Comprehensive Compost Guide

Apr 19, 2018 | Landscape Supply, Uncategorized

When you picture your yard, is it teeming with luscious landscape? Does your vision include beautiful trees and shrubs sprouting from the earth, a nicely manicured lawn and gorgeous flower beds? If so, you might want to familiarize yourself with compost.  Many picturesque landscapes are maintained by chemicals that are harsh on the environment and hard to maintain. By using compost, you can create a beautiful yard in a more organic way. 

What is Compost? 

Compost is a material that allows you to create a sustainable, environmentally friendly landscape. This essential landscape supply is just decomposed organic matter. Through composting, organic material like leaves, plants, and grass or  homemade versions with food waste, are recycled to create a soil amendment. When added to soil, compost has numerous benefits.  

The Benefits of Compost 

By adding compost to the soil in your landscape, you can increase nutrient levels as well as the ability of the soil to store these nutrients. It can also adjust soil pH, improve soil structure, and increase populations of microorganisms beneficial to plant growth. Studies have also shown that compost enables fruits and vegetables to stand up to common diseases better, as well as improving their flavor and nutritional value. In addition, compost can also enhance the ability of your soil to retain moisture, which is essential for warmer summer months. 

It is important to remember that compost is not a one size fits all type of product. To best utilize compost and truly make your landscape stand out, you need to be aware of the different types offered and their best applications. Flower gardens, trees and grass have different nutrient needs, and varying types of compost will best address those specific requirements.    

Container Mix 

For commercial growers, Container Mix is a must. This type of compost is made from a blend of premium compost, silica propagating sand, pine bark and rice hulls. It is ideal for commercial potting needs because it provides easy cultivation and workability. By using Container Mix in your nursery, you can improve your soil’s efficiency. The organic matter operates like a sponge, holding nutrients and moisture in the root zone while resisting shrinkage and compaction. They won’t leach away with heavy rainfalls, which means your crops will have steady access to the nutrients they need to thrive.  

Another great thing about Container Mix is that is can also be used in automatic potting machines, and is ideal for liner plants, perennials and annuals in pots and fixed landscapes. Container Mix provides you better control over the quality, consistency and yield of your crops.   

Earthblend Leaf Compost 

When looking for the perfect compost for your landscape beds, Earthblend Leaf Compost might be the best option. This compost is made from yard waste and leaves. This means it is rich in organics and great for producing high-quality, rich plant growth. It is best used by blending it with existing soils for back filling when you are planting plants, shrubs or trees. This is due to its ability to break up clay soil.  

Earthblend Leaf Compost also offers two in one versatility because it can be used as mulch in landscape beds around ornamental plants. Its rich dark brown color is a great design element, while providing the necessary nutrients and moisture to your plants. This compost is easy to work with, and can be cultivated even by inexperienced homeowners. 

 

Sweet Peet 

Sweet Peet is another type of compost that is best used for flower and vegetable gardens due to its unique composition. This compost is 100% organic, with virgin wood shavings and composted agricultural manure. It acts as a buffer for acid and alkaline soils, and maintains the desired “Sweet Spot” for gardeners. By adding moisture to the soil and maintaining nutrients in the root zone, Sweet Peet promotes natural plant growth. It also goes through a thermal process during production that destroys weeds and seeds. This prevents contamination in your garden, which is not always offered in typical soils. With microbe replenishment and increased soil fertility, your gardens will grow lusciously when Sweet Peet is applied.   

How to Measure for Compost 

Once you’ve chosen the best compost for your situation, the next step is determining how much you will actually need. You don’t want to run out in the middle of applying it or waste money over ordering, so it is important to measure properly. 

First, you’ll need to measure, in feet, how long and wide the landscape bed that you want to cover is. Multiply those two numbers together to determine the square footage of the bed. Do this for all of the beds or gardens that you are going to apply compost to, and then add them together. 

The next step is to decide how deep you want the compost to be. 2 inches is typically average for compost depth, and it’s unnecessary to go much thicker than that for compost. After selecting the desired thickness of compost, find the accompanying square footage from the conversion chart below. Then, divide your total square footage by that number to determine how many cubic yards of compost to order. It’s always good to have a bit extra on hand, so round up. 

Conversion Chart 

1296 sq. ft. 1/4″ deep 

648 sq. ft. 1/2″ deep 

324 sq. ft. 1″ deep 

162 sq. ft. 2″ deep 

108 sq. ft. 3″ deep 

81 sq. ft. 4″ deep 

For example, imagine that you have 600 square feet of beds that need compost applied and you want your compost to be 2” thick. Divide 600 sq. ft. by 162, which results in 3.7. Based on this, you will want to round up and purchase 4 cubic yards of compost. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the professionals. We can always be reached by phone or in one of our stores. 

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Expertly Reviewed By:
Matt Malone, Vice President Operations
Matt Malone
Matt is an accomplished business professional with over three decades of experience in the green industry. As a graduate of the University of Toledo with a Bachelors of Business Administration, he has put his extensive education and training to work in his nearly 15 years with Kurtz Bros., where he currently serves as Vice President of Operations.

Learn More About Matt

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