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For the past couple of years I have turned out my compost in late september/early october over my veg patch and flower beds and left it to winter over on top. My question is " Is this the best method or would it be better to leave it till the spring time" 

fidgetbones

Thats ok, provided the soil is wet when you apply it. You can spread compost anytime from now, unless the soil is bone dry.

Fidgetbones, why did you make the remark about the soil being wet and would you dig it in or just leave it as I do.

 

would this apply to well rotted farmyard manure (bought from garden centre) as well Fidgetbones? Do I need to dig it in?

As long as you aren't growing anything there over winter you can spread manure there too.  It takes nutrients..nitrogen mainly....from sol as it rots but by next spring it will be fine to plant there. I use a cultivator to mix it into the topsoil if I'm planting

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fidgetbones

If you put mulch on dry soil, the soil underneath doesn't get wet unless it rains an awful lot. It tends to run off sideways instead.  Mulch and top dressings of FYM should always go on wet soil. Given the way it has rained today you should be ok.

Good point fidget......not just a pretty face!

I think Autumn is the better time to spread compost - I used to wait till Spring, but found that it was difficult to avoid smothering early flowering bulbs. Plus, I have lots of "cooked" compost in the bins in Autumn, last year's leaves have usually rotted down nicely by now to leaf mould and as I only have a small garden, I need to clear space for composting over the winter. As Fidgetbones says, you just need to make sure that the soil is moist - not a problem at the moment after recent downpours!  I just tend to chuck it on the soil's surface (ie not dig it in). I find that the worms do most of the work for me over the winter and the plants have plenty of food in the soil when they start growing in Spring.

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