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Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

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Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/6/2012, 10:33 pm

Hi Everyone:

Rooster's given me the OK for a little project. It will take some time as I'll do the bulk of the "research" in the winter, but I need your help.

We seem to get a lot of people who ask us, "Is my compost good?" More than likely it's filled with peat.

I'd like to compile a list of bagged "compost" brands that y'all have available so we can help guide the newbies in their compost decisions.

SOOOOOO when y'all are out & about at the home improvement stores or nurseries this spring & summer PLEASE note all the different bagged things that's called "compost". IF you can, also write down the list of ingredients (or snap a picture and post). At least send me the brand name and what the stuff is called and I'll research it.

EXAMPLE: Life Force 100% Organic Rapid Crop Soil Mix. An organic blend of coconut coir, starter charge, beneficial
microbes, 78+ Ionic Chelated Micro-Nutrients and Multi-Nutritional and
Organic Componds.

Hopefully by next spring we will be better able to help people figure out just how much COMPOST is in their "compost".

Thanks,
Kim

____________________________

I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January - Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/6/2012, 11:36 pm

This would be a good idea. Since we have a vermiculite database, why not a compost database?

flower

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  CCgirl75 on 4/6/2012, 11:44 pm

I would love to know where to find the 5 composts already mixed. The brand was posted earlier(I can't find the name), but I couldn't find it anywhere in my area online.

Also, a database where you can buy Mel's Mix would be awesome, too!

I'll do what I can to help with this database.


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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  philct on 4/7/2012, 1:09 am

Awesome Idea... Are we going to add in the specality ones as well, like the shrimp/seaweed ones?

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  Kelejan on 4/7/2012, 2:00 am

Our local Canadian Tire has sheep manure for sale. I will get a few bags of it tomorrow. (After reading the label to see what is in it apart from sheep doo-doo}

They also have the steer and chicken compsot.

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  TN_GARDENER on 4/7/2012, 9:12 am

East Tennessee, Monterey Mushroom Company. Loudon, TN. They sell mushroom compost (several local nurseries also re-sell their stuff). In Knoxville, I've seen mushroom compost at: Mayo's & Horn of Plenty.

Lots of hydroponic stores carry different composts and/or growing mixes (or can order for you) with ingredients such as bat guano, sea bird guano, sea going fish meal, crab meal, earthworm castings, kelp, composted forest humus, etc. Alcoa, TN: Innovative Hydroponic Supply. In Knoxville, TN: Advance Hydroponic Garden

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  plantoid on 4/7/2012, 7:04 pm

If you do make the list please put in the UK section that most of the composted manures appear to be of a non straw base , usually wood & local authority composted green waste and /or coir waste.

They may also contain sewage farm waste & run off from the proper composting animal waste that is used in making Mushroom compost and a few very specialist true composted animal dung & straw manures.

" Hemsby composts " of St Ives Cambridgeshire do sell the animal dung & straw based composts but I seem to recall usually add septic tank human waste liquids to it as well . Usually sold by the truck load but they may have now started a bagging production line

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/7/2012, 8:56 pm

@plantoid wrote:If you do make the list please put in the UK section that most of the composted manures appear to be of a non straw base , usually wood & local authority composted green waste and /or coir waste.

They may also contain sewage farm waste & run off from the proper composting animal waste that is used in making Mushroom compost and a few very specialist true composted animal dung & straw manures.

" Hemsby composts " of St Ives Cambridgeshire do sell the animal dung & straw based composts but I seem to recall usually add septic tank human waste liquids to it as well . Usually sold by the truck load but they may have now started a bagging production line

I may ask you to help with European sources if I get overwhelmed.

____________________________

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What should I ask?

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/7/2012, 8:59 pm

When contacting the manufacturers (trying to accomplish this by email when possible), what should I ask them?

Here's a preliminary set of questions:






















Are there things like peat or coco coir in it? If so, what percentage is "inert"
material and what is actual "compost"? And what is your compost made from? (i.e., composted cow manure, kitchen waste,
etc.)





Is your product tested for nutrients? If so, what are the results?





Is your product free of chemical fertilizers, insecticides,
etc.? Some of our readers like to use a
truly organic product.







Should the above questions be rephrased? What additional questions should be asked?

Thanks

____________________________

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  jamesindetroit on 4/7/2012, 9:10 pm

This is good Kim. I called a couple manufactures once about some shrimp compost and asked them about the "ingredients" and their "ratios."

