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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Post  jpstein 1/25/2013, 2:51 pm

HD sells this product online. It is made of many types of composted fruits and vegetables. I'm thinking it is reasonable, but maybe not practicable, to think EcoScraps could perhaps compose up to 40% of my MM compost component. What do you think?
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Post  llama momma 1/25/2013, 3:50 pm

Interesting. Here is the co's Q and A section from their web site
http://ecoscraps.com/faqs/
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Post  camprn 1/25/2013, 4:45 pm

I would have to say that it would be good for 1/5 of your compost needs. The recommendations from Mel B in the book are a blend of 5 different types of compost for optimal results.

I highly recommend doing your best to acquire the 5 different types of compost. If you cut corners here the garden will in all likelihood not produce as well as anticipated.

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Post  jpstein 1/25/2013, 6:41 pm

Thank you. I'm not trying to cut corners, I just thought fruits and vegetables would be considered separate types of compost, as cow and hen manure are separate types. I am also using those, plus worm castings and mushroom compost. Mel B recommends at LEAST five types, therefore this would seem to be advantageous along those lines.


Last edited by jpstein on 1/25/2013, 6:50 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarity)
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Post  landarch 1/25/2013, 10:45 pm

When buying compost retail, I would consider the bag as a single source (1/5 of what you need) eventhough it may have a myriad of components listed.

If you are able to start your own composting, using five different types of components would get you there eventhough your "pile" is a single source.

In my opinion, don't stop at 5 types/ sources...in my opinion, with acceptable compostable material, "everyone in the pool".
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Post  walshevak 1/26/2013, 5:17 am

@jpstein wrote:Thank you. I'm not trying to cut corners, I just thought fruits and vegetables would be considered separate types of compost, as cow and hen manure are separate types. I am also using those, plus worm castings and mushroom compost. Mel B recommends at LEAST five types, therefore this would seem to be advantageous along those lines.

Sounds to me like you are playing by Mel's book exactly. The mix of fruits and vegetables will give you a good kitchen scraps type compost and a definatly good addition to your other sources. I don't know if I would count it as two types, but those that make their own compost get a good mix from those exact items along with lawn trimmings, brown leaves, cardboard, paper, and if lucky, some manure(s).

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Post  briandhadley 1/26/2013, 11:53 am

I have used ecoscraps and love it. It is one of the only composts I can find in my area that doesn't contain a lot of uncomposted wood chips
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Post  treefrog62 2/1/2013, 2:05 pm

I also have a question, as to what 5 different types of compost means.

Currently I have bought:
1) Black Kow composted cow manure.
2) Just Natural Mushroom compost (I'm not sure if this is composted mushrooms, or if it is compost from something else, and "marketed" for growing mushrooms) I think it said something about being made from vegetables, but I don't exactly remember now.
3) And some worm castings.

My city offers compost, made from lawn waste. From some of the things I've read here, I'm not sure I want to use that. So, unless I really can't find another 2 sources, I will go with it.

Here is a description of another source of compost in my area, what do you all think of this?
Compost – Our Compost is black in color and rich in nutrients and is made from composted leaf mulch. It has no animal waste in it. It can be mixed with our topsoil or with yours to create a perfect growing environment for your gardens or flower beds.

So, my last question, is - if I can find compost from chicken manure, is that a different kind than cow manure? I thought I had read in Mel's Answer book, that cow, horse, steer (might have been others) were all considered the same kind. But, since chickens are fowl, is that different? What other "kinds" of compost are there?
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Post  camprn 2/1/2013, 2:10 pm

@treefrog62 wrote:I also have a question, as to what 5 different types of compost means.

These are all examples of different composts:

homemade
mushroom
cotton burr
lobster
seaweed

Composted manure:
chicken
llama
rabbit
goat
cow
horse
etc


Composts that are not different:
steer manure from 5 different companies is still all steer manure.

Places you can find different composts:

Dairy farms
Horse farms
Goat farms
Rabbit farms
Chicken and turkey farms
etc.

Check Craigslist and Freecycle.

