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Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/11/2012, 4:17 pm

I'm collecting it, but I need everyone's help to send me as much information as possible: brand name & ingredients as listed on the package (or a photo).

It's going to take a LONG time to do this as I won't be able to research it until after this growing season. And don't forget that each region has a TON of different brands available.

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  HereIGrowAgain on 4/11/2012, 8:15 pm

I can get free compost from the local sanitation department but it's pretty much wood mulch that was left over from last year and decomposed a bit. I can get free mulch from them too but I'm concerned about what is in it. It could have nasty chemicals in it or worse termites. I don't want to bring those nasties home! The sanitation guys are clueless. They think the most important thing about the compost is that it's free. They don't see what the big deal is.

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  bakermtb on 4/11/2012, 9:24 pm

I was at a local store selling "Compost" I turned over the bag and took some photos of the materials in the bags. As soon as I can get them uploaded I will post them. You must read the materials before you buy, just like Kim has advised. You get what you pay for.
Ask the questions from local suppliers to see how it's made.

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  givvmistamps on 4/11/2012, 9:30 pm

@givvmistamps wrote: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

Did this get moved, or am I going crazy?! I could swear I posted this somewhere else...

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  RoOsTeR on 4/11/2012, 9:53 pm

Yes, its been moved.

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Moved, lol.

Post  cheyannarach on 4/11/2012, 11:26 pm

I thought I was going nuts, lol. Good to know it was moved.

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  givvmistamps on 4/11/2012, 11:36 pm

@RoOsTeR wrote:Yes, its been moved.


Gosh Rooster, pulling something like this on a lady who has a fever isn't conducive to her self-confidence!

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  RoOsTeR on 4/12/2012, 8:07 am

thinking thinking

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  donnainzone5 on 4/12/2012, 11:16 am

I saw a new Gardner & Bloome product at International Garden Center in El Segungo, Calif. Yesterday. It's called Eden (!) Valley Potting soil. I didn't have my camera with me, but the ingredients included coil and peat, unfortunately. Otherwise, it appeared to be a good mix.

I'll either post a picture later or do some research and share the rest of the ingredients.

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  No_Such_Reality on 4/12/2012, 12:33 pm

@HereIGrowAgain wrote:I can get free compost from the local sanitation department but it's pretty much wood mulch that was left over from last year and decomposed a bit. I can get free mulch from them too but I'm concerned about what is in it. It could have nasty chemicals in it or worse termites. I don't want to bring those nasties home! The sanitation guys are clueless. They think the most important thing about the compost is that it's free. They don't see what the big deal is.



Be really careful with local government free giveaways. In California, it's fairly common in the spring for the local Sanitation department to give away compost. It's often blended with their bio-solids from the waste water treatment.

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  KDeus on 4/13/2012, 11:53 am

Well, I was so excited to find a 5th kind of compost at Home Depot sitting right next to the Black Kow. It's called Big Brown Cow and is labeled as Premium Composted Manure. They only had one bag and a few days later I went back to get a few more and I took a more careful look at it. From the description, it may or may not contain actual manure.

"Big Brown Cow" from The GreenGarden Company
50lb bag $4.97 (at Home Depot in Jacksonville, FL)
.75-1.50-0.90

CONTENTS:
Big Brown Cow is produced with Organic materials derived from one or more of the following natural ingredients: peat, vegetative compost, top soil, composted cow manure or composted chicken litter.

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS:
Total Nitrogen 0.75
0.06% Water Soluble Nitrogen
0.57% Water Insoluble Nitrogen
Available Phosphate 1.50
Soluble Potash 0.90

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  walshevak on 4/14/2012, 7:03 am

Another one that throws our peat ratio off. I wouldn't mind so much if I knew the percentage of peat, but there is no was of telling. And how in the world can they call topsoil compost.

Kay

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/14/2012, 7:12 am

Looks like the topsoil is just one of the ingredients in that compost blend. Probably one of the "bad things" about having a compost pile directly on the ground.

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  Daniel9999 on 4/14/2012, 5:00 pm

I will post some of the stuff I used in my SFG bed

Gardner and Bloome Worm Gro

[img][/img]

The organic and non organic versions have the same listed ingredients...

[img][/img]

I could find nothing on this package that indicated what the percentage of ingredients were.

