In-Garden Composting

November 12, 2018

When you’re cutting back the yard and garden, make use of all that extra organic matter! Try “in situ composting” or “in-garden composting.”

In-situ composting means that you are composting directly where you’re going to grow. It is simple and it’s a great way to deal with a glut of compostable material. Worms and microbes in the soil will do a fantastic job of turning all that organic matter into crumbly, nutrient-rich compost, right where you want to use it.

In this short video we demonstrate three easy ways to compost directly on and in your garden beds to help you improve your soil and prepare the soil for bumper crops next year!

If you love growing your own food, why not take a look at our online Garden Planner here: ​


Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

In situ composting in raised beds?

Is in situ composting also advisable for raised beds?


I also love to do gardening thats why I read this blog and I found it very interesting, keep sharing more.

Composting in situ

Hi, love the idea of doing this instead of a separate pile. Can i also add my used coffee grounds and filter or paper to this style of composting? thank you!


yes yes yes to coffee grinds I've been adding for years and also sliced up newspaper (not the slippery or coated). This will breakdown and adds bulk. I even add small pieces of leftover meats and cheeses to mine, as long as there are no threats of animals digging in.

Coffee Grounds

The Editors's picture

Yes, coffee grounds and filters are a great addition to this compost style!

Coffee filters

I found that my coffee filters did not break down in my compost,over last year.but i do add the grounds.



what does ready compost look like?

I am new to composting and wanted to know how u can tell when compost is ready. I purchased a composter and also want to compost in ground as well. Also being the middle of summer for us in the midwest namely Wisconsin I was also wondering if it is okay to apply compost around plants that are doing quite well?


The Editors's picture

Ready compost is fine-textured, crumbly, dark and quite sweet-smelling. You might find you need to sieve out some of the chunkier bits (you can use them to start the next batch of compost), although it’s OK to add compost that’s not 100% finished onto soil as mulch as long as there are no recognizable lumps of food or other composting materials. Plants will appreciate a mulch of compost any time. Water before mulching so that the mulch helps to prevent evaporation. 


Sign up for our email newsletter by entering your email address.

BONUS: You’ll also receive our free Beginner Gardening Guide!

The Almanac Webcam

Chosen for You from The Old Farmer's Store

Sign up for our email newsletter by entering your email address.

BONUS: You’ll also receive our Almanac Companion newsletter!