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Treat Your Landscape to Some Post-Winter Pampering

Once the bitter cold is behind us, the absolute best thing you can do for your landscape is to shower it with a little TLC — in this case, tender loving compost.

Compost can be shoveled, tossed, or blown on top of the grass to a depth of half-an-inch or tilled right into garden beds. Compost can be purchased at many reputable outlets around town or you can make your own. (By the way, new research suggests that less turning is better as it reduces composting time and increases the number of microbial agents.)

Without getting too deep into the science of compost, a well-made mixture consists of three parts brown (stems, twigs, and leaves) to one part green (grass and manure). Depending on the ratio, amount of moisture, and aeration, good compost can result in as little as four weeks. If you choose to buy it, I recommend compost that has cooked for at least six weeks.

Either way, your landscape, and soil will reap these benefits:

  • Improved water infiltration and holding capacity
  • Enriched nutrients
  • Better overall health and turf color

In a side by side test at SAWS Headquarters, compost was added to one section of grass and not to the other. In a matter of weeks, the area with compost was three times greener than the non-composted section and remained so for most of the summer

Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Mark A. Peterson is a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you’re likely to find him hiking San Antonio’s wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.
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