This is my first year using compost as mulch. I had always mixed it with new soil and just added a light top dressing. I finally paid attention to what Charles is saying about slugs! I put down the recommended amount of municipal yard waste compost. It’s always seemed good – light and fluffy, holds water well – but this spring I noticed that my beds are quite compacted, which is the opposite of what I expected. I have seen chicken manure compost do this, but…is this normal?
This sounds like the compost was warm/immature when they sold it to you, often happens. Over the next few months it will soften in situ and behave more normally.
I aim to but municipal compost a few months before spreading it.