Using Compost Grows Gardens of Plenty!

Photo of wildflowers, onions and garden.

Record rain this year has been a good thing! While your gardens and fruit trees might have benefited, did you know the extra wet weather might have delayed the arrival of some of your fruit and veggies? A simple fix is to add compost and mulch to your garden that will not only enrich the soil from loss of nutrients but will keep the soil moist by stopping evaporation. Compost is also a great way to keep weeds at bay! 

Don’t wait to get your FREE compost and mulch through OCWR’s Community Compost Program, a high-quality product produced from collected and recycled curbside residential waste.  The community has raved about the free resource, and you too can have a beautiful garden this summer.  

Here's what some happy residents have to say: 

“My garden is so full this year! Thanks for all the free compost. We’re already harvesting lots of onions, berries, and soon peaches. All of our plants are so big and healthy I haven’t had to use any additional fertilizer.”  - OC resident, RJ.

Photos courtesy of OC resident, RJ

“Three months ago, we added compost to our peach, avocado and grapefruit we are celebrating a bountiful harvest. Can't wait to make some peach cobbler and guacamole.” - OC resident, Paul. 

Photos courtesy of OC resident, Paul
Peach tree
Avocado tree


Enriching Your Soil: 

Work 1 to 2 inches of compost into the top 3 to 5 inches of soil.  Even the best potting soil gets depleted of its nutrients as plants grow. To replenish, add an inch of compost to potted plants and window boxes twice a year. 

When Planting a Garden: 

Put a handful of compost in each hole when planting. Once plants begin to grow, add a half-inch layer of compost around the base of the plant.  Add ½ inch of compost monthly to heavy feeder plants such as tomatoes, corn, and squash to see great results and a bountiful harvest! 

Compost and Mulch for Trees and Shrubs: 

Apply compost and mulch to trees and shrubs to prevent weeds and to make plants more drought resistant by spreading up to 2 inches of compost under the tree or shrub.  Bring out to the dripline (the outermost parameter of the tree’s canopy) or edge of the bed. This will help reduce moisture loss and stabilize soil temperature. 

When Planting New Trees: 

Don’t add compost to a freshly dug hole when planting a new tree, as applying compost in this way will discourage tree roots from growing beyond the hole. It’s  

best to work ½ to 1 inch of compost into the top 2 inches of soil from the trunk of the tree out to the dripline. Compost used in this way serves as a substitute for the layer of organic matter that naturally exists on the forest floor; it provides organic nutrients, reduces moisture loss, and keeps the soil cool.  

Attesting to the high quality of OCWR’s products, they have received a Seal of Testing Assurance (STA) certification by the US Composting Council (USCC). Our compost material is temperature checked and tested regularly and recorded throughout the process to meet or exceed high testing standards. 

OCWR is proud of its full circle recycling program, being able to give this free resource back to the community. Find out how to pick-up your free compost and mulch, available at all three greeneries co-located at Orange County’s landfills. Visit  


Resident photo of onions
Resident photo of berries 2