We have been looking into different landscaping ideas and recently had a
friend suggest using compost. He suggested laying this down over the weed
barrier and then planting our flowers, trees, etc. My questions is are there
any downsides that anyone has noticed to using compost? This is made of
leaves, shrubbery, etc that has been baked and then sold. Any comments on
why you like, or do not like using this type of compost is welcome!
Compost alone is usually too 'hot' for plant material by itself. It's
usually used as an additive to the existing soil. By hot I mean it
hasn't broken down to topsoil yet, and may burn your plant material.
I'd look at mixing compost and topsoil, if you value your plants. ymmv
As a few notes of clarification: Compost can mean many things. It is generally
organic matter such as leaves, grass, wood chips,
vegetable waste etc. that is in various stages of decomposition. As the material
decomposes, it heats up. It is not "baked." If the
compost is still hot/steaming, then the decomposition is not yet to the point
that it is ideal for use. If it is in this condition,
the compost will actually remove nitrogen fertilize from the soil until the
decomposition is near complete, when it will provide the
nitrogen and other fertilizers back to the plants. If the compost is very
hot/uncomposted, it can damage plants. Most people mix
compost with topsoil to create a good planting mix. In either case, better
decomposed compost is best. Topsoil is not the same as
compost. Topsoil is a mixture of organic and inorganic material, while compost
is decomposing organic material.
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