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How to Spread Compost on a Lawn

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One of the nicest things you can do for your lawn is spread compost on it.

Your lawn will stay lush, green, and weed-free with a layer of topdressing. Soil moisture retention is improved by topdressing a lawn with compost in the summer.

Let's be really clear. You want to spread the compost, but how will you do it? Can you use a conventional lawn spreader to spread compost? Is there anything more you need? Learn how to spread compost on a lawn.

Can I put compost in a drop spreader?


Seeds and granulated fertilizer are ideal for standard drop spreaders. The apertures in a drop spreader are too narrow to efficiently spread garden compost. Compost is also quite wet and clumpy, so it clogs the spreader rapidly.

If you can locate pelletized compost, use it in a drop spreader. However, it is difficult to obtain and it is always advisable to use handmade compost.

The spreader may also work with very dry and fine compost, but it would require extensive pre-treatment to remove clumps.


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How to spread compost on a lawn


What is an alternative to a drop spreader? Here are four easy ways to spread compost on your lawn.

Shovel and rake


The old-fashioned shovel and rake method is labor-consuming, yet affordable and effective for tiny yards.

Fill a wheel barrow with compost and spread it throughout your yard. Then use a rake or a broom to spread the compost evenly throughout the lawn.

The ideal rake for spreading compost is a landscaping rake. The broad head spreads compost quickly, and the robust tines grind compost into the grass for maximum soil surface contact.

Shop: Shovel and Rake Set at Amazon

Compost spreader


Instead of using a lawn spreader to spread compost, you might buy a compost spreader.

Compost spreaders save a lot of time compared to shovels and rakes. The main issue we have with them is that the more economical versions tend to have limited capacities, requiring frequent refilling.

Depending on your needs, there are several varieties available.

1. Compost wheels


Compost wheels are enormous wire cages that you put compost in and roll about the lawn. These are the cheapest options for a compost spreader.

Using compost wheels eliminates the need to pre-screen the compost because the compost tumbles around in the cage, breaking up any clumps. Larger debris will not pass through the mesh and will be left in the drum. A fine topdressing material like compost or peat moss works well.

It's made of steel and has soft plastic grips on the handles for comfort. We think it is preferable to only fill 34 full. A full drum is difficult to roll.

2. Push compost spreader


You may control the layer thickness by adjusting the spread rate. This is their smallest type, but they also have tow-behind and self-propelled choices for larger areas.

How to apply compost to lawns


There are a few best practices to follow while spreading topdressing on your lawn. These tips can help you make the most of your top dressing.

  • Mow the lawn short to allow the top dressing to connect with the soil.
  • Rake up dead grass and trash before applying the lawn. And if you haven't recently, dethatch and aerate. All nutrients from organic matter will easily reach the soil in this manner.
  • Never spread more than 14 inches of topdressing at a time. While too much compost won't burn your lawn, it must be visible through the topdressing. If you bury the grass, it will probably die.

When should I spread compost on my lawn?


When to topdress your lawn depends on the grass type.

Warm-season grasses should be topdressed in spring, and cool-season grasses in fall.

Spread the compost a few weeks before excessive heat or frost to allow it to fully integrate into the soil.

Top dressing can be combined with overseeding or levelling your lawn.
 

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