View Full Version : Compost

09-22-2008, 01:26 PM
How much compost needed for a 5000 sf yard?


09-22-2008, 02:11 PM
how thick do you want to go?

2-5 yards

That's for a topdressing. If you are prepping it to plant, you will want to till in more than that.

09-22-2008, 02:52 PM
Yes, top dressing. Not sure how thick to go. 1/4 inch or so?

09-22-2008, 05:11 PM
1/4" for 5,000 use 4 closer to 5 yards... you could do 1/8" at half that if you want.

Happy spreading

09-22-2008, 05:19 PM
1/4 inch is .75 yards of compost.

09-22-2008, 05:23 PM
oh crap, typed it worng... 3 closer to 4 yards

09-22-2008, 09:51 PM
So, aerate, then compost, then seed slitter, then starter fert? Or compost last? I've heard it both ways.

09-23-2008, 12:06 AM
I would compost last. loose the starter fert imo. The compost should have around .5-1% available P. (1/4" compost = 2 to 5 lbs P per K.)

09-23-2008, 08:05 AM
Stupid here.
What is .5-1% available? Also, 1/4" compost=2 to 5 lbs. P per K.

09-23-2008, 10:40 AM
Unless you soil is devoid of P completely your seedlings do not need much to get going. Available P is all it is going to use anyway and your starter ferts will be adding plenty of unavailable P that may indeed tie up micro-nutrients that would otherwise be available so why do it?
When computing volume for sq. ft. 5000 X 1 would be 5000 cu. feet. [Compost being 1 foot thick]

If you want 1 inch thick divide by 12.... going to a 1/4" thick divide again by 4...

That will tell you the number of cubic feet you want. Divide your cu.ft. by 27 to get cubic yards.

09-23-2008, 11:28 AM
Nah not stupid, do you do fert apps regularly? If not the following might be a little confusing.

When I said .5-1% available I meant that in good finished compost that is usually the available P rating (think NPK). A range from .5 to 1% of available P.

If you take 1/4" topdressing of compost you are putting down ~600 lbs compost per 1,000. Half of that is moisture so ~300 lbs dry product per 1,000. Times dry product by the %P and you have your application rate per 1,000 square feet.

300 * (1%/100) = 300 * .01 = 3

So with those variables you are putting down 3 lbs P per 1,000 just with your compost... thus no need for starter fert IMO.

I hope it makes sense. :)

09-23-2008, 12:33 PM
No, just a homeowner taking over my lawn again now that I have time. What does the "P" stand for?

09-23-2008, 07:22 PM
N = Nitrogen
P = Phosphorus
K = Potassium

09-24-2008, 10:26 AM
The important thing about compost is that it helps rebuild the colony of soil life that releases tied up nutrients in the soil.

Were you aware that most of the P that has been put on your lawn over the years is unavailable to plants?

Playing the NPK numbers game is a colossal waste of time. It is a system which confuses homeowners and makes them believe they need too much N to grow green grass.

No one seems to notice that if you do not add too much water [those w/out irrigation] the too much N will start killing your grass.

How long has your lawn been 'serviced'?

09-24-2008, 10:40 AM
I guess about 3 years.

09-26-2008, 08:00 AM
Ok, so aerate, overseed, compost. Lose the starter fert.
Should I still put down something, say in November for the winter? Will my new grass be too fragile? What do you recommend for here in Norther Ky.

09-26-2008, 08:01 AM
Northern Ky.

09-26-2008, 08:27 AM
For the common homeowner, like myself, has anyone used one of these? I don't have a spreader, or a strong enough blower to blow it, so what do you think? Waste of time?


09-26-2008, 09:41 AM
I have one of those and there is a couple of problems with it. The holes are too large to sift the compost evenly at a 1/4 inch or less around the yard. Secondly how do you get from the truck to the back yard to spread. There is no shutoff mechanism.

I am thinking of building a hopper over the top of mine with a shutoff at the bottom of it. When open - the rotating drum scrapes against the bottom of the pile in the hopper and the compost falls through the drum and out.

Right now I have someone push a wheelbarrow and my hand flails the compost as we move about the yard. Goes rather quickly and spreads fairly evenly. The nice thing about compost - it doesn't have to be anywhere near - exact. :)

09-26-2008, 12:15 PM
Yea, I thought of that "getting from point A to B" without dropping anymore problem. I guess by the time you wheel barrow back down to this thing, you could of just thrown it out!

09-30-2008, 08:05 AM
Well, tore up most of the yard trying to remove this bad grass. Now took a sod cutter and finished the yard off. Only took a couple inches. Should I just add enough compost now, till up, seed, starter fert, roll? Haven't had to start from scratch before. Is rolling nesassary? Not sure which direction to go now.

09-30-2008, 10:30 AM
Put your sod in a pile and let it break down into topsoil over winter then you have something valuable for topdressing in the future. What you have removed is probably the richest part of the lawn.

Go ahead and till in your compost, lightly rake in a lot of seed and keep wet until roots are deep enough to tolerate a little surface drying for the purpose of, returning air to a soggy soil. That should do it. :) good luck.