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Using BluebloodTM Landscape Products

Using Composts 

Our composts can be used as a soil amendment (apply at rates of 3 - 6 cubic yards per 1,000 square feet [CY/1,000 SF]), as a component of a landscape backfill blend, as a turf topdressing (1 - 1.5 CY/1,000 SF) or as a mulch (3 - 6 CY/1,000 SF).  Our composts are carefully screened to ensure good particle size and can be screened to ½” or ¼” or even one-eighth inch sizes.

Before using compost, always get your soil tested to be sure you use the right amount.  Contact your County Extension Agent to find out how to get your soil tested, or download “Soil Sampling for the Home Gardener” (Publication Number: 452-129; June 2002), available at http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/compost/452-129/452-129.html.

After you get your soil test back, Royal Oak Farm personnel will be happy to assist you to determine how much compost you’ll need.  For Do-It-Yourselfers, to determine how much compost you will need, click here http://www.virginiadot.org/business/bu-compost.asp.

After your order of Blueblood™ compost is delivered, you may wish to cover it with a tarpaulin or plastic covering to keep rain out.  Compost will absorb quite a bit more water than you might think and once it gets wet, it takes a long time to dry out (which is why it helps reduce irrigation needs and conserves water when you add Blueblood™ compost to your landscape beds, lawns and vegetable gardens).

Using It As A Soil Amendment 

Compost as soil amendment
When building new landscape beds, use Blueblood™ compost to improve the organic matter in the soil, as follows:

* Evenly apply compost in a 1-2” layer (3-6 cubic yards per 1000 square feet)
        Use less if planting salt-sensitive species (e.g. geraniums)
        Use less if planti
ng acidic soil – loving plants ( e.g. azaleas, blueberries, etc.)
* Apply compost evenly over bed, using rakes or shovels
* Rototill compost into planting bed to a depth of 6-8”
* Add pH adjustments (if needed)
        Use lime to raise the pH or sulfur to lower the pH
* Plant transplants or woody plants into the amended soil and firmly press them into place
* Leave a small berm of compost soil around base of plant to form a pond for irrigation water; the root ball of the plant should be no more than 1/3 exposed; and if seeding, rake seeds lightly into top layer of soil
* Water thoroughly (if no rain forecast) – at least 1” of water



Compost as backfill mix

Using It As A Backfill Component 

Compost blended with excavated soil from a planting hole makes a wonderful nutritious material to support the new plants’ roots!  To use it in backfill:

* Dig a planting hole slightly deeper than the root ball and 2-4 times its width
* Backfill the bottom of hole with compost-soil mix to a depth of 2-3”
        “Rough up” the sides of the hole to encourage root penetration
* Blend compost with excavated soil (target is 33% - 50% compost in blended soil)
* Apply amended soil around rootball and tamp down to remove air pockets
* Water the backfill a little while emplacing it to help it settle around the roots
* Construct a soil berm circling the root ball to help capture and hold water
        Water plant thoroughly after planting and plan on irrigating with 1” of water per week until the plant is established

Using It For Turfgrass Establishment or Maintenance 

Blueblood™ compost will ensure quick rooting of new lawn seed or sod and will invigorate an established lawn.  For turfgrasses, use as follows:

* Establishing a new lawn, sports field, or turfgrass open space
    Apply Blueblood™ compost  at a rate of 3 to 6 cubic yards per 1,000 sq. ft. of turf, depending on soil test results (about 2” – 4” thick).  Aim for 2-4% organic matter in the final prepared soil. Using a rototiller, incorporate the compost 6” – 8” into the soil.
* Annual maintenance top dressing following core aeration
    Apply Blueblood™ compost  at a rate of 1 to 1½ cubic yards per 1,000 sq. ft. of turf (about ½” to 1” thick).  Apply with a rotary or drop spreader and then rake the surface lightly to drag the compost into the cored aeration holes

Turf renovation with compost before

 Turf renovation with compost - after













Using It As A Mulch 

Compost use as mulch

Blueblood™ compost can be used as a mulch, where it both blocks weeds from sprouting and also provides water-soluble benefits to the soil, as rainfall will infuse the soil with a tea-like extract from the compost!  To use it as a mulch, evenly apply compost in a 1” – 3” layer (3-9 cubic yards/1000 square feet).  If there are salt-sensitive species in the bed (e.g. fruit trees, dogwoods, roses, violets, beans, carrots, onions, parsnips, strawberries, etc.) you might wish to use less if the compost you’re using has a high salt content.  That’s never a problem when you use Blueblood™ compost!


Using Soil Products 

You can use Blueblood™ soil products just like other soil products you’ve used in the past.  All of our soil products are formulated to meet applicable project specifications and are carefully blended and screened so you can use them right away! 

Landscape and construction professionals – download our free product specifications for use in your project documents!

    Topsoil Specification

    Rain Garden Substrate Specification 

    Turf Root Zone Media Specification

    Container Mix Specification 

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