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When is the best time to add compost? Fall or Spring?  Toplef10When is the best time to add compost? Fall or Spring?  1zd3ho10

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When is the best time to add compost? Fall or Spring?  I22gcj10When is the best time to add compost? Fall or Spring?  14dhcg10

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When is the best time to add compost? Fall or Spring?  Toplef10When is the best time to add compost? Fall or Spring?  1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

When is the best time to add compost? Fall or Spring?  I22gcj10When is the best time to add compost? Fall or Spring?  14dhcg10

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When is the best time to add compost? Fall or Spring?

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SQWIB
countrynaturals
dstack
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When is the best time to add compost? Fall or Spring?  Empty When is the best time to add compost? Fall or Spring?

Post  dstack 2/8/2019, 12:22 pm

First of all, hello everyone!  Very Happy  Sorry I've been scarce lately.  Here in S. Florida we've developed a great organic garden community of local support, which I recommend for everyone in their part of the country.  However I will always have a special place in my heart for this great online community, and I highly recommend people to learn all they can from this forum!  The help, and generous support I've received here has been invaluable!  
When is the best time to add compost? Fall or Spring?  1787710427

Secondly (Preface to my question):  My brother and parents recently settled in NC (between Winston Salem and Charlotte) from Southern CA, and since I don't deal with seasons here like they do up there, I didn't know how to answer their question for their climate...  

QUESTION: When you have compost ready to use, is it better to add to the soil in the Fall or Spring?   sunny
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Post  countrynaturals 2/8/2019, 1:16 pm

I do both, depending on the situation. If I'm preparing a new bed -- fall. Side dressing strawberries, asparagus, etc. -- fall. Planting & transplanting anything -- spring. As far as I know, there's no time you can't apply compost. Since most of us never have enough, it's more a matter of prioritizing than anything else. I'm still a newbie, however, so please wait for the experts to weigh in.
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Post  dstack 2/8/2019, 1:31 pm

I wouldn't have known that you're a newbie. That sounds like good common sense to me! 🌿 😀🌿

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Post  SQWIB 2/8/2019, 2:16 pm

Ditto with country naturals

Whenever you can is a good time.
End of season you can add compost that hasn't quite composted (decomposing organic matter) as a Mulch.

(prioritize like CN said) If your supply is limited, you can use when planting and as a side dress.

If you do use compost at the end of the season, try to use a mulch to protect the top layer, well thats my take anyway.
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Post  OhioGardener 2/8/2019, 6:31 pm

I use compost year 'round - in the Fall when I'm preparing the beds for the long Ohio winter; in Spring when I'm preparing them for planting; throughout the summer as side dress for plants that need a little extra boost; and as part of the mixture when making potting soil for seed starting, setting out new plants, etc..   I make a lot of compost, but never seem to have enough.

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Post  sanderson 2/8/2019, 6:43 pm

Dstack!! happy hi

I'll go with the answer "anytime". I garden year around and the compost I add in the spring is for fall nutrients and the fall compost is for spring nutrients. It takes time for compost to be really "finished" by the microbes. Rough compost is a good mulch.

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Post  dstack 2/8/2019, 7:18 pm

sanderson wrote:Dstack!! [smiley]https://2img.net/u/2912/12/27/03/smiles/61949.gif[/smiley]

I'll go with the answer "anytime". I garden year around and the compost I add in the spring is for fall nutrients and the fall compost is for spring nutrients. It takes time for compost to be really "finished" by the microbes. Rough compost is a good mulch.

Thanks Sanderson, and the others! 🌿😘🌼🌱🌼🤗🌿

QUICK UPDATE: We're in peek growing season here with an abundance of leafy greens, and a lot of new things I'm trying like cassava (Yuca), Asian winged beans, sissoo spinach, and others. Every day in the garden is an opportunity to learn something new. There's always something else to learn!

I work from home now, so I have a chance to check things out during the heat of the day, and take action if necessary. So things aren't so susceptible to heat stress like they were before. The result is more food production overall.
🌿🌼fun veggie🍆When is the best time to add compost? Fall or Spring?  1666079590🍆fun veggie🌼🌿

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Post  AtlantaMarie 2/11/2019, 6:17 am

Hey, DStack!!! Great to see you! Glad things are going so well... I've missed seeing your wisdom.

I have to agree with anytime. I think it depends on the item growing in a particular spot as well. Corn & tomatoes are heavy feeders, so I add before, during & after.

And I believe if you look in the books, Mel always said that when you pull a plant, add a trowel of compost. So, yeah, any time.
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Post  dstack 2/11/2019, 7:24 am

AtlantaMarie wrote:Hey, DStack!!! Great to see you!... So, yeah, any time.

Hi AtlantaMarie! Great to see you on here as well!
🌿😘🌿

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Post  plantoid 2/15/2019, 7:19 pm

If you follow Mel Bartholemew's words to the letter you'd add it to the square foot place that just been harvested and work it in to that area .

 That is no good for my needs  , I've 22 x 9 sq. feet beds of which 18 are veg beds and a few other sized beds to play in.  

I do a 9 foot square bed at a time after harvesting the whole bed if it falls in to my four crop rotation cycle because that's how I grow & harvest for pressure canning .
  .

 I seem to find that :-

 Salad crops , garlic  & leeks love a recently fed bed .

 Brassicas & onions  like a two year old fed settled area .  The roots crops  like three year old beds carrots & other root crops don't too do well in a newly compost fed bed as it is too rich in nitrogen most of the time  .  The legumes are good in a four year old bed & rhubarb can stay in a freshly fed bed for four years being fed each autumn ,  then it has to be split and moved to a newly fed bed . 

 The flower beds  & 7 yr old asparagus bed ( good for 30 years or so ) get fed a light top dressing of sprinkled on homemade compost mid autumn after it's been cut down & before the snow comes for the worms to take down into the beds and again mid March to help things stay tuned to growing .
 
Our lawns also get a very thin sprinkle of homemade composts mixed 50/50 with chopped coir  a few days before the last cut of the year & gets a stiff brush dragged over it to break it down into the finer particles for the worms to take down .

All grass cutting are removed for composting for use on an earth  bank at the rear of our property , never to be used in any of the beds ever again. For  I made the mistake of composting cuttings off a lawn treated with a residual hormone broad leaf weed killer & I'm fairly sure the resultant three year old compost prevented all germination of seeds in the two beds where I used it
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