How to Use Compost and Mulch

Learn which mulch to use, how much and where to put it.

Soil is alive! Billions of soil organisms create soil structure that allows air, water, and plant roots into the soil, while recycling nutrients, storing water, and protecting plants from disease. Those organisms live on organic matter such as dead leaves, mulch, and compost.

Feed your soil with compost

Dig or rototill compost into the soil before planting.

Mulch your plantings

Mulch is any organic material spread on the surface to conserve water, control weeds, and slowly feed the soil. Different mulches work better for different plants.

Where to buy compost and mulch?

Cedar Grove composts our yard and food waste, and sells compost in bags or bulk directly and through local nurseries and garden stores. Call the Garden Hotline for a supplier near you.

Fall leaves make a great free mulch. Arborist wood chips are often free from tree services. Cedar Grove and other suppliers sell wood chip mulch in bulk, or it’s available in bags at garden stores. The Garden Hotline can help with other mulch ideas and local sources.

More Information

Growing Healthy Soil guide (pdf)
Get to Know Your Soil (pdf)
Composting at Home guide (pdf)

Questions? Call the Garden Hotline at (206) 633-0224 or email