Ummmmm.

Hmmmmmm.

I dunno.

Really dude?

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/7/2012, 9:42 pm

WOW! What a Face

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  Kelejan on 4/7/2012, 10:18 pm

Here is what I purchased today.

From Canadian Tire - Composted Sheep Manure - Circle H Farms. 0.5-0.5-0.5

Min Organic Matter - 15%

Maximum Moisture - 50%

Weight 20kg No other information on the bag. So no idea percentage of Sheep manure or anything else. Claims to be organic.

From local supermarket -

"Terra" Composted Steer Manure and "Terra" Composted Chicken Manure 1-1-1

20 lbs.

Ingredients etc for both are the same, except for Steer and Chicken of course.

Ingredients 40% Steer or Chicken Manure

30% Other Animal Manure and 30% Food processing byproducts.

Maximum moisture level 60% and Minimum Organic Matter 50%.

So it seems that the Steer and Chicken are not diluted by peat.

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 4/8/2012, 10:34 am

Hey Kim - Here is what I started to do yesterday for this project...after thinking about what you might want/need by the end of this... Smile

I took my cell phone (that has a camera) with me on trips to Menards, Lowes, and Walmart. I took a picture of the store name, then I took pictures of front, (back if it was printed), and close up pictures of contents/ingredients/supplier name/website, and price tag for each product that even looked like it said compost, manure or square foot gardens. (Mommy, what IS that WEIRD lady doing taking pictures of bags of dirt? Smile) If it was super common, like Black Kow or Chickety Doo Doo, I didn't bother with a lot of pics as they have good and easily findable sites. I took pictures of the products I would NOT buy as well as the better ones. I will put my concerns in the captions - i.e. 80% peat, no ingredients listed, etc. It seems to me it would be helpful for first-timers to see what we would NOT purchase, and why...

What I found in my area is there are few nationally known products (like Black Kow), and a lot of it is regional products manufactured in my area. One product is manufactured an hour away and is only listed as "Organic Humus"...no ingredients, no phone number, no website, just a name and mailing address of a company on the bag. That one scared me just a little. Smile

Another interesting thing was this product at Menards called Majestic Earth Professional Growers Mix which came in what looked like a 1 cu ft compressed bale. Right on the front said it was for "Square Foot Gardens" but lists the components as "This product contains Canadian sphagnum peat moss, perlite, gypsum, dolomitic limestone (pH 5.5-6.5 after wetting) and a wetting agent. Product may vary from region to region. In Georgia, this product contains sphagnum peat moss (75-85%), perlite, gypsum, dolomitic limestone (pH 5.5-6.5 after wetting) and a wetting agent." HUH? Somebody smarter than me needs to explain that one to me. Smile

I was going to upload these to a web album in order (almost like a picture tour) and send you a link... I thought then you could use pictures if you want and get all the info you need fairly easily.

I've got a couple other places to go - but in my area I wanted to start NOW as we get this stuff in once per year and they don't usually replenish it...once it's gone, it's gone. Smile

Will this work for you or would you prefer I just make a spreadsheet with the info from the pictures and send it to you? (or both)?

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/8/2012, 11:02 am

WOW, if you have time to do both, I'd LOVE it.

If not, the photos would be great.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

And oh, by the way,

____________________________

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 4/8/2012, 11:10 am

No problem... Smile I was so excited to see your post which was partly why I started on this right away. I didn't want to miss my window (gardening season in my area) to get the information for you. As a novice to everything gardening and only on year 2 of my SFG, I WISH I'd had this type of information when I started, so I think it's going to be VERY valuable. I'm so grateful to you for taking on the project! Smile

Like I said, I think there are going to be TONS of different kinds based on the different regions so having some list of product, company, and maybe even a Good, Better, Best kind of review/rating from you experienced SFG folks would just be AWESOME... Smile

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  camprn on 4/8/2012, 11:29 am

@UnderTheBlackWalnut wrote:Majestic Earth Professional Growers Mix which came in what looked like a 1 cu ft compressed bale. Right on the front said it was for "Square Foot Gardens" but lists the components as "This product contains Canadian sphagnum peat moss, perlite, gypsum, dolomitic limestone (pH 5.5-6.5 after wetting) and a wetting agent. Product may vary from region to region.
This product is like Pro-mix, or BM1, basically a seed starter or potting type mix. I have used similar when starting new beds and could not find the vermiculite to add to the plain sphagnum.

