The Q&A Archives: best Compost for Soil

Question: I just bought a home that has been vacant for three years, and I would like to get started on the landscape. However, the soil is full of rocks, and not rich at all. I was wondering what is the best type of compost to use on the soil, or any suggestions, on how to get rich soil in my yard.

Answer: Building good soil takes some time but the results will be worth the effort. With rich, loamy soil your plants will thrive. You'll probably want to start out small and work your way around the garden, enriching one flower or vegetable bed at a time. Begin by removing any exisiting vegetation and then spreading 4-5" of organic matter (compost, aged manure, shredded leaves, etc.) over the top of the bed. Dig it into the soil to a depth of 8-10 inches, then rake the soil smooth and plant. After planting spread another 2-4" of organic matter over the bare soil. This mulch will help suppress weeds and slow water evaporation. At the end of the gardening season you can dig the mulch into the soil and spread a fresh layer over the top of the soil. A few years of this practice will provide you with wonderful loamy soil.

Best wishes with your new landscape!

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