The speed at which organic matter breaks down depends on three things:
A compost tumbler helps compost break down more quickly.
Depending on the factors above your compost could take anywhere from four weeks to 12 months to fully decompose. If youre using a tumbler, youll have ready-to-use compost in three weeks to three months.
Fight Disease And Pests
Soil that is rich in natural bacteria and microorganisms gives plants whats needed to help fight off disease and pests which might otherwise take hold. In addition, these microscopic critters help to break down organic matter such as the thatch layer that naturally accumulates on top of the soil, manure and plant residue. Healthy soil = healthy grass.
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What Is Food Composting
Food composting is a natural, controlled process of the decomposition of organic material. Once the material is recycled or decomposed, it turns into rich soil called compost.
Usually, gardeners and farmers use compost to supplement and improve their soils physical properties, or as a substitute for soil for plants.
But, you dont have to be a gardener or farmer to use food composting. Food composting can simply be used as lawn fertilizer to take care of trouble spots and turn your lawn into the lush, green yard it deserves to be.