Compost provides beneficial organic matter to your soil, which provides better soil structure, beneficial micro-organisms, and necessary nutrients for healthy plant growth. You can use compost on your lawn, around trees or shrubs, or to improve your garden beds. Often, it makes more financial sense to order compost delivery in bulk. You can keep it on-site to use as needed during spring and early summer. The following are a few tips for your compost order and delivery.

How Much Do You Need?

Determining the amount of compost to order depends on how you plan to use it. If you are simply topdressing your lawn or around trees, you need enough to cover the top of the soil with a 1-inch layer, which is about 1 cubic yard of compost per square yard. For garden beds or other areas where you are planning to amend and improve the soil, you need to spread enough compost to apply a 2-4 inch layer, which equals about 1 1/2 to 3 cubic yards of compost per square yard.

How Should Compost Be Used?

For lawns, a 1/2 to 1-inch layer of compost is spread thinly over the yard and watered in. A compost or even a fertilizer spreader can be used for the application. Around trees and shrubs, you simply apply the amount of compost desired and then water well. In garden beds, the compost is typically tilled into the soil before planting. The only exception is in perennial flower beds, where the compost is applied in the same manner as around trees and shrubs.

What Is the Best Way to Store the Excess?

It's okay if you can't use the compost all at once, as it can be stored. To ensure it doesn't dry out and that the beneficial micro-organisms survive, store the compost in a shaded area. You can simply store it in a pile, but you may need to water it occasionally so it doesn't dry out. It's also possible to store compost in large garbage cans or storage tubs. Don't close lids tightly, as air should circulate into the compost, and you may need to occasionally water it to keep the compost damp.

What Happens If You Don't Use it All?

If you don't use all of the compost you ordered during the summer season, you have several options. You can continue to store it for use next spring. Freezing doesn't harm the compost, so its benefits will still be available to the yard the following year. You can also use compost to help put flower gardens to bed. Apply an inch or two of the compost over the top of the beds after you have cut back the plants in late fall. The compost will help insulate the roots from temperature fluctuations over winter.

Contact a compost supply company for more assistance.