Too Much Compost On Lawn, Is It A Big Problem?

compost pile for lawns

So you have added compost to your lawn thinking it would be a good idea and now you’re worrying that you have put too much compost on your lawn. Adding compost to your lawn as a fresh layer of topsoil is a good thing and doing this can have many benefits but if you get it wrong it can turn into a total disaster.

There is a fine balance between adding enough and adding too much compost to your lawn and in this article, I will go over how much compost you should add to your lawn, the signs you have added too much compost, how to fix it and how you should spread compost for lawn perfection.

It is definitely possible to add too much compost to your lawn but you will need to add an absolute pile of the stuff to see the most devastating effects. When adding compost the best idea is to not add enough as it is easier to add more than it is to remove excess amounts.

How Much Compost For Your Lawn

So you want to add compost to your lawn and you aren’t sure how much you should add, it depends on the size of your lawn is the simple answer. When you add compost to your lawn you should spread it so that it is evenly spread and is only around half an inch thick. If you get this right and it’s spread evenly it should mean that there is a thin layer of compost and the grass should be sticking out this fresh layer of compost and standing above the new topsoil.

When you are adding a layer of topsoil to your lawn, I personally think it is better to use too little than too much as if you have spread compost over your lawn and you haven’t used enough you can simply add more but if you put a ton of compost on your lawn and it turns out to be far too much you will have some difficulty getting it back off your lawn.

To decide if you should use compost or fertilizer.

Signs Of Too Much Compost On Lawn

Some signs you have added too much compost to your lawn are:

  • Lawn looks like mud – If you have been too overzealous with adding compost to your lawn and you have completely covered the grass this is a disastrous idea. A thin layer is all that is required and if you add more than that you simply must scrape it off your lawn again.
  • More pests and diseases – If you add too many nutrients to your soil it can result in a rapid spurt of growth, this growth won’t produce healthy grass that produces enough natural pesticides to fight off pests and diseases.
  • Yellow Grass – If you add compost to your lawn and it isn’t completely mature and is still decomposing it can have an effect like ammonia on your lawn and will burn it and turn it yellow. Make sure you only ever use mature compost on your lawn.

How To Fix Too Much Compost On Lawn

If you have done the disastrous thing that is adding far too much compost to your lawn so that the grass is completely covered, you really do have to take emergency action as your grass will deteriorate due to lack of light.

There are really only two ways you can remove excess compost from your lawn the first one is to simply brush and scrape it up and remove it from your lawn.

The easiest way to fix the problem of having too much compost on your lawn is to make sure you don’t apply enough in the first place, it is easier to add extra compost if you haven’t added enough the first time than to remove any excess compost which is a hard task, believe me, I’ve had to do it in the past.

How To Spread Compost On Your Lawn

Before you spread compost on your one you ideally have to prepare it for this activity. Prepare your lawn by cutting the grass down to 1 inch this is important because the short height enables the compost to filter down to the soil where you want it, whereas you don’t want it sitting on top of the grass.

When you are spreading compost on your lawn you should aim to spread it so that it is no more than a 1/2 inch deep evenly over your lawn.

When you are planning on how much compost you will need to spread over your lawn you should plan to use 3/4 of a cubic foot for every 1000 square feet of lawn and this should lead to the even half-inch spread you are aiming for.

After years of practice, I feel the simplest way to add compost is to add bundles that look like molehills all over my lawn, this means I can judge how much is required in every area for an even spread and complete coverage.

Once I have these molehills of compost over my lawn I then use the underside of a rake to spread it evenly all over my lawn in a layer that should be no more than a ½ inch deep so that the grass is all sticking out above this new layer of compost.

Check out my article on whether you should use compost or topsoil.

What Is The Best Compost For Lawns

Personally, I think the best compost for lawns is the compost I make in my compost pile, this way I know exactly what is in it. When it comes to what is the best compost for lawns any old compost you can find is not the compost to go for.

It is important to choose the best quality and I prefer the best quality completely organic compost I can find, that is when I’m not using my homemade stuff.

When your top dressing your lawn you can use certain mixes of compost to achieve different goals:

  • Use A compost mixed with sand and it will improve the drainage of your lawn.
  • If you use a peat-based compost It will acidify your lawn and this is good if you have too many worms.
  • Use a manure-based compost if you want your lawn to have better water retention.

I did previously search for the most expensive organic compost I could find in the store and presumed this would mean it would be the best quality.

However, since I have started making my own compost I just feel there is no better compost than the compost you have made by yourself and it reduces household waste.

Please browse some related articles you should find interesting:


Too Much Compost Is It A Lawn Problem?
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