If you have a winery near you call and ask what they do with all the leavings, maybe it is all compost out back.

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Post  plantoid 2/2/2013, 1:43 pm

Tree frog go to the home page locate the main menu list and scroll down to the compost threads spend a few hours reading and it will soon be come apparent that your almost there but you can help things along .
I too would only count the fruit & veg as one element of the five varied composts for what you don't know is just how much percentage variation there is of the different materials therein.
It could be almost made up of one type that came into the plant as part of a massive batch because someone in the area had had a bumper harvest that week .
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Post  Lemonie 2/2/2013, 2:25 pm

@camprn wrote:I highly recommend doing your best to acquire the 5 different types of compost. If you cut corners here the garden will in all likelihood not produce as well as anticipated.

+1 I, too, had a very hard time finding a diverse mix that was ready for the garden (and within my price range)....I found a LOT of partially composted materials and was too impatient to wait to get started. So, I used what I was able to find and had a very pitiful first year followed by bugs and disease from unhealthy/stunted plants. I have since been continually having to put forth extra effort to make up from that. The good news is, it may still be early enough in your growing season to get your own pile going big and strong before planting time. Even if you don't have much time, getting a few buckets of used coffee grounds from a local Starbucks and finding someone on Craigslist with a local rabbitry will give you 2 more sources that need little to no composting time to be ready. Smile Happy hunting! :fall:
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Post  Turan 2/2/2013, 3:44 pm

@treefrog62 wrote:

My city offers compost, made from lawn waste. From some of the things I've read here, I'm not sure I want to use that. So, unless I really can't find another 2 sources, I will go with it.

If so, first try to test some by growing peas in cups of it. They are very sensitive to herbicides and thus are used as an indicator. If all looks well, then it should be ok to use. Weed seed that blows on and grows is similarly a good sign of non herbicide contamination.
http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/aminopyralid/

Here is a description of another source of compost in my area, what do you all think of this?
Compost – Our Compost is black in color and rich in nutrients and is made from composted leaf mulch. It has no animal waste in it. It can be mixed with our topsoil or with yours to create a perfect growing environment for your gardens or flower beds.


It might be the same as leaf mold, which is a good substitute for peat. It is high in hummus but not particularly high in nutrients. Do a search on leaf mold to get an understanding of this. I think I am safe in saying it will be ok as one part of the compost, especially if other parts are stuff like poultry (high N) and that lobstor stuff.

I hope this is helpful in addition to all the other advice.

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Post  GWN 2/2/2013, 3:54 pm


If so, first try to test some by growing peas in cups of it. They are very sensitive to herbicides and thus are used as an indicator. If all looks well, then it should be ok to use. Weed seed that blows on and grows is similarly a good sign of non herbicide contamination.
Interesting Turan
I never knew that.
My neighbour who is one of the lawn nut balls, spends his entire summer making sure his lawn is perfect, can never understand why my peas grow so well and his do not. He uses tons of chemicals in his yard....?? Wink
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Post  camprn 2/2/2013, 3:55 pm

@GWN wrote:

If so, first try to test some by growing peas in cups of it. They are very sensitive to herbicides and thus are used as an indicator. If all looks well, then it should be ok to use. Weed seed that blows on and grows is similarly a good sign of non herbicide contamination.
Interesting Turan
I never knew that.
My neighbour who is one of the lawn nut balls, spends his entire summer making sure his lawn is perfect, can never understand why my peas grow so well and his do not. He uses tons of chemicals in his yard....?? Wink
darn funny silly me

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Post  Turan 2/2/2013, 4:23 pm

@camprn wrote: darn funny silly me

+1

I learned that from the link. But when I thought about it it sure makes sense.

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Post  treefrog62 2/2/2013, 5:01 pm

Oh, thanks for all the replies. I am learning a lot.

So, can you have too much coffee grounds in homemade compost? Because that is what I have a lot of.

