Use that Compost!

It’s a beautiful transformation when those old, fungus-ridden veggie peels and cotton dryer lint become a dark, nutritious, earthy compost. But... not beautiful enough to frame. The beauty is in compost’s function, and here, I’ll give you mini-recipes for the 3 simplest ways to use your compost. Enjoy!

Your compost is ready when it is:

* dark brown or black in color
* soft
* crumbly
* mostly smooth (you can throw that stubborn corncob back in the pile)
* earthy-smelling

I’ve read estimates that you will have useable compost anywhere from “4-6 weeks” to “3 months” based on the size of your pile, but I don’t keep track; as long as you maintain the pile weekly, it should be clear when it’s ready.

Here are 3 mini-recipes to use your compost:

Plant Seeds
Make a potting mixture of 1 part compost to 3 parts soil and put in pots, about an inch short of the brim. Plant your seeds in these pots just as you would any other soil.

Plant Seedlings
Plants that already have roots can handle more compost, so your potting mixture for seedlings or transplanting plants can be 1 part compost to 2 parts soil.

Nourish Established Houseplants
If your potted plants (or flowers, herbs, vegetables) are already growing, use the compost with nothing added and sprinkle on the surface of the dirt. (If you don’t have room, you can shovel out a layer of the dirt that’s already in the pot and replace it with the compost).

What to plant?
I use all my compost for my herb gardens - we have pots in the living room, kitchen, bedroom, and the staircase landing outside our apartment. Stay tuned for an upcoming post!

More on Composting
This post is step 4 in my Start Apartment Composting series. Check it out to see all the steps, plus a free printable guide to hang near your compost pile.

...and you?

What recipes do you use your compost with? I’m especially interested in “compost tea” - I’ve never tried it but would if I had some simple instructions!

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