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Using Compost To Grow Plants

raising vegetables
growing flowers
potted plants & window boxes

outdoor composting
indoor composting
other ways to recycle food scraps
composting equipment

illustration: tomato plantRaising Vegetables

Give your vegetable garden plenty of compost in the fall. Spread several inches of compost on top of the existing bed, then till it in come springtime.

Put a handful of compost in each hole when you’re planting.

Once plants begin to grow quickly, you can add a half-inch layer of compost around the base of the plants. Provide “heavy feeder” plants such as tomatoes, corn, and squash with half an inch of compost monthly—this will result in great produce!

Note: If you make compost with plant cuttings
or grass clippings that have been sprayed with pesticides,
do not use the compost on edible crops.

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Growing Flowers

In the spring, loosen the top few inches of annual and perennial beds and mix in a one-inch layer of compost. Or apply a one-inch layer of compost as a mulch to control weeds and conserve moisture.

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illustration: window boxPotted Plants & Window Boxes

Even the best potting soil gets depleted of its nutrients as plants grow in it. To replenish nutrients, add an inch of compost to potted plants and window boxes twice a year. Or, make your own potting soil using two parts screened compost to one part sand or perlite.

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