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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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buying compost small town SW Pennsylvania Toplef10buying compost small town SW Pennsylvania 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.

buying compost small town SW Pennsylvania I22gcj10buying compost small town SW Pennsylvania 14dhcg10

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buying compost small town SW Pennsylvania

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Post  jemm 8/25/2023, 5:34 pm

Hi,

I thought I was all ready to plant my new SFG, but now I'm thinking it needs more compost. The bed is filled already and I am working within the constraints of family emergencies and not having anyone here to do the harder labor.

The "compost" part of the mix is mushroom compost plus worm castings. I had hoped to have my own compost but I do cold composting and it wasn't ready. So i brought lots (and lots and lots) of aged sheep manure from my sister's farm, thinking I could mix that into the bed.

But I was advised here that my mix is already manure-heavy.

Can anyone advise me what I can purchase that I could mix into the bed now? I've looked online at Lowe's and Tractor Supply. TS has only a Compost and Biochar Blend with mycorrhizal fungi. And Lowe's has Black Kow Compost & Manure, Compost & Cow Manure, Mushroom Compost, Peat with compost and Manure, Worm Castings, and an Aged Pine Mulch & Soil Conditioner. All of which seems too similar to what I already have.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I am beyond frustrated. I have transplants and seeds all ready to go...and I don't know if I should just go for it, or try to find another type of compost. But what and where? Thoroughly confused...and frustrated. Sorry.

Thanks for any advice or suggestions you can offer!
jemm
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Join date : 2023-08-10
Location : Zone 6a

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Post  sanderson 8/27/2023, 6:41 pm

This is what I tell people having trouble sourcing non-manure based compost their first year.  Use what ever you can find in composts without any fillers.  Fillers are peat moss, coir, green sand, top soil, perlite, etc.
Even if it is high in manure.  The 2nd and 3rd year, try to go with only plant-based composts.

Do be prepared to screen bagged composts regardless of their reputation and/or price.  You want to remove wood pieces, bottle caps, rocks, etc.  A wood frame with 1/4" hardware cloth does fine.  Make it the size that fits your wheel barrow, garden cart or what ever you use.  I have 2 sizes of frames plus a gold miners 1/4" sifting pan that fits over 5-gallon buckets for smaller batches of screened compost.

Photo of the 2 frames.  buying compost small town SW Pennsylvania Compos91

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