100% Compost or 50/50% Topsoil and Compost???????

by Jim
(Marion, NC)

I am buying 15 yards of something this spring. Just not sure what is best for my purpose. 100% compost is available along with a 50/50 blend of compost and topsoil.

I plan to use this material to cover areas that are not currently used as part of my rose garden. The area is covered with vinca and other ground covers that I do not want to dig out.

I would like to cover this area with newspaper / cardboard and cover with 100% compost or 50/50 compost and topsoil blend. I do not plant to add roses to this area until next spring or perhaps late fall 2013. Which material should I use?

I'd go for 100% Compost

Jim I am a big fan of improving the soil you have rather than bringing in topsoil from somewhere else. I think this stems from memories of my parents bringing in a load of topsoil every couple of years.

This was born from the idea that soil was somehow used up and needed replacing. It's not being used up unless you have a serious erosion problem, but the organic matter in the soil does disappear over time.

The plan you are proposing is a great one and the compost is a good choice for topping the newspaper and cardboard. Make sure the newspaper and cardboard are very wet when you put them down. The organisms in the compost and the worms from your garden should nicely till your area making it ready for next year.

When it comes time to plant next year don't dig the area up, just dig your transplant holes. Then mulch the garden with something that will decompose nicely like woodchips or shredded leaves. You should have an excellent garden.

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