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Composting Facts

Compost is widely used for the following:

Backfill for Trees and Shrubs

Backfill is loose soil or substrate used to fill gaps around the root ball, or root network of a tree, or shrub in a landscaped setting. Roots need a firmly packed growing medium capable of retaining moisture to properly supply the rest of the plant with nutrients and water as they grow. Compost is effective at promoting these conditions and can be used as an amendment mixed with backfill materials.

Container Mix or Potting Soil

Nursery stock, house plants, and most types of flowers require certain blends of growing medium to grow well and stay healthy. Many of these soils have specific requirements for parameters such as pH and organic matter.  Some composts are well-suited for use as a component in container mix. However, care must be taken to ensure that a compost is compatible with consumer needs and requirements. A fully mature compost without excessive salts is needed.

Nursery Beds

Compost is often mixed with soil in nursery beds that are used to produce ornamental plants. It is important for these nursery beds to have a high water holding capacity and suitable levels of organic matter to maintain plant health. Using compost as a component of nursery bed media can improve conditions for plant growth.

Turf Establishment & Maintenance

Turf requires a suitable substrate that will promote growth and healthy plants. Compost may be used to amend soils that will serve as a growing medium for the establishment of turf from seed, sprigs, or sod. Topdressing can help maintain established turf.

Erosion Control

Studies have shown that compost is an effective medium for minimizing soil loss and erosion in areas where surface soils have been disturbed. Erosion control applications include compost blankets (a topdressing of 2-4 inches of compost on a slope) and filter berms (a triangular berm perpendicular to the flow of water).  Landscaping, construction, and road work are examples of settings in which compost might be useful as an erosion control product.

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