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Healthy soil prescriptions for compost use


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Are you feeding your greenspaces the soil equivalent of junk food? Switch over to a healthy, compost-based diet for peak performance.

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Healthy soil prescriptions for compost use

  1. 1. HEALTHY SOIL Prescriptions
  2. 2. Human development has drained the life out of many soils.
  3. 3. Instead of a thick, loose layer of topsoil, there’s only compacted dirt, sand, or clay.
  4. 4. This dead soil doesn’t hold water or sustain plants or perform any of the other functions a healthy soil is supposed to do.
  5. 5. Healthy soil is dark, even-textured and chock-full of beneficial organisms.
  6. 6. Healthy soil will supply a full range of macro and micronutrients for balanced plant nutrition,
  7. 7. facilitate nutrient uptake and degrade or bind pollutants,
  8. 8. hold moisture to significantly reduce watering requirements and stormwater runoff,
  9. 9. and encourage beneficial soil organisms.
  10. 10. The secret to healthy soil is maintaining organic matter content at 5%,
  11. 11. and the best way to add organic matter is by using compost.
  12. 12. Regular compost use is a wellness program for soil.
  13. 13. No other soil amendment or topical application can offer as much in one cost-effective product.
  14. 14. Compost is a manufactured product. JFE Compost manufacturing facility Okeechobee, FL
  15. 15. The process is based on nature’s own system for recycling biodegradable waste.
  16. 16. Modern composting generates enough heat to meet regulatory time and temperature requirements for what is commonly termed “self-pasteurization.”
  17. 17. This heat kills weed seeds and pathogens,
  18. 18. producing a high-quality soil amendment that’s safe for use by anyone, anywhere.
  19. 19. Compost restores health to poor soil and keeps good soil in peak condition season after season.
  20. 20. Its organic matter provides the right environment for the organisms that break down soil nutrients into “digestable” food for plants,
  21. 21. and acts as a sponge to absorb and hold more water.
  22. 22. To get and keep healthy soil:
  23. 23. Incorporate 1-2” of compost into the top 4-8” of soil to rebuild, then top-dress each year thereafter. Healthy Soil Prescription #1 General use to improve poor soil
  24. 24. Calculate compost application rate by the square foot or by the acre using the following organic matter charts: Healthy Soil Prescription #2
  25. 25. Organic matter chart – by the sq. ft.
  26. 26. Organic matter chart – by the acre
  27. 27. To keep good soil healthy, top-dress with 1/8” to 2” and rake in, disk in or core-aerate each planting season. Healthy Soil Prescription #3
  28. 28. Instead of topdressing, mulch with 1-2 inches of compost in the fall and let the worms work it into the soil. Healthy Soil Prescription #4
  29. 29. • Add up to 30% compost to container and bedding mixes. • Substitute 1:1 for peat moss. • Keep a thin layer of compost on top to act as a mulch and replenish nutrients during watering. Healthy Soil Prescription #5
  30. 30. Use a little compost each season to replenish and sustain healthy soil. One product | Many benefits | Superior results
  31. 31. Visit to download/request a free Healthy Soil Kit. It’s packed with articles, handouts, presentations and sample specifications related to building healthy soil as a first step to reducing erosion, polluted runoff and stormwater management costs. Are you a policymaker, specification writer or green industry professional?
  32. 32. View more titles about compost and healthy soil here. Production costs for this title were underwritten by McGill. Its use is permitted for educational purposes if presented in its entirety and without editing or other alteration. ©McGill Environmental Systems of N.C. Inc. Questions? Call McGill HQ at 919-362-1161 or use a contact form at