Indeed, there is no better mulch for use around your plants, than properly decomposed, organic garden compost. Many gardeners consider compost mulch the best, and only mulch for their plants. Using compost as mulch provides all of the benefits of any other mulch. In addition, it is organic. So, it feeds your plants. As it breaks down, it conditions your soil. And here’s another great benefit…… it’s free!
The only downside to using compost as a mulch is that it breaks down into the soil somewhat quickly. You may have to apply for a second application during the growing season. In the vegetable garden, many gardeners see the quick breakdown of compost as an advantage, as cleanup in the fall is easier….. just till the remaining compost into your garden. Or, give some of the leftover to an appreciative gardening friend.
Use nutrient-rich garden compost around all of your plants, like you would with any other mulch.
First, weed around your plants. Of course, put those weeds into your composter.
Then, apply a thick layer of compost around the plants. As long as the materials in the compost have decomposed, you can spread the compost right up to the plant’s stem.
Apply a second layer later in the season, if needed.
That’s all there is to it!
Garden Tip: Make sure the materials are properly decomposed. Raw compost is “hot” and can harm your plants. Proper decomposition will kill weed seeds and pathogens in the raw materials. More on How to Compost