What do I do with my compost?

Page updated on: 19/01/2023

When your compost is ready it will be dark and earthy with a slightly moist and crumbly texture. If you have a few twiggy bits you can still use it or just sieve them out and put back in the heap again.

You can use your compost on borders and flower beds, dig in before planting or simply spread a thin layer around the base of already planted specimens – though leave a gap around any soft stemmed plants.

Use rougher compost as a mulch, to suppress weeds and keep in moisture. This also provides nutrients and prevents soil erosion.

Trees can also benefit from a 5-10 cm layer of compost around the roots. Doing this once or twice a year helps prevent against drought and disease as well as providing valuable nutrients.

Old soil in potted plants has little nutrients left so remove a few centimetres of soil from the top and add in your new compost leaving a gap around any soft stems. You can also mix your compost with soil or leaf mould to create your own potting mixture for patio containers. Remember though your compost will be strong so only use 1/3 of it in your mixture for young plants or seeds.

If you are a keen gardener and grow your own fruit, veg and herbs then you will already know your compost is a great addition to the soil. But even if you have no plants in your garden you can just dress your lawn with the compost which will make it healthier and greener. For mature lawns sieve your compost to remove and large debris and then mix 50:50 with sharp sand to help it spread. Then sprinkle a 2.5 cm layer over your lawn (please note this mixture maybe too strong for new lawns).