When is the best time to put compost in: now or spring?

Sara_in_phillyOctober 31, 2009

I have dug out a lot of compost from my compost bin to make room for fresh yard waste. My question is should I put compost to my raised vegetable beds now or wait for next spring?

I would like to put it in now when the beds are relatively empty but worried about nutrients from compost would run off from all the rain and snow to come.

Right now the compost (with lots of worms) is sitting in different size containers well covered, I am worried that the worms may not survive the winter. I am in zone 6.

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tiffy_z5_6_can(5/6)

Whenever you have time. Seriously, yet my preference is the fall. I enjoy getting the gardens amended in the fall and then in the spring there is so much less work. In your case, I'd do it now for the sake of the worms. :O)

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 9:49AM
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annpat(5-Maine)

I'd do it now, too. The sooner you get worms pooping in your garden, the better.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 10:49AM
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Sara_in_philly

Thank you both for reply! Should I worried that heavy rain will wash away all the nutrient? My vegetable beds are on a slope, not a very steep slope but a slope nevertheless.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 5:51PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

The nutrients in compost are very stable and will not easily be washed out by rain, especially since they require bacterial activity to become available to your plants. Putting compost onto your beds now will allow the soil bacteria to get a good start on moving that compost, and therefore the nutrients, into your garden bed so those nutrients will be available to the plants when they start to grow next spring whereas waiting until spring means the nutrients in the compost probably will not be available to the plants until later in the growing season.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 7:00AM
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Sara_in_philly

Thank you kimmsr! I will get busy today:-)

    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 7:16AM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

Sara,
If you toss some leaves or other mulch on top of the compost, you won't have as much run-off from the rain and snow.

Martha

    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 10:05AM
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iowa50126(z5IA)

When is the best time to put compost in?

TODAY!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2009 at 1:06PM
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Sara_in_philly

iowa-- I hear you loud and clear!:-)
docmom -- Thanks for the leave suggestion!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2009 at 3:43PM
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rdak(z5MI)

Anytime IMHO.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2009 at 4:26AM
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biddyb

hi
Just wanted to say that I have gratefully read all the responses to this question of when to add compost. I live in R.I. and wanted to ask the same question. I shall follow the general concensus and get to spreading my compost this week.
Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 6:08PM
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