Early autumn is one of the best times of the year for spreading compost.

Compost can be spread anytime during the growing season (mid-March to mid-October), but in the fall the soils are warm and grass plants are set for another growth spurt once cooler temps and more rain set in. Nutrients, organic material and beneficial bacteria and fungi in the compost will help your grass plants get through the winter as well as become more productive next spring. Spreading too late in the fall or during winter doesn’t offer any benefit because grass plants are dormant at this time and soils are either frozen or saturated. Also, spreading during the dormant season means nutrients may go to waste and potentially wash away in winter rains, contributing to water pollution.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when spreading compost:

  • Spread a 1/4 to 1/2 inch layer at a time and no more than about 3 to 4 inches in the same place per season. This avoids smothering pasture plants as well as putting out more nutrients than a plant can use and having nutrients wash off. Realistically speaking, when you spread compost it rarely looks like a thin, even layer but more li

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