How to use compost
For new vegetable beds, add 3–4 inches of compost. For existing vegetable beds, add one-quarter to 1 inch of compost per year.
After you spread the right amount of compost, follow these steps.
Add amendments such as lime and N-P-K fertilizer as needed.
Incorporate the materials into the top 8–12 inches with a digging fork or spade. Or, use a rototiller.
Remove debris and chop the soil clods with a rake.
Spread the compost over the area to the desired depth. Wheelbarrows, 5-gallon buckets, shovels and rakes are useful tools for spreading compost.
Use a digging fork, spade,or shovel to mix in the compost and other amendments. Loosening the soil decreases compaction and increases the amount of air in the soil
Add compost to soil before you install landscape plants.
Spread 3–4 inches of compost on the area you intend to plant.
Mix it in as deeply as possible with a fork or shovel. Or, use a rototiller to mix the compost into the soil.
Dig planting holes. Install plants into the amended soil.
For large areas or compacted soil, consider using heavy equipment to prepare the site.
Spread it over the area where you want to install new plants. Mix the compost in as deeply as possible. Then dig planting holes in the amended soil. Install the new plants. Figure 9 shows a properly amended planting area