10 Tips for Composting in the City

Use It Wisely
A little compost can feed a beautiful lawn.
A little compost can feed a beautiful lawn.

Compost gives a boost to any indoor or outdoor plant. Spread several inches on your vegetable garden in the fall and mix it into the soil come springtime. When planting, put a handful in each hole. Once plants begin to grow, add a half-inch (1.27 centimeters) around their base. If your compost contains plant cuttings or grass clippings that have been sprayed with pesticides, don't use it on fruits or vegetables.

After the ground has softened in spring, loosen the top few inches of your flowerbeds and mix in a layer of compost. Then, use it as mulch to control weeds and conserve moisture. Add compost twice a year to potted plants and window boxes to make your flowers flourish. Or, use it to make your own potting soil using two parts of your mixture to one part sand.

Top dressing with compost will green up your grass. If you have a spreader, that's the easiest way to apply it. If not, a shovel and rake will work. Treat bald spots by mixing compost into the soil before reseeding.

Apply up to 2 inches (a little over 5 centimeters) under trees to reduce moisture loss, stabilize soil temperature and provide nutrients. Compost placed directly against the bark of the tree could cause rot and invite pests, so be sure to leave some space.

Use your compost wisely and you'll soon be enjoying the fruits, and vegetables, of your labor; your daylilies and lawn will be the envy of the neighborhood; and your plants will never be happier.

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