How to Amend Soil With Compost


For the home gardener, there is nothing better than rich, dark compost for amending the soil. It provides essential nutrients to grow robust plants and improves soil texture. Ironically, compost improves soil drainage and water retention as well. The organic matter that makes up compost works to aerate soil and attracts beneficial organisms like earthworms.

Step 1

Till the garden to a depth of 8 to 10 inches. Remove rocks, roots and other debris, then rake the surface smooth.

Step 2

Form rows or hills for planting, then mark them with tags or labels attached to stakes.

Step 3

If you are planting seeds, add 3 to 4 inches of compost to the hills or rows and work it in with a hoe.

Step 4

If you are planting seedlings, add compost to the planting hole and mix it with the existing soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Tiller
  • Hoe
  • Shovel
  • Rake


  • University of Ohio
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Missouri Extension

Who Can Help

  • Composting for Kids
Keywords: compost, compost bin, amending garden soil

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.