In this article, we will focus on the different kinds of best compost for flower beds and how they can help you take proper care of your garden.
You might be an avid gardener or a new one; it doesn’t matter because we all know that composting is important to make healthy plants and flowers.
Composting allows us to recycle our organic waste into soil which adds nutrients back into the ground such as grass clippings, leaves, wood chips and many other types of organic materials which helps dirt become more fertile.
Most people know that if their flower beds are not healthy then chances are there will not be enough bees & butterflies in their neighbourhood.
Now, first things first: Organic material should never be put onto the soil unless it has been composted for at least a year.
It is because fresh organic material can prevent plants from absorbing nutrients and moisture from the ground; it causes disease in flowers and most importantly it will ruin your garden soil structure by blocking air, light & water.
Here are 7 best options to make composting in your flower beds easier:
1). Mushroom Compost
Mushroom compost is a product of mushroom farming and can be expensive to buy. You need to know that not all mushroom composts are productive, especially the cheap ones.
They lack nutrient content and just look like generic manure types. The best way to check them out is by checking on their N-P-K ratio, which must bear no less than 7:5:7 or formula 27/2/1 respectively.
When buying 100% organic mushroom compost, expect it to contain nitrogen derived from urea, cottonseed meal and fishmeal; phosphorus from rock phosphate and soft phosphate; potassium from sulphate of potash, wood ash and granulated slag among others.
It also has a high humus level which makes it highly effective when used as composting material. It has a good water retention capacity and can hold the moisture more than enough that makes it a great success as a top dressing for your flower beds.
2). Worm Castings
Worm castings or worm manure is one of the best organic fertilizers you can find today, especially for container gardens. This type of compost is known to contain higher nutrient content which makes them ideal for growing plants either indoors or outdoors.
Most people prefer using these on their flower beds since they have been found to promote blooming better than other types of fertilizers available in the market today.
It also helps improve the soil texture so there’s no need to worry about lumpy soil anymore as this will give you smooth and fertile soil that you will surely love.
3). Alfalfa Meal
Alfalfa meal is an organic fertilizer made from alfalfa plants’ leaves after they have been dried in the sun. This type of compost is known to have high nitrogen content which makes them efficient when it comes to promoting vegetative growth especially in flower beds.
It also has high levels of calcium which makes it great for triggering flower blooming and helps improve the overall health of flowers. Use this on your flower beds if you want dense plant foliage that are healthy and colorful.
4). Cow Manure Compost
Most organic gardeners prefer using cow manure compost since this is readily available in most farms. These types of compost are rich in nutrients needed for plant development and are also inexpensive.
|Manure type||pounds to applyper 100 square feet|
|Dairy cow||no bedding||75|
They have higher nitrogen content which helps trigger plant blooms especially on flower beds, providing you with bright colors that will surely beautify the area.
5). Chicken Manure Compost
Chicken manure compost is another type of animal dung that can be used as an organic material in your flower bed; however make sure to get quality chicken manure compost since it is known to cause certain diseases if used on growing plants.
Check out their NPK ratio or formula before buying them because there are some types of chicken manure composts available today that contain high nitrogen content but lack other essential nutrients needed for optimum plant growth; this results in low performance when used as top dressings for your flower beds.
6). Bat Guano
Bat guano is the best type of compost you can use on your flower beds because it helps promote flowering better than any other types of compost.
This bat guano has high phosphorus content that stimulates blossom production and also contains high nitrogen which triggers vegetative growth, perfect for getting rid of bare spots in your flower beds especially if you are looking for lush greenery.
7). Horse Manure
Horse manure is another organic fertilizer preference used by flower bed gardeners because it helps make soil soft while providing essential nutrients needed for plant growth.
It also has an abundant amount of humus; however this type of organic material may contain weed seeds which make them unsuitable when used as topdressings for flower beds.
What Other Organic Materials Can I Use?
There are many different kinds of organic materials that can be used as compost flower beds such as seaweed, eggshells and of course, our personal favourite: worm poop.
As we mentioned before, adding a layer of dry leaves can be very beneficial for your flower bed because they help prevent fungus & disease which means healthier flowers and less work for you when it comes time to plant new flowers again next year.
What if I Don’t Have Enough Leaves?
If you don’t have enough leaves available then don’t worry as there are some other great natural ways to fertilize your soil such as seaweed mulch.
As the old saying goes ‘you reap what you sow’ so make sure that you take care of your garden by adhering to all safety precautions and by staying on top of all tasks. Remember that the more time and effort you invest, the greater your return will be in the end.
Here are some tips to choosing compost for flower beds:
Make sure it’s plant-based
The first rule of thumb when buying compost is that it should be plant-based.
This means that the compost has been decomposed by natural elements which are still present in it after being reduced into smaller particles or chunks. Usually, this happens within three months’ time so if your bag isn’t ready yet then it’s likely not done fermenting yet.
Make sure it’s not weed-seed free
While you’re in the compost aisle in your local nursery, check what the compost is treated with. Some products are weed seed-free which means that no plant life can come out of it.
This means that when you use this type of compost to fertilize your flower beds then it won’t really produce any flowers or plants to make your yard look beautiful again.
Look for soil conditioner instead of fertilizer
If you’re worried about having dead patches in your garden because your compost is not balanced with nutrients and minerals, try buying soil conditioners instead.
You will still be able to help decompose organic matter in the earth but not at the expense of killing living organisms like flowers and trees by applying too much nitrogen fertilizer to them.
Don’t buy one-time use compost
Also, make sure that the compost you choose for your flower beds is one-time use as it is already depleted of nutrients and minerals. Composts that are labeled as multi-purpose or all purpose might still have a lot of nutrients and minerals left in it so they’re not really effective when used to fertilize flower beds.
Choose a dark and damp type of compost instead of dry and pale types
The final thing you should keep in mind when choosing compost for flower beds is the color and consistency of the soil.
You should go with dark, damp types because nitrogen is always present in these types more than any other types which means there’s more chance for flowers to grow from than from any other type.
Dry, pale composts are also available but these types of compost will oxidize quickly so you’ll need to reapply it frequently. The nutrients and minerals in dry, pale composts haven’t really attracted microorganisms to break them down into smaller particles or chunks so again, your flower beds won’t enjoy the full benefit of this type of fertilization.
Now that you’ve learned how to choose compost for flower beds, there’s no reason why your flower garden cannot flourish again. From now on, make sure that your choices are not only practical but they can also be good for the environment too!
Do You Have Any Other Tips?
To add to what we already mentioned above concerning best compost for flower beds, it is important that you use a variety of organic materials.
This way you don’t have to worry about them breaking down or being too bulky when you add them to flower beds.
As we said before, each and every one of these 7 options should provide great results so if you want healthier flowers without having to spend money on expensive chemical alternatives then why not give this a go?