Compost is called black gold in some books. I dont make my own compost (though I would love to make some. Any suggestions welcome, I live in a condo). I buy Long Island Organic Compost from my local nursery. It feels like chocolate cake crumbs and smells equally heavenly, like rain drenched earth. I applied a 'side dressing' to all my vegetable plantings today. Side dressing is exactly what is means, apply to the base of the plant as if you were mulching it. The compost will gradually leak into the soil and feed the roots of the plants. Side dressing of compost is specially recommended when the plant is flowering, fruiting.
Lettuce grows well and fast if fed with compost regularly. Lettuce taking a long time to grow is said to taste bitter but compost can hasten its growth. These are gourmet lettuce mixture from Burpees seeds.
Lush green spinach
Rows from top to bottom: Beets(row1), Fenugreek and lettuce(row 2), Fenugreek(row 3), Icicle Radish(row 4).
Row of dill between two rows of spinach