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The Perfect Store Bought Blended Compost for a SFG

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Post  erbarnett on 9/3/2010, 9:40 pm

I have noticed that many of you are making your own compost at your homes. This is commendable but I would prefer not to do this because of the space and time requirements. Also, I do not have a truck to haul it in when it is offered to the public for free. Instead, I have bought compost from local greenhouses and by the internet. Most of you have much more practical experience in this area than I do. Based on your experiences, what in your opinion would be the best ingredients to mix together to make the very best compost for use in a SFG? What are the brand names of these composts? Also, from what companies did you get this compost? Were these companies reliable in terms of promptness of delivery and also quality of the product?

After a few people have posted, I will describe what I used and where I got it. I would then welcome comments from you. Thanks.



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Post  pattipan on 9/3/2010, 10:24 pm

We bought all our compost, but it's definitely not been a consistent mix because we've had to use what was available. We start with two different types of composted manure (Black Cow brand, and a farm supply brand) and leaf compost (from Lowes), since we can find that easily. For the other two components of the five recommended by Mel's book, we try to find something like an organic humus or even a good potting soil mix. With the latter two in the overall mix, I think we probably have more than recommended "five" in our compost! Everything is growing well, so I think it must be a good mix.

We got lucky when we moved to where we are now. The local farm supply store was closing out their garden center so we got several bags of free composted manure. I'll look tomorrow and see if there's a brand name. We still have several unopened. We've also made friends with the local greenhouse owner here. He gives us "deals" because we're such good customers. When he sees my husband coming he calls him "the SFG guy." Originally they did not have vermiculite, but all we had to do was let him know we needed a bag and he would get it on his usual supply run. We've also started a lot of SFG interest, so it's been beneficial all the way 'round. :-) Our SFG garden is very visible, since we live right next door to a bank drive through!

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Post  Old Hippie on 9/3/2010, 10:28 pm

Actually, you can compost even if you don't have a dedicated compost bin or area. There are lots of ways to do that. Very often I make a slurry in the blender of the kitchen stuff like salad trimmings, vegetable peels, tea leaves and coffee grounds. Then I just dig a small hole in the garden close to some plants and pour it in and cover it up. Attracts earthworms like crazy and breaks down really fast in the garden. You can even do that in potted plants. They all seem to love it. I chop up banana peels and dig them into the containers with my roses.

If you have an empty square in your SFG just use that to bury some compostable things. In my compost book they call that a "honey hole." After a couple of weeks, most of it has gone and there will be lots of worms and worm castings.

I don't buy compost as a rule so I am no help to you on that one. Plus the brands that I get here in Canada would be of no use to you there. Best of luck in your search. It sounds like you are very scientific in the way you garden. I envy your organization!!

GK
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Post  erbarnett on 9/3/2010, 10:56 pm

I bought Posy Power from a nursery. It consists of steam sterilized horse manure and brewer's grain, and additives of gypsum, peat moss, and lime. I also used Happy Frog Natural and Organic Soil Conditioner, which consists of forest humus, earthworm castings, bat guano, and humic acid. Happy Frog was a little pricey as it had to be shipped to me by FedEx. Both brands seem to work fine.
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Post  Old Hippie on 9/3/2010, 11:06 pm

Except for having to FedEx the one they both sound "yummy"! From a plant's point of view that is!

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Post  vinny09 on 9/4/2010, 12:47 am

I really like EB Stone Organics Planting Compost or Flower and Veggie Planting Mix. I'd add some steer manure and green waste compost with this as my compost mix for MM. I also use their all purpose plant food as fertilizer.
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Post  LaFee on 9/4/2010, 5:39 am

I think the lack of brand names stems from the fact that the brand names vary so widely -- there are posters literally all around the world, so Mel really can't make any brand-specific recommendations, as what's available in North Carolina isn't going to be available in Florida, Arizona, Washington...or Paris.

So you have to just search out as many different kinds as you can....composted cow manure under two different brand names counts as two different kinds of compost...which makes life a LOT easier.
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Post  elliephant on 9/4/2010, 8:55 am

Well, you are posting in your regional forum, which I think a lot of us tend not to realize as we click on the "Latest Topics" sidebar and don't even notice where someone has posted. So hopefully some people who are close to you will be able to give you reccommendations as to what is available in your area. Also, when you notice that a poster is in your area, don't be afraid to ask them directly via PM.
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Post  LaFee on 9/4/2010, 9:06 am

Ellie, my observation is that while there are regional forums, there's not much attention paid to what locale is actually being discussed.....
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Post  elliephant on 9/4/2010, 9:16 am

@LaFee wrote:Ellie, my observation is that while there are regional forums, there's not much attention paid to what locale is actually being discussed.....

Which is exactly what I was trying to point out. Asking that question in one's regional forum, one might not think to specify that he or she was trying to get reccommendations from others who would have the same regional brands/products available. And people clicking on the topic from the sidebar (like me Laughing ) might not realize that the question was posted there and answer that it really depends on your area, which I'm guessing the OP realized and therefore put it in the regional forum Laughing
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Post  herbarium on 9/4/2010, 11:38 am

I compost but never have enough of my own because I also put it on the lawn, shrub beds, etc.
I have used composted cow manure from a local dairy (they don't use BGH which is a plus), steer manure blend from Home Depot, Dr. Earth Planting Mix
http://www.drearth.com/products/organic-soils/ , NutriMulch (a turkey manure blend available in Utah), Garden Soil from Home Depot which according to the label is compost.
I would recommend reading the label of whatever you buy to be sure you are ok with the ingredients. Some contain biosolids - composted human waste. Whether or not you are ok with that at least you will know what you are getting. Some also contain soil or other things that are not actually compost like maybe synthetic fertlizers.
I rarely turn my compost and there are many different ways to compost in addition to a compost bin or pile: Here is something from my blog about composting in case that helps: http://www.herb-arium.com/apps/blog/
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