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Adding Compost

I hate to keep bombarding you guys with post; however, you guys have taught me so much in my short time of gardening. Here is my question, my neighbor has given me a wagon full of compost. I was just wondering if I can put that compost around my tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, cabbage, and other things in my garden right now? Is it safe to apply that in my garden and hoe it up to mix it in with other dirt? Or would it be better to wait and put that in my garden in the fall?
Any advice is appreciated!

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Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Adding Compost

If it is finished compost you can either mix 4-6 inches into a new garden bed or you can use it like mulch around the plants. Just leave a space around the stems so they don't rot.

If it is not finished compost make a pile of it and let it finish cooking and use it in the fall.

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Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Adding Compost

Yes, I usually give my plants a "side dressing" of compost mid-summer. Since I keep my beds mulched, I just pile the compost on top of the mulch around the plants. It will gradually get watered in to the soil. It helps conserve the soil moisture, keep the soil cooler, and replenishes nutrients that the plants have been using.

Imafan is right about don't pile it touching the stems of your plants. It will keep moisture in that spot and rot the stems.

"Finished compost" just looks like good dark soil. You can't see any of the original ingredients in it (except maybe some bits of eggshell if those were added) and it looks uniform. It has no smell except perhaps a slight earthiness.

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Location: Canada zone 8b

Re: Adding Compost

As both gardeners above mentioned, adding a bit of composted manure ontop and around the soil your plants grow in will benefit them a lot. All the nutrients will eventually get watered down to the roots and feed the plant.

I would stay away from using fresh manure on your plants. The reason why is because the animals which the manure came from could contain bacteria and other nasty stuff which could affect the crop you will later eat. Whereas in composted manure, no harmful bacteria that may affect you crop will be in it.

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