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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  H_TX_2 2/14/2014, 11:40 am

I have a few nurseries nearby and they all have a variety of different composts. In your past experiences what are your favorite composts that you have purchased? I know the homemade stuff is great but if we have to go out and buy something what are some of the better ones we should be looking for? Also mention those that you found didn't work so great or that you would recommend others avoid if possible.

Sometimes I go in to pickup some compost and it can be difficult to find all the different kinds they have available because they are kept out back. Then when I find out what they do have I'm not sure which of those are the better composts. It would be nice to ask if they had x, y or z composts and then go from there.
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Post  boffer 2/14/2014, 11:54 am

My first two years I used Gardner & Bloome products, and was very happy with them.  I have no idea what their distribution area is.

I was heart-broken at the results I got from 'compost' I purchased from big box stores. Fortunately, I only put it  in 2 boxes.
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Post  camprn 2/14/2014, 12:04 pm

Quody blend lobster compost and the milking parlor compost from a local dairy farm.

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Post  R&R 1011 2/14/2014, 12:32 pm

Maybe see if their is some "zoo brew" in your area?  I used zoo and barnyard composts last year and my boxes did fantastic.
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Post  boffer 2/14/2014, 12:40 pm

Zoo Doo is so coveted here, that my local zoo has twice yearly Fecal Fests where they have a lottery to see who gets to buy the product.

http://www.zoo.org/page.aspx?pid=2003#.Uv5UQ_s2_y4
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Post  camprn 2/14/2014, 1:06 pm

@boffer wrote:Zoo Doo is so coveted here, that my local zoo has twice yearly Fecal Fests where they have a lottery to see who gets to buy the product.

http://www.zoo.org/page.aspx?pid=2003#.Uv5UQ_s2_y4
NICE!!! okay 

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Post  sanderson 2/14/2014, 2:54 pm

Sweet!! Lucky you.
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Post  Marc Iverson 2/14/2014, 2:58 pm

I've been disappointed by pretty much all composts I've bought (and I bought a LOT of them) except for worm castings, which were always rich, moist, and crumbly. I did get a really expensive Gardener & Bloome bag once that was decent, but others from the same maker, not so much. The generally poor quality of composts alone, at least around here where they are extremely woody and peaty, is enough to have driven me to take composting very seriously. Even the potential for saving hundreds of dollars a year didn't drive me to composting like the poor quality of store-bought did.
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Post  sanderson 2/14/2014, 4:30 pm

Same here, Marc. None that I have found.
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Post  walshevak 2/14/2014, 5:51 pm

Black Kow and Black Hen and Black Gold mushroom - all from the Black Kow company   Yes, I know Black Hen has the words fertilizer on it, but it is composted chicken manure and good stuff.  BUT, I do use less of it than other composts in my mix because it is pretty powerful.  Because my home made compost is lacking in manures, I usually add these to it.

Kay

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Post  sanderson 2/14/2014, 7:06 pm

I haven't found any Black ___ around here.
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Post  walshevak 2/14/2014, 7:50 pm

Regional to the Southeast I think.  But for the folks that can get it, I recommend.

Kay

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Post  Kelejan 2/14/2014, 10:19 pm

A couple of years ago I had some bags of sheep manure, added it to my compost and from there I got my compost worms that I had never had before.
Now I have two Wiggler Hiltons and get enough worm castings for my SFG beds.
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Post  yolos 2/14/2014, 10:39 pm

Black Kow - I love that stuff.  Fully composted, doesn't smell, texture is just right.  Even though I do make my own compost now, I still buy a bag and mix it in with my homemade compost.
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Post  donnainzone5 2/15/2014, 12:56 pm

I do like Gardner & Bloom's Supreme Harvest, as well as the compost sold at Whole Foods markets.
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Post  keepercjr 2/15/2014, 5:03 pm

I like Bu's Blend from Malibu Compost http://malibucompost.com/home
I have picked up bison compost and horse/cow compost from whole foods in the past.

I can usually find something good at the local hydroponic "garden" shops. Those guys are serious about growing healthy plants! One gives me free compost tea whenever I visit  Very Happy  I often have a harder time finding quality stuff at the local nurseries.
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Post  sanderson 2/15/2014, 5:18 pm

I didn't know there were hydroponic stores here. I thought they were all north of SF!  Very Happy  Which one do you shop?
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Post  reservoir 2/15/2014, 6:29 pm

I do recommend hydroponic suppliers to find 100% of one ingredient manure.  I started by searching on amazon.  Found some brands then google them.  They were all marketed by hydroponic shops no regular nurseries.
That's how I found sources of   Bat mix, worm cast mix, Kelp mixes etc without added peat or coir. Chicken manure, farmyard manure easy to find, mushroom compost  fairly available, zoo poo only if you live in the vicinity.

If there are any other kind available in uk, please let me know.

Christine
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Post  camprn 2/15/2014, 6:42 pm

I typically recommend folks look for locally sourced composts and manures. Look on Freecycle or Craigslist in the farm and garden section for local farmers that have some to sell.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Post  Marc Iverson 2/15/2014, 9:36 pm

Of the few hydroponic stores I've visited, they've all had very high "specialty shop-style" prices. Not really economically feasible unless you're growing ... a certain crop.
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Post  sanderson 2/15/2014, 10:22 pm

Marc,  You caught on to what I was alluding!!   Very Happy   But, it makes sense.  Those specialty stores serve both hydroponic growers and pot growers.  Have you seen on Craig's List the lines of Dr. this and Crazy Boom that, that cater to the pot industry? I laugh because if they only used MM . . . and made their own compost!

Reservoir,  Back to what you stated, it makes sense to me that they would also carry the harder to find bags of bat guano, kelp and castings.

Keeper, what local store do you recommend I try?  Whole foods is on my summer list.
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Post  Marc Iverson 2/15/2014, 10:28 pm

Yeah, I see that stuff around here. I walk into those stores curious, and walk out intimidated, still reeling from sticker shock. It's hard to imagine making that stuff pay for itself legally. Maybe if I knew how to grow 800 lb. cabbages in a square foot, or something.
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Post  keepercjr 2/16/2014, 12:04 pm

There are several hydroponic stores here in the Fresno area. I have gone to Super Roots Hydroponic off of 99 and Olive. I have found worm castings, Bu's blend and something else I can't remember (it has been a while!). There was another one I visited that also had some good stuff but more expensive (especially the bat guano). There is someone on craigslist advertising worm castings for a pretty good price. I plan to call them up this week to buy some. I had my own worms for a while but don't anymore. Otherwise I find craigslist just comes up bare for our area for some reason. For the hydroponic stores just google hydroponic store fresno. They have all been more than willing to help me out.
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Post  camprn 2/16/2014, 12:12 pm

I don't know how far flung these are from Fresno proper but there are a few sellers of compost in the area.
http://fresno.craigslist.org/search/gra?zoomToPosting=&catAbb=gra&query=compost&minAsk=&maxAsk=&excats=

here is a link for the Houston area
http://houston.craigslist.org/search/gra?zoomToPosting=&catAbb=gra&query=compost&minAsk=&maxAsk=&excats=

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Post  sanderson 2/16/2014, 2:04 pm

Tower district!!  Makes sense  Embarassed   I really want to see it.  Wish I had thought of that when I first started and had trouble finding anything but Kelloggs and the like.

Camp, I'm not going to be buying anything at the hydro stores, just window shopping!  I will check out the worm listings on Craig's Listing when I am ready for them.

I should add that the month I got started building MM, I couldn't even find composted manures at the big box stores.
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