How much compost is best for different types of garden beds in southern Oregon? And when should that compost be added?

Good question! And the answer depends mostly on what kind of bed you’re getting ready.

If it’s a new garden bed, cover the bed with 3 to 4 inches of compost in the spring, then till it into the top 6 to 12 inches. After tilling, be sure and rake the soil surface until it’s smooth, removing any rocks, roots, large dirt colds or anything else that will interfere with your plants. And once you get those plants (or seeds) in the ground, don’t forget to water thoroughly.

If it’s an existing garden bed, apply an inch of compost across the top of the bed in the spring, then till it into the top 6 to 12 inches of the soil. This will help conserve moisture and add a fresh boost of nutrients into the soil. If your existing garden bed has plants and shrubs in it and you’re not able to till the compost into the soil, covering the bed with an inch or so of compost will still be a big help.

If it’s a raised garden bed, apply enough Grower’s Blend potting soil to fill the entire bed. If your raised bed includes soil, then add several inches of potting soil on top then till it into the soil. Depending on the moisture in the soil, plan on adding compost in March or April, or as soon as the soil is dry enough to till.

Here in southern Oregon, the spring planting season typically occurs in March and April. The good news is that compost can go down any time of the year, even if we haven’t had our last frost of the season yet.

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