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What Can Compost Be Used For? Top 10 Compost Uses

If you are a gardener or an environmentally conscious person, you probably know about the benefits of composting, but may be wondering how to use your finished compost. There are many uses for compost that can bring numerous benefits to your garden or yard.

Compost can be used in many ways. Some of the most popular uses for compost include use as a fertilizer for flowers or vegetable gardens, as a foundation for mulch, or as an additive to a variety of different plants and grasses around the average yard.

Composting can take some work, but the finished product is well worth it as it can bring numerous nutrients to your outdoor space. Keep reading to learn more about some popular uses for compost.

How to Use Compost?

Compost can be used in a variety of ways. Most commonly, it is an additive that, when combined with soil, will keep plants healthy and support growth. Many plants and vegetables will thrive with different combinations of compost and soil, most common is a half compost half soil mixture.

What Can You Do With Garden Compost

Garden compost is finished compost that is safe to apply to plants and growing spaces.  It often has the following uses:

  • Grow Plants
  • Replenish nutrients in the soil
  • Make new substances such as potting soil and compost tea

Whether you make it on your own or buy it, garden compost is extremely useful for any gardener.

Here’s a quick video showing this gardeners top 5 compost uses with my top 10 uses below:

10 Ways to Use Compost

There are many different ways to use compost. Each strategy will bring countless benefits to your garden or green space.

Make Mulch from Compost

Mulch conserves moisture and repels weeds. It is a very popular substance to add in many gardens and lawns. Mulch can be made from a variety of things, and many people use compost to make their mulch.

Mulch made from compost can be added in a thick layer around the base of the following:

  • Trees
  • Bushes
  • Plants
  • Perennials

The most important thing to remember is that, like any other type of mulch, compost-based mulch (source) will need to be removed from the plants each year in the spring so that the soil can warm and rejuvenate after the winter.

Spread Compost on Your Lawn

If you are replanting your lawn, compost is a great way to make sure that the grass grows healthily and rapidly.

Before seeding your lawn, spread a layer of compost across the area that you will be seeding. Keep the depth at around 1 to 2 inches. Compost can also be used on existing lawns. Spread the substance in areas where there is a bald spot or you notice that added soil is needed.

Support Spring Bulbs With Compost

Spring bulbs are dormant through the winter, and when compost is added to their planting hole, they have the extra boost they need to leave dormancy and begin growing in the spring.

Make Potting Soil From Compost

Although compost is not the same thing as potting soil, it can be used to create a nutrient-rich potting soil mixture. Combine your compost with topsoil and minerals such as perlite or vermiculite.

Do some research to determine the best ratios for mixing your compost-based soil. You can then use this mixture to start new plants or as an additive for contained garden spaces.

Replenish Soil With Compost

If you have planters or window boxes, adding a small amount of compost will help your flowers or other outdoor plants to thrive. Over time, potting soil becomes depleted of nutrients, and adding some compost will help return your plants to optimal health.

Add a small amount of compost to your planters approximately twice a year for the best results.

Make Compost Tea

Compost tea (source) is a liquid infusion that brings nutrients directly to the roots of your plants. Essentially, it is compost but in liquid form that can be directly applied to the soil or roots of a plant.

To make compost tea, you will need to “brew” your fully finished compost with water and various substances ranging from molasses to natural fertilizers. A little research will help you determine which type of compost tea will work best for your plants.

Once it has been created, compost tea can be directly applied to the plant either as a spray or with a watering can.

Add Compost to Your Garden

Fully-finished compost is a must for any garden. Each year, add a few inches of compost across the surface of your garden bed and then till it into the soil. When you plant seeds, add a few handfuls of compost into each planting hole.

Once plants begin to grow, you can continue to supplement compost around the base of each plant at regular monthly intervals. Soon you will notice your garden plants thriving!

Use Compost When Planting Trees and Shrubs

Trees and shrubs will appreciate the added nutrient boost provided by compost. When planting new trees or shrubs, add a layer of compost around the base to promote growth, and then continue to replenish this as needed.

Rejuvenate Your Fruit Trees With Compost

Fruit trees can be temperamental, and compost will keep them healthy. Add compost in the early spring before your fruit trees start to flower. This will give the trees the nutrients that they need to grow healthy fruit in the fall.

Add Compost to Perennials

Adding compost to perennials can extend their bloom time and keep the flowers vibrant throughout the fall.

When planting perennials, add a few handfuls of compost to the planting hole. You can then add more compost in the spring or fall around the base to keep weeds away and keep your plants healthy.


Compost is an exceptional way to care for your plants and spur their growth. Many people make their own compost, but it can also be purchased from garden stores or farms in many locations.

It may take some experimenting to get the right amount of compost around your plants, but with some patience, you will soon have a garden, flowers, lawns, and green spaces that are healthy and brighten your day.

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