I bought a small dual compartment tumbling composter, for my deck, but I haven't put anything in it yet. I have some veggie scraps/fruit peel/coffee grounds finely chopped up, sitting in a bowl in my kitchen, and I also collected some very dry leaves (inside my garage), and crumbled them up - but I haven't mixed them together. I think my problem is going to be coming up with enough 'brown' stuff, since our HOA has a service that does the lawn care - unless I can ask them about leaving me grass clippings and leaves and the like. I was thinking about using papertowels that don't have any meat/dairy/grease type stuff on them, just to add some more 'brown', or shredded paper (usually junk mail, but I'm a little concerned about using that, with inks, and other potential stuff in the paper, that may be bad).

Okay - I read the "ingredients" on my mushroom compost bag - it says it is made of a blend of composted forest products, regional compost and mushroom compost. So, would this count as 3 different kinds, or maybe 2 different kinds of compost (since regional could be anything)?

I think I had the same thought as the OP, on the EcoScraps - thinking that it might be considered several kinds - but of course it could be all one type of thing - no guarantee that they really had a good mixture of sources for the batch you get. Maybe the same applies to my mushroom compost - just because they list those things, doesn't mean my bags have all that. Sigh.
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Post  RoOsTeR 2/2/2013, 5:18 pm

Mushroom compost=1.

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Post  sanderson 3/10/2014, 5:16 am

I found this old topic on Ecoscraps from before I joined the Forum. I'm short on home made compost. When I saw EcoScraps at Home Depot, I bought a bag to supplement what compost I have left from last year. I have to admit it is pretty nice looking. Dark and no wood chunks. We will be amending the giant flower bed in the front and I think I will use it as the compost, along with peat moss and vermiculite. Sort of an early version of SFG! I will never again use Kellogg's.
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Post  Rahab222 3/10/2014, 5:25 am

I'm sure you need to stay with the percentages of brown and greens in your composting, which will keep it in balance.  I read that what coffee actually does in compost is give it more of a "sand" texture which helps the permeability of the soil.  Coffee grounds are also great for keeping slugs away as the caffeine affects their neuro system and makes them go haywire so they won't cross a boundary of coffee grounds.  There's a really good video on YouTube showing this.  I don't remember the link, but once I saw that, I started putting coffee grounds around every plant in my garden.  You can get these free at Starbucks.
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Post  sanderson 3/10/2014, 5:55 am

Rehab,  the last reply before mine was a year ago.  You can go to your profile and change it to add the year of the reply along with the month and date.  Someone told me how to do it so I wasn't replying to dead replies.   Embarassed
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Post  Vash_the_Stampede 3/16/2014, 2:56 pm

Hello,

I realize this is a relatively old thread, but I'm glad to see Ecoscraps is getting the OK from other members as it is on my list of 5.

 thanks
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Post  sanderson 3/16/2014, 4:39 pm

It's filling my emergency need until I get a compost pile going this spring. Also, it's finely composted so I don't have to screen it. I do add cow or chicken manure with it, though. In MHO, I think it is fine as one of 5 composts.
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Post  sanderson 3/19/2014, 11:21 pm

I received an email reply from James D. Hruskoci, Ph.D. VP and Director. The Ecoscraps Compost is composed of wood and veggie products. The Ecoscraps Soil has additional amount of wood material. Both are nice and fine.
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Post  AtlantaMarie 3/20/2014, 1:41 pm

Treefrog62 - You can save some of those coffee grounds to sprinkle over your carrots.  Apparently the smell confuses the Carrot Rust Fly.
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Post  sanderson 10/1/2014, 4:03 am

My observations this year: Eco scraps seems to be a nice compost.

Dirt flower beds in the front yard: It was the compost I added to the peat moss and vermiculte that I mixed into the top 3-4" of dirt. I used Kelloggs blue striped "compost" as a mulch because it has a lot of little pieces of wood. The flowers were a riot of color and size.

The MM boxes: I would use it again as one of 5 parts in compost. But no more than that because of its fine grain quality. No wood chips in this one! For one new box I had to use mainly Ecoscraps, screened peat moss and and medium vermiculite, which feels so fine compared to large vermiculite. I felt that it made for a heavy MM without a lot of air pockets. Obviously, it was easy to work with but I like my MM a little chunkier. Smile

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