How to Add Compost to Existing Plant

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Last Updated on October 29, 2022

Adding finished compost to your garden plant isn’t a difficult task, but you need to do it properly. There are ways to add fertilizer directly to your plant, and you need to be familiar with the process if you are going to get the best out of composting. 

The main reason for starting a compost bin is to convert your household waste into useful nutrients for your plants. It will be of no use if your plants don’t get the most out of all the effort you put into the whole process. 

It doesn’t matter if it is your lawn grass or garden bed, adding compost is easy and doesn’t require any specific training. Once you know when to add compost to your garden, and how to do it; you can now get the best out of all the many months and stress of composting. 

How to Add Compost to Plants? 

The soil characteristics and climate conditions of your area go a long way to determine how often to apply compost. If you live in regions with cold weather and a single growing season, it is best to add compost once during spring. 

If you are in a region where it is possible to plant crops all year round, you can add compost twice or thrice a year, depending on how many times a year you plant on your garden. You should do this especially when you plant vegetables, herbs, and flowers; to replenish the lost nutrients after each season

There are a lot of ways you can add compost to your existing garden plant, but we suggest that you should try any of the methods below for safe practice. 

  • Using Compost to Amend the Soil 

You can add compost to your soil by slowly using the compost to amend the soil. Since you can’t make use of forks around the roots of your shrubs and vegetables, the safer alternative will be to use your hands. With your bare hands or pair of gloves on, you can spread your compost in layers of up to 4 inches around your plants. You should leave a foot space between the stem or trunk of your plant and the fertilizer, to prevent rotting of plant parts. You can finish off the process by using a rake to mix the compost on the top of the soil, and spread it uniformly for deeper penetration into the soil. 

  • In the Form of Compost Tea 

Compost Tea is also a great way to feed your plants all the nutrients that are beneficial to their growth and development. You can do this by taking a pillowcase, and filling it will ready-made compost. Once it is full, dip it in a bucket of water, and allow it to settle for a few days. After two or three days, the compost should be ready for use. You can tell by looking at the compost tea; if the color is dark brown, it is ready for use. Fill the compost tea into a spray bottle for easy application to your plant leaves and roots. You want to make sure that you apply the compost tea evenly to all parts of your garden. 

  • As a Mulch 

You can also apply compost to your garden plant as a mulch. Before you begin the process, you want to ensure that you remove all weed and grass from around your plants. You want to do this to avoid them competing for the nutrient with your garden plants. You will need to convert the compost into smaller pieces to be able to use them as a mulch. You can do this by using a mesh to sift the large sizes from the smaller ones. You also want to be careful not to waste too much of the compost during this procedure. So you should do the sifting inside a wheelbarrow, to avoid wastage. Spread the compost uniformly on the surface of the soil, you want to be careful to avoid contact with the stem of the plant. 

How to Add Compost to Existing Plant

  • As a Top Dressing 

Another method you can use to apply compost to your garden is as a top dressing. This method works best for lawn grass since you have to spread the compost and cover it with grass. You will have to make use of a rake to spread the compost into your lawn roots and water your garden afterward. 

It is best to top-dress your lawn at the onset of spring and the end of fall. 

Before Adding Compost to Your Garden 

You want to ensure that you use only high-quality compost in your garden. You want to avoid using compost that contains ingredients that are toxic and can harm your plants. If you are going to be making your compost bin, you want to ensure that you make use of the right materials and follow the best composting practice

You also want to ensure that your garden is free from weed and grasses to prevent competition for the available soil nutrients. 

Compost is only safe to use on garden soil when it is fully decomposed, so you want to ensure that you check that there are no lumps or materials in the compost when adding it to your soil. 

How to Add Compost to Existing Plant


Can I just put compost on top of soil?

There’s no doubt that compost is an important part of a garden, but there are some questions about how much compost to use and when.

This is a great question! It depends on the type of soil. If the soil is very sandy or clay like, then you can probably put it on top. The reason for this is that the sand and clay particles will settle down in the bottom of the pot and your compost can mix into the top layer.

How often should I add compost to my plants?

There are two general rules of thumb for adding compost to your garden. The first is that you should use compost every month, or at least every three months. This will help the soil stay healthy and retain moisture.

Can compost be added to garden after planting?

It's best to wait until the soil is warm enough for you to work with it. If you have a tiller, you can dig the compost in and mix it with the soil after planting. If you don't have a tiller, you could do the same thing by using a spade or hoe to break up the composted material before mixing it into the soil.

Should I water after adding compost?

You don't need to water. It is best to not water in summer because water evaporates, and if you are watering the garden, then it will be used by the plants as a source of nutrients.

Is compost good for houseplants?

I had my doubts at first, but after watching and reading about how compost works in the soil, I’m convinced that it can be just as beneficial to houseplants.

How often should you add compost to potted plants?

If you want your plants to get the nutrients they need, add compost regularly. The amount you use depends on how large your pots are and the size of the plant you are adding them to. For example, a small pot of soil will need more compost than a larger one. To determine the best time to add compost, refer to your garden centre's or home improvement store's recommendations.

Why You Should Add Compost to your Garden 

Using compost in your garden is as effective as adding organic fertilizers. Compost is household waste that has undergone biological breakdown and is safe to use on all garden plants. You should be aware that it is unsafe to use human waste in edible garden plants. It will be best to make use of kitchen waste instead and save the humanure for your lawn grass. 

Now that you know the various methods on how to add compost to existing plants, you shouldn’t have a hard time making use of all that compost in your backyard pile. If you have any more questions or will like to contribute, feel free to make use of the comment section. We will love to hear from you. 

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