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  Daniel9999 on 4/14/2012, 5:14 pm

Sorry about the multiple postings....It seems I am limited to the amount of pictures I can use in a single post by the forum software here so I will have to post the entries for the different composts separately.

I apologize if it seems I am trying to spam the forum....I am just trying to help build the database.

Gardner and Bloome Harvest Supreme

[img][/img]

This one is weird because while it brags on the label that it contains 15% Chicken Manure none of the percentages for the other ingredients are listed

Ingredients

Fir Bark, Forest Hummus, Rice Hulls, Chicken Manure, Worm Castings, Bat Guano, Kelp Meal, Oyster Shell Lime, plus mycorrhizae.

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  camprn on 4/14/2012, 5:16 pm

@Too Tall Tomatoes wrote:Looks like the topsoil is just one of the ingredients in that compost blend. Probably one of the "bad things" about having a compost pile directly on the ground.
A little bit of shaved dirt into the homemade compost is a good thing, really! it helps with microbe balance and soil health.

Top soil as an ingredient in bagged 'Compost' not so much.

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  HereIGrowAgain on 4/14/2012, 5:52 pm

From sources I've read I was under the impression that pure worm castings aren't really compost. They're more like fertilizer. I've only used them as top dressing but never mixed them in. Can someone shed some light on this for me? I've got my new worm bin going but it will be months before I can collect the castings.

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  camprn on 4/14/2012, 6:00 pm

@HereIGrowAgain wrote:From sources I've read I was under the impression that pure worm castings aren't really compost. They're more like fertilizer. I've only used them as top dressing but never mixed them in. Can someone shed some light on this for me? I've got my new worm bin going but it will be months before I can collect the castings.
Interesting http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermicompost Vermi compost is as good as what you feed the worms.
Top dressing with wormcastings is a great way to use the product!

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  plantoid on 4/14/2012, 6:09 pm

The Harvest Supreme .. may have a fair alkaline ( ground up shells ) content if they as the labeling says for they are advertizing it as good for breaking up clay soils . The lime in the crushed shells helps " crumb " clay soils.

I'm also fairly sure that " Fir Bark " takes ages to fully compost so it may upset the intended average nitrogen levels in the mix for a couple of years .

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/14/2012, 7:56 pm

@camprn wrote:
@Too Tall Tomatoes wrote:Looks like the topsoil is just one of the ingredients in that compost blend. Probably one of the "bad things" about having a compost pile directly on the ground.
A little bit of shaved dirt into the homemade compost is a good thing, really! it helps with microbe balance and soil health.

Top soil as an ingredient in bagged 'Compost' not so much.


Yep......I know about the microbe business and soil health but why is it not so good if it's one of the ingredients in compost? Suppose it just happens to be one of those unintended ingredients.

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  camprn on 4/14/2012, 8:10 pm

@Too Tall Tomatoes wrote:
@camprn wrote:
@Too Tall Tomatoes wrote:Looks like the topsoil is just one of the ingredients in that compost blend. Probably one of the "bad things" about having a compost pile directly on the ground.
A little bit of shaved dirt into the homemade compost is a good thing, really! it helps with microbe balance and soil health.

Top soil as an ingredient in bagged 'Compost' not so much.


Yep......I know about the microbe business and soil health but why is it not so good if it's one of the ingredients in compost? Suppose it just happens to be one of those unintended ingredients.
LOL, you have a point, but what if top soil is 80% of the compost blend. The making of commercial compost in the States is under regulated and there are really no standards to speak of, and label requirements
I have no idea how old this info is but it gets the idea across.
http://www.recycle.cc/compostregs.htm

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/14/2012, 8:15 pm

@camprn wrote:
@Too Tall Tomatoes wrote:
@camprn wrote:
@Too Tall Tomatoes wrote:Looks like the topsoil is just one of the ingredients in that compost blend. Probably one of the "bad things" about having a compost pile directly on the ground.
A little bit of shaved dirt into the homemade compost is a good thing, really! it helps with microbe balance and soil health.

Top soil as an ingredient in bagged 'Compost' not so much.


Yep......I know about the microbe business and soil health but why is it not so good if it's one of the ingredients in compost? Suppose it just happens to be one of those unintended ingredients.
