Lisa's Landscape & Design

Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time

Compost Can Save the World…

Compost in the breaking down process, food scraps turn into rich organic soil.

Compost in the breaking down process, food scraps turn into rich organic soil.

Looking for the easiest and safest way to fertilize your lawn, trees and beds? Compost is a fantastic way to add quality soil to your lawn, fertilize your sod and get in a good workout all at the same time.

The purpose for adding compost is to add an organic fertilizer while adding depth to your soil. Compost allows the roots of your lawn to have some additional soil to grow more deeply into. Compost is filled with nutrients and micro organisms that feed fungus and micorrhizea (necessary for plants to use the soils nutrients for food) and it helps to repair the damage a harsh winter, drought or overuse of chemicals can leave behind. It also makes your soil more absorbent and aerobic holds more air and moisture which allows the roots to grow more deeply and need less watering all together.

You only need to apply about 1/4 inch to the entire lawn area and you come up with the proper coverage by measuring the surface area by the depth you are covering.

Compost is great for filling in the bald spots you may have from the drought and I recommend you fill those area’s at least 1/2″ deep and deeper if necessary to level the space. This process fertilizes the soil and allows St. Augustine, Zoysia or Bermuda to trail back into the sparse area’s. You can also use this to cover the bare area’s or ruts before re-sodding to give the sod a good head start.

This is what it should look like when you’re done. Most of the grass should be showing with exception of low spots that should be filled to level.

Composted lawn

Composting should  be done as soon as you notice new growth in your lawn which is usually late February to early March, but can be done into mid April. For the most part you should be done when temps are steadily in the low 90’s, upper 80’s to avoid burning by commercial composts. (make it yourself compost without animal proteins can be spread in small doses all year). You should also compost your entire garden beds and tree rings at this time.

This is what healthy composted soil looks like…

Your soil should be rich, dark and luxurious. That's right, I said luxurious.

Your soil should be rich, dark and luxurious. That’s right, I said luxurious.

There are different schools of thought on whether you use Dillo Dirt, or compost, there are also different types of compost, such as your average garden variety, cooked in your very own back yard, bagged, delivered in bulk, or Mushroom compost, but the main thing is to add a “living” soil. You are looking to add living organisms that break down the soil in your yard and create a healthy living condition for good fungi and microbes that work for you, your plants, your yard and our Planet.

Mushroom compost has the longest Nitrogen shelf life though there are many to choose from such as Turkey and cow, and anything alive whether made from tea or organic decomposition is great. Nitrogen leaches out from your soil quickly, so adding compost high in Nitrogen is important. Dillo dirt is living as well, but it is a combination of raw sewage and yard scraps from the brown bags you leave out for the city of Austin. I am a little concerned that some fungal issues and other possible diseases from other lawn scraps may be an issue, and there is mounting evidence of pharmaceuticals (that “pass” through humans) being at unsafe levels for people who use the lawn so I am not a big fan of the sewage part. I do know however, know that it definitely greens your yard up fast and it can be more cost effective than other options. At the very least, I don’t recommend Dillon dirt in food beds.

You can have compost delivered in bulk by a landscape company then you can distribute in a wheel burrow if your space is large, or by bags if your yard is small. There are plenty of companies and small landscape business who provide this service. Either way, please consider this as an option over chemical fertilizers. Chemicals are harmful to our environment, they are harmful to your soil, plants, trees and your family, and the money you think you are saving is minimal compared to the benefits of going organic. It is a decision you will sleep well on…. especially after you have hauled a few yards of compost 😉

Now go get your compost on!

Lisa LaPaso

Lisa’s Landscape & Design (“like” me on Facebook!)

“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”

Check me out on YouTube!

1 Comment

  1. Reblogged this on Lisa's Landscape & Design and commented:

    This time of year when you are considering lawn and garden fertilizers, pass up the “death row” of chemicals and head to the bags of compost.

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