One usually hope that the compost to be used will be filled with beneficial nutrients and bacteria. It makes no sense to spread it lightly over the surface of shrubberies or vegetable gardens and the expect it to make any difference to the quality of the soil. In that way you will only be wasting your time and money. For the best effect, it is recommended to apply compost to small areas one at a time.
1. If you plan to replant a bed with annuals, perennials, bulbs, etc spread a layer of compost approximately 20cm thick, and dig it in with the final soil preparation before you start planting.
2. If a new bed is planned for various plants, a layer of compost approximately 10cm thick will suffice, because there are no feeder roots in the bed yet. Also, each hole will receive additional compost when it is prepared for planting.
3. In a bed with established plants compost will be used as mulch. Dig the area over lightly, apply the correct fertilizer and then spread a layer of compost of between 10 and 20cm. This usually does not need to be dug in.
4. If you are planting new plants, the hole for the new plant should be at least twice as wide as the pot or plant bag, and approximately one and a half times as deep. You need to remove at least one third of the soil from the freshly removed soil, and replace it with compost. Mix the soil and compost well, also add the correct fertilizers at the same time. This mixture is then put back into the hole and the new plant is planted directly into the mixture.
5. If you leave compost to lie around for an extended period you need to keep it moist, otherwise it will lose most of its nutritional value.
This will hopefully assist you in attaining the results that you desire for your garden.