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 4/8/2012, 11:45 am

Camp - what was kind of humorous to me was the "How to Use" instructions... I took a picture of them. Smile

Under "Square Foot Gardens" - they say "Till Majestic Earth Professional Growers Mix into the top 6" of existing soil before planting. This keeps plants from drying out as quickly and provides organic matter to support plant growth."

As relative newbie to SFG at all and only familiar with ANSFG, I would find these directions confusing. How am I gonna get the tiller in that little 6" box? jocolor I'm pretty sure they may have been referring to the older in-ground SFGs.

Seriously, my question would be what to put with it. So maybe a note on this with your advice - can be used as substitute for x, y, z and a, b, c added...

Oh this is going to be FUN, Kim! Smile

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  Joyce_S on 4/8/2012, 11:51 am

Awesome idea. Here are the details from bags in my possession.

Aunt Nancy’s Potting Soil (Aunt Nancy’s Garden Supplies) 40#
Ingredients: processed forest products
Notes: this bag is pretty old, so I don't know if the brand is still available

Organic Mushroom Compost (packed by Black Gold Compost Co.) 40#
0.5-0.5-0.2
Derived from: Mushroom Compost
Notes: mushroom compost is wheat straw, fibrous peat, gypsum, dolomite, crushed feathers, cottonseed meal, peanut meal and other ingredients known only by the Chief Grower

Super Premium Organic Soil Conditioner (packed for Pike’s Nurseries by E.B. Stone & Son, Inc.) 1.5 cubic feet
Ingredients: forest products compost, chicken manure

Black Hen (Black Gold Compost Company) 20# 3.0-2.0-3.0
Derived from: Composted Poultry Manure

Black Kow Composted Cow Manure (Black Gold Compost Company) 50# 0.5-0.5-0.5
Derived from Primary Plants Foods: Cow Manure

Moo-Nure (Garick) 25# 0.20-0.05-0.20
Note: www.moonure.com; www.garick.com

Foothills Compost (Foothills Compost) 20#
Notes: organic compost created using food residuals and yard/wood trimmings


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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/8/2012, 12:55 pm

LOL I'm going to have to stop thanking everyone cuz I know I'll miss someone. Just know that I truly appreciate everyone's efforts.

It drove me crazy too. I had customers say, "I'd buy your soil mix but I found something that's a LOT cheaper."

Well yeh, I can sell you 80% peat, 10% perlite and 10% compost and some chemicals for that price too if that's what you REALLY want. Smile

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/8/2012, 12:59 pm

I had a customer this week who was WONDERFUL. He's mixing his own and asked my advice on the different composts he's using. When we discussed how much peat was in them he changed his mind and went to Veteran Compost to get some of their GREAT stuff. I just want people to be able to make an INFORMED decision and be even MORE successful at SFG.

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  Roseinarosecity on 4/8/2012, 10:24 pm

Here in California, I currently have a bag of compost from Whole Foods Market from Green Mission. The bag describes the compost as
..."Made from produce, food and waxed cardboard from Whole Foods Market Stores."

But the ingredients are described in their content as, " Content: composted food waste, yard trimmings, and forest products. Contains no biosolids and no steer manure."

It is distributed by Whole Foods Market, 2907 East 49th St., Vernon, CA, 90058.

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  HereIGrowAgain on 4/10/2012, 1:16 pm

I wish I had written down the name of one bag of compost I bought a couple months ago. I opened it up and it was mostly clay. The bags were sold by weight instead of volume and I think they added lots of clay just to make them heavy.

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/10/2012, 1:35 pm

@HereIGrowAgain wrote:I wish I had written down the name of one bag of compost I bought a couple months ago. I opened it up and it was mostly clay. The bags were sold by weight instead of volume and I think they added lots of clay just to make them heavy.

Gggrrrrrrr Mad

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Compost database!

Post  cheyannarach on 4/11/2012, 3:54 pm

Why isn't there a compost database like the vermiculite has. I know people should make there own compost but not everyone can. A compost database would be awesome!

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  givvmistamps on 4/11/2012, 4:05 pm

I saw where somebody started a conversation recently where you could give information on locations you've found compost so they could gather it up and start a database. Don't recall now where I saw it on here, but it's in the works. If you have information to share, I'm sure they'll appreciate it. Very Happy

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

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