Different Types of Compost

Water Conservation for Lawn and Landscape October 21, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Example of ready to use compost. Photo credit: wisemandarine Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Many different types of compost can be used in the landscape to improve soil. According to the US Composting Council most compost is used for trees and shrubs, perennial beds, vegetable gardens, and lawns.

Composting is a naturally occurring process of decomposition found in nature. Home composting speeds up this process.

Compost can be made from almost any organic material. These materials will eventually break down into a stable product that provides nutrients, increases soil moisture holding capacity, regulates soil temperature, and improves organic matter in soils.   

Different types of compost can be created by the homeowner, purchased in bags, or delivered in large quantities.  Purchased compost, however, may contain unwanted compounds such as pathogens, pesticide residues or heavy metals.

There are no federal guidelines regulating compost, however, states do regulate compost facilities in order to protect public health.  

Types of Compost


Additional Resources:

Soils and Compost: Composting


Ohio: Composting at Home
Ohio: Testing Compost


Pennsylvania: How is Compost Made




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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.