Compost Application Rates

The following are the application rates for typical uses of SAWS compost to achieve fertilizer benefits and soil improvement:


Use Amount of Compost
Lbs. per 1000 sq.ft.
(depth in inches)


Establishment of soil incorporation 2000 – 6000
(1/2″ – 2″)
Mix with top 4″ – 6″ of soil.
Use lower rate on relative fertile soil, higher rate on infertile soil.
Surface Mulch 600 – 7000
(1/4″ – 2 1/4″)
Spread uniformly on surface:
(a) before seeding small-seed species (Bermuda); or
(b) after seeding large seed species (fescues)
Maintenance 400 – 800
(1/10″ – 1/4″)
Spread uniformly on surface.
On cool season grasses, either apply high rate in fall or lower rate in fall and again early in spring.

(Shrubs and Trees)

Establishment of Plants 1900 – 7000
(1/2″ – 2 1/4″)
Mix with top 6″ – 8″ of soil.
Do not use where acid-soil plants (azalea, rhododendron, etc) are to be grown.
Maintenance 200 – 500
(1/10″ – 1/5″)
Spread uniformly on soil.
Can be worked into soil or used as mulch
Tree balling

Use at 50% rate

Mixed based on compost with bark or soil.
Potting soil mixes No more than 1/3 by volume Thoroughly water and drain mixes several times before planting to prevent salt injury to plants.
Blending materials: peat, sand, vermiculite, perlite and bark.