An Introduction to Spreading Compost on a Lawn

The best way to improve your soil is by spreading compost on your lawn, and spreading compost is a natural, healthy process!  Organic lawn care begins with maintaining healthy soil using natural processes rather than scattering harsh chemicals everywhere.  Like plants in a garden, grass grows best when the soil is rich in nutrients and full of organic matter. One way to achieve this is by spreading compost on your lawn.  Compost is suitable for any yard because it helps the grass retain moisture, provides essential nutrients for the grass and improves drainage.  Additionally, spreading compost encourages beneficial microbes to grow, which are key ingredients to a naturally healthy lawn.  That’s why the Landzie team wants to help you learn more about the benefits of spreading compost and the steps to take as you spread compost on your lawn.

What is Compost?

Compost is decomposed organic matter, such as leaves, grass clippings, and kitchen scraps. Organic matter turns into compost through the process of decomposition, which is when microorganisms break down organic matter into smaller pieces.  As the decomposition continues, these smaller pieces eventually break down into individual nutrients that plants need for food.   That’s certainly not everything you need to know about compost, but it’s enough to get you started.

About the Author

Noah Hewitt is a college student studying English at the University of Kentucky. He is passionate about good writing that creates a connection with readers. Noah currently resides in New Jersey.

7-Step Guide to Spreading Compost on a Lawn

Spreading compost on your lawn is easy!  Just follow this 7-step guide to learn more.

1. Rake the Lawn to Remove Debris

First, choose a day when the weather is cooperative.  Don’t try to rake your lawn in the rain or in the heat, because you’ll want to quit before you’re done!  In addition to a rake, you should have some gloves to prevent blisters and a garbage can for the debris.

Start by raking in one direction across your entire lawn. Be sure to overlap each stroke so that you don’t miss any spots.  Once you’ve gone over the entire lawn once, go back and rake in the opposite direction. This will help ensure that you’ve gotten all of the debris up off of the ground.  Finally, dispose of any debris in your garbage can and put away your tools until next time!

2. Use a Lawn Compost Spreader

The first step is to load the compost into your lawn compost spreader.  Just shovel it in, or for larger quantities, use a bucket or other container to pour it in.

Once the compost is loaded, the next step is to simply push or pull the spreader along the lawn like you’re using a walk-behind mower.  It’s important to keep an eye on how much compost is being dispensed as you go along, and make adjustments as necessary.  For example, if you want a thick layer of compost, roll it two or three times over your lawn.  Continue to push or pull the spreader until you’ve covered the entire area.

3. Water the Compost

Use a hose or watering can, depending on the size of the area.  Wet the compost thoroughly until it can’t take in any more moisture.  The water helps the compost stick to the ground so it won’t easily blow away in the wind.

4. Let the Compost Settle

Allow the compost to sit for 1-2 days while it settles into the lawn.  You can skip this step if you’re in a hurry, but you’ll maintain a more even layer of compost if you let it settle.

5. Use a Lawn Leveling Rake

Use a hand-held lawn leveling rake, or a large drag leveling rake to even out the surface of the compost.  Lawn leveling rakes are great for creating a level surface on your lawn.  To use one, simply rake it over the area you want to level.  This step is important because it gets rid of any unwanted lumps in the yard and ensures that the grass grows evenly.

6. Water the Lawn Again

Give your even layer of compost a thorough watering again.  This time, be careful not to overwater, as puddles will damage that nice even surface you just finished crafting.

7. Repeat Steps 2-6 Every Few Months

It‘s generally a good idea to add a layer of compost to your lawn every few months. I like to spread compost in the spring and in the fall to help feed the grass during the main growing seasons.  Continue to follow this guide, and you will see how you improve soil quality and promote healthy growth over time.

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Spreading Compost – Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Spread Compost on a Lawn?

It is very possible to spread compost on your lawn and very common. Spread a thin layer of compost over your lawn using a rake. Water the area lightly to help the compost settle into the grass. Mulching your lawn with compost can help improve the health of your grass and soil. It can also help to control weeds and conserve moisture.

How Do You Spread Compost on Existing Grass?

The best way to spread compost to existing grass is to use a lawn spreader. A lawn spreader will help to evenly distribute the compost over the grass which will help the grass to absorb the nutrients in the compost more effectively. If you do not have a lawn spreader you can also spread the compost by hand. However, this will take more time and effort. It may not be as effective in terms of evenly distributing the compost.

Can You Put Compost on Top of Soil?

You can put compost on top of the soil without mixing it with the soil. If you put compost on top of the soil it will eventually break down and mix in with the soil on its own. However, mixing it in beforehand will help the compost break down faster and provide nutrients to your plants more quickly.

How Much Compost Do I Add to My Lawn?

It varies on the type of lawn, the condition of the soil, and the desired results. However, a general rule of thumb is to add ¼ to ½ inch of compost to the lawn each season.  Compost is an excellent way to add nutrients and organic matter to the lawn. It can help improve the soil structure, increase drainage, and even improve the overall health of the lawn.

Can I Top-Dress My Lawn With Compost?

You can top dress your lawn with compost. Compost is a great way to add nutrients and organic matter to your lawn. It can help improve the health of your lawn and help disease and pests. Be sure to use a coarse compost that will not compact the lawn itself. Apply a thin layer of compost no more than ½ inch and spread it evenly. Water the compost lightly after applying it.

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