Do you compost? Do you save grass clippings, leaves, yard waste, kitchen scraps and more for the compost bin? If so, you have some really good fertilizer on your hands, and unlike traditional chemical-based fertilizers, your compost will not harm the environment.

Compost is great for top-dressing lawns two or three times a year. It adds vital nutrients to the lawn, including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. It works fast, doesn’t smell and won’t stain concrete or burn the grass. And, it is easy to apply.

No matter where you live, the best time to top-dress your lawn is when the grass is actively growing. If you live in an area with a cool climate, spring to mid-summer is ideal. If you live in a warm climate, mid-summer is ideal.

Top-dressing a lawn with compost is easy. First, you need to aerate and seed the lawn. Then, you can apply the compost. Make sure the compost is finely textured. This will ensure even raking later. If your compost is coarse and lumpy, consider purchasing some from a nursery.

Apply the compost on a dry, calm day. Shovel some around the yard in piles and then spread it out in a thin layer. When you are finished, you should be able to see more grass than compost. If you don’t, you have spread it too thickly and it could smother the grass.

Next, water the compost for about 20 minutes or so. Then, leave it be. Give it time to work its way into the soil, break down and release vital nutrients. After a week, you should be able to mow and water your lawn as usual. Within a few weeks, you should begin to see some improvement.

More importantly, you will make Mother Earth happy and never have to rely on chemical-based fertilizers again.

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