How to Use Compost
How to Use Compost

Directions for Use and Specifications

Using compost brings many benefits to your project or garden. However, to fully realize those benefits it’s important to apply compost in a way that’s appropriate for the setting – whether that’s a small home garden or a large transportation project. This page gives you the resources you need to determine your specific compost needs and how to apply compost for maximum benefit.

Methods to Use

There are a number of ways to apply compost to your project. Those include applying compost through topdressing, incorporating into the topsoil or potting soil, and others. Click here to learn more about the specific methods you can use and when each is appropriate.

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Amounts to Use

Applying the right amount of compost is important to maximize benefits to both your project and your wallet. The US Composting Council and industry experts recommend that soils should contain at least 5% organic matter. Click here for more information about why you should “Strive for 5%”.

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Erosion Control Uses

Compost is also a great tool for preventing erosion on your project. Click here for more information and to learn about specific erosion control methods like erosion control blankets, socks, berms and green infrastructure.

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Compost Consumer Use (CCUP) – Methods & Amounts for Specific Uses

The Compost Consumer Use Program (CCUP) has identified the proper application methods for compost to be applied to various specific projects – lawns, flowers and veggies, and trees and shrubs. Click here to determine what’s appropriate for your project.

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Department of Transportation (DOT) Specifications – Methods & Amounts

DOTs around the country require compost to be used in various forms on their projects in order to ensure the project benefits surrounding landscapes. Learn more about how different States require compost to be used, by clicking here.

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LEED Credits – Methods & Amounts for Specific Uses

The LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - building program also has recommendations on methods and specifications for applying compost on projects seeking LEED-certification. Click here for more information on how compost is integrated into that program.

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Send us your Compost Specifications to Promote Inter-Agency Collaboration

Collaboration between organizations such as State DOTs on compost specifications can help to promote reasonable and effective regulations and guidelines. Please send along your specifications for using compost to help other agencies looking for guidance.

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Victory Gardens

Gardening is an empowering act. While we are all sheltering in place from COVID-19, we can grow vegetables with rich compost. Click here for resources on starting your own Victory Garden.

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