What is compost?
Compost is decaying organic material. It can originate from food scraps, animal manure, wood, or other natural materials. Good compost is decomposed to the point that you should not be able to discern what the original raw material was. It should all look similar if it is sufficiently decomposed.
How would compost help my lawn?
Decomposing organic matter builds the structure of the soil. In our area, most soil is hard-packed clay or is sandy. Incorporating organic matter into either type of soil helps the soil hold nutrients and water better, which helps plants (such as your grass) grow better. You will get more return on your investment of fertilizers (i.e. nutrients) that are applied to your lawn if you increase the organic matter in your soil.
Do I need to add compost to have a nice lawn?
Adding compost is not essential for having a nice lawn. Crownover Green will help you produce a nice lawn with carbon-based fertilizer and biological soil stimulants. However, adding compost can speed up the process and take your lawn to the next level.
How much compost should I put down?
Go easy on the compost. For topdressing a lawn, apply about ¼ – ½ inch. Do not apply more than about ½ inch. A little compost will do amazing things for your lawn. A lot of compost can be detrimental. A heavy topdressing can smother the grass initially. Also, nitrogen (a major plant nutrient in fertilizers) that would otherwise help your grass grow healthy may be tied up in the decomposition process of the compost material rather than directly benefiting your grass.
When should I add compost to my lawn?
Topdressing with compost is beneficial anytime while the grass is growing. Doing it immediately before or after core aeration may help incorporate the compost into the soil faster.
Where can I get compost?
If you are looking to topdress your entire lawn then you should order your compost by the cubic yard from a landscape supply store. Local stores that sell mulch, soil, and gravel also probably sell compost. If you want to topdress just small areas of your lawn that do not seem to grow as well even though they are getting the minimum required sunlight for your type of grass, then buy some bags of compost at the garden center.
How do I go about topdressing my lawn with compost?
If you have a shovel, a wheelbarrow, and are looking for a good workout, then you have what you need to scatter the compost across your lawn. If you are having trouble finding any of these things then maybe hire someone. Any landscaper can do the job. Your teenage son, daughter, or neighbor who may have no landscaping experience could also do the job.
What if I want to coordinate the timing of adding compost with my core aeration?
If you are a Crownover Green customer with a warm-season lawn (Bermuda, Centipede, or Zoysia), are considering adding compost, and want to time it with core aeration, you will very soon receiving schedule notifications with information about your upcoming aeration (if you selected the optional spring aeration). To learn more about the benefits of aeration for a warm-season lawn check our blog article, Should I Aerate My Warm Season Lawn?
If you have a Tall Fescue lawn and are a Crownover Green customer, seeding and aeration will happen in the fall, which is a good time to apply compost, but it can also be done anytime the grass is growing.