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Peat Humus/Manure/Compost Questions Toplef10Peat Humus/Manure/Compost Questions 1zd3ho10

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.

Peat Humus/Manure/Compost Questions I22gcj10Peat Humus/Manure/Compost Questions 14dhcg10

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Peat Humus/Manure/Compost Questions

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sanderson
Nerdy Rant
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Post  Nerdy Rant 4/16/2014, 12:59 pm

I have a few questions regarding composting.  First off, I am brand new to gardening and don't have homemade compost available to start with.  I've been shopping around for different sources of compost at local home improvement stores and the co-op for my mix.  As I was searching for different ingredients for my compost I found peat humus next to the mushroom compost and cow manure compost at Lowe's.  Can the peat humus be used as one of the 5 sources for the compost mix?  I also checked at my local co-op and they had something called organic soil conditioner, I didn't get to see the package, one of the clerks just told me about it, so I'm not sure exactly what it is made of or the brand name, but if I remember correctly I was told it was a mix of veggie and manure compost. Do you think a mix of peat humus, mushroom compost, cow manure compost, and the organic soil conditioner would be a good mix to start with?  I plan on starting a compost bin for my future compost needs, but since I have none available right now I have to go with store bought. 

I plan on using a 32 gallon trash bin w/lid and holes drilled in it to start since this is all new to me and I wanted to start small.  I have two 4 x 4 boxes and I'm thinking about doing one or two separate containers for potatoes or carrots.  We have land with cows and two horses on it (not our livestock) so I can get all the manure I want.  Can I put fresh manure in my trash can compost bin or do I need to look for the dried up piles?

Thanks for in advance for any and all advice!
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Post  sanderson 4/16/2014, 2:03 pm

Nerdy, I'm glad you asked these questions, but of all days, I personally don't have much free time today to be on the computer. Most of the commercial stuff at the big stores is designed to improve DIRT, not make Mel's Mix (MM).

Peat humus - I wouldn't use it. You will be adding fluffed peat moss as 1/3 or less of your Mel's Mix (MM). I say less than 1/3 because some composts contain peat moss. It has no nutrition so you want to keep the overall content of peat moss to no more than 1/3. "Organic soil conditioner" - It doesn't sound like a real compost. Mushroom compost and composted manures - yes, as 2 of the 5 types.

I hope some local folks can help you today to find 3 more sources of compost. Whole Foods has a veggie based compost but I don't know if it's available there. Check Crag's List for worm castings or aged horse or cow manure.

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Peat Humus/Manure/Compost Questions Empty Thanks Sanderson

Post  Nerdy Rant 4/16/2014, 3:34 pm

I checked out another place on my lunch break and found cotton burr compost.  I guess that could be a 3rd.  We don't have a Whole Foods around here that I can think of, and I could find some aged manure on my property if I go out and look for it.  I appreciate the input.
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Post  walshevak 4/16/2014, 4:56 pm

If you have some old cow and horse manure-1-2 years old that is well rotted, you can add some to your MM.  Other wise use the newer stuff to heat up your new compost pile.  See if you can get a brand name and list of stuff in the soil conditioner.  Often it is really composted manures and wood products.  

Kay

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Post  wife1mom2 4/16/2014, 6:31 pm

If you have a nursery in your area, you could see what they have to offer. That is where I got the worm castings and course vermiculite. Also, try Craigslist or do a google search to see if anyone in your area has them.  Smile
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Post  Marc Iverson 4/16/2014, 10:26 pm

Be careful. Lots of soil conditioners are little more than wood or lightly composted wood. You'd be well-served to nick a hole in a bag, if one is not already opened, to check the quality of any compost and similar growth media materials. Lugging a bunch home to find out it's junk is pretty disappointing!
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Post  camprn 4/17/2014, 1:56 pm

Nerdy Rant wrote: Can the peat humus be used as one of the 5 sources for the compost mix?
No, this does not count as compost.

Nerdy Rant wrote: Do you think a mix of peat humus, mushroom compost, cow manure compost, and the organic soil conditioner would be a good mix to start with?
I would not be satisfied with this mix. I will point out here that if you cut corners with obtaining quality compost, you will have less than desirable results in the garden.  Try looking on craigslist farm and garden section. freecycle, farmers markets, local dairy or horse or chicken farms. 

Nerdy Rant wrote: We have land with cows and two horses on it (not our livestock) so I can get all the manure I want.  Can I put fresh manure in my trash can compost bin or do I need to look for the dried up piles?

Thanks for in advance for any and all advice!
Awsome that you have access to fresh manure, this will make your composting adventure so much easier.
Do NOT use fresh cow or horse manure, wet or dried, into the garden. It is best used in the compost pile
I encourage you to read  a few threads before building the plastic compost barrel.
Use the search feature and read composting 101, are you a hottie and how strong is your backbone.

Essential elements for successful composting are carbon, nitrogen water and air; plastic may cause you problems.

PS: WELCOME TO THE SFG FORUM!!! happy hi


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Post  sanderson 4/17/2014, 2:37 pm

camprn wrote:

Awsome that you have access to fresh manure, this will make your composting adventure so much easier.
Do NOT use fresh cow or horse manure, wet or dried, into the garden. It is best used in the compost pile
I encourage you to read  a few threads before building the plastic compost barrel.
Use the search feature and read composting 101, are you a hottie and how strong is your backbone.

Essential elements for successful composting are carbon, nitrogen water and air; plastic may cause you problems.

PS: WELCOME TO THE SFG FORUM!!! happy hi


http://fortsmith.craigslist.org/search/gra?zoomToPosting=&catAbb=gra&query=compost&minAsk=&maxAsk=&excats=

+1

I tried the 33-gallon for composting and it did not turn out.  3' x 3' x 3' is the minimum size I would recommend.  However, I use 33 gallon wheeled garbage cans for storage of extra Mel's Mix, finished and cooled compost, and wood chips.


Last edited by camprn on 4/17/2014, 10:04 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : fixed quote box)
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