It’s easy to know how to use multi purpose compost if you know what it is.
What Is Multi-Purpose Compost?
Multi-purpose compost is a type of soil that can be used for a variety of purposes. It is made up of organic matter, such as leaves and grass, that has been decomposed by bacteria and fungi. This process makes the nutrients in the compost more available to plants.
To make multi-purpose compost, you will need:
- A bin or container with a lid.
- Brown materials, such as leaves and twigs.
- Green materials, such as grass clippings and fruit scraps.
You should also add a layer of soil to your bin or container. This will help the bacteria and fungi in the compost break down the organic matter.
To make sure your compost has the right ratio of brown to green materials, you can use a compost calculator.
Once you have all of your materials, mix them in your bin or container. Add water until the compost is moist, but not wet.
Place the lid on your bin or container and allow the compost to decompose for several weeks. Once it has decomposed, it will be a dark brown color and have a crumbly texture. You can then use your multi-purpose compost in any way you would use regular compost.
How To Use Multi-Purpose Compost
1. Improve drainage in heavy clay soils: Just work a layer of compost into the topsoil before planting.
2. Create new flower beds and borders: Simply mark out the area you want, dig over the soil and mix in some compost, then level off and plant.
3. Plant trees and shrubs: For best results, mix generous amounts of compost with the native soil when backfilling the planting hole. Use a garden fork to loosen the bottom of the hole before adding compost to improve drainage.
4. Transform your lawn: A thick, green lawn is the envy of every gardener but achieving one can be difficult, especially in shady areas. Luckily, by top dressing with a layer of compost once a year, you can give your lawn the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and look its best.
5. Sow seeds: Use a mix of two parts seed sowing compost to one part horticultural grit to sow your delicate flower and vegetable seedlings. This ensures good drainage while still providing enough moisture and nutrients for germination.
6. Pot up plants: Repotting houseplants every year or so prevents them from becoming pot-bound and stressed. Simply loosen the root ball with your fingers before adding a layer of fresh compost to the bottom of the new pot. Gently tease out the roots, then back-fill with more compost before giving the plant good water.
7. Make compost: What could be more satisfying than making your compost? It’s easy to do and a great way to recycle garden waste. Simply add a mix of green and brown materials to a compost bin or heap, then leave it to decompose. Once it’s ready, use it in the garden as you would any other type of compost.
8. Improve sandy soils: Sandy soils are free-draining but lack nutrients, so adding compost will help to retain moisture and improve fertility. Just work it into the soil before planting.
9. Grow healthy plants: Young plants, in particular, benefit from an annual feeding of compost. Mix a handful or two with the soil when planting out seedlings or applying as a top-dress to containers.
10. Make potting mix: For best results, make your potting mix by combining compost with other ingredients such as horticultural grit, perlite, or vermiculite. This ensures good drainage while still providing enough moisture and nutrients for plants.
11. Suppress weeds: A thick layer of mulch suppresses weed growth by preventing light from reaching the soil. Apply a 5-7cm (2-3in) layer of compost or other organic matter around the base of plants, making sure to keep it away from stems.
12. Reduce water loss: In hot weather, watering plants regularly can be a challenge, especially if you’re trying to save water. One way to reduce evaporation is to mulch the soil with a layer of compost, which will also help to suppress weeds.
13. Insulate roots: A thick layer of mulch helps to insulate plant roots from extreme temperatures, whether it’s hot or cold. This is especially important in the summer when heat can stress and damage plants.
14. Make leaf mold: Leaf mold is a fantastic soil conditioner and can be made by simply composting fallen leaves. Just collect them in a bin or heap, dampen them down with water, and leave them to decompose for several months. Once they’ve broken down, you can use them in the garden as you would any other type of compost.
15. Improve drainage: If your soil is heavy and clay-like, adding compost will help to improve drainage and make it easier for roots to spread. Just work it into the soil before planting.
16. Make a seedbed: If you want to sow seeds directly into the ground, making a seedbed is a great way to get started. Just mark out the area, dig over the soil, and mix in some compost, then level off and sow your seeds. Once they’ve germinated, thin out the seedlings so they have enough space to grow.
17. Top dress containers: Over time, nutrients in pots can become depleted, so they need to be replaced regularly. This is known as a top dressing and is best done in the spring. Simply remove the top layer of compost from the pot, add a fresh layer of compost and water well.
18. Make Liquid fertilizer: Comfrey makes an excellent liquid fertilizer for plants. Just chop up some leaves and add them to a bucket of water, then leave it to steep for a few weeks before using it on your plants.
19. Mulch garden beds: A layer of mulch helps to suppress weeds, conserves water, and keeps roots cool in summer. It also looks tidy and can help to prevent soil erosion. Apply a 5-7cm (2-3in) layer of compost or other organic matter around the base of plants, making sure to keep it away from stems.
20. Make a compost tea: Compost tea is a great way to give plants a boost of nutrients. Simply add some compost to a bucket of water and leave it to steep for a few days, then dilute and use it on your plants. You can also add a small amount of molasses to the water, which will help to feed the bacteria in the compost.
There are so many ways to use multi-purpose compost. Multi-purpose compost can be used as a top dressing for lawns, gardens, and potting mix. It can also be used to make compost tea, which is a liquid fertilizer that can be used to water plants. Whichever way it is used adds value to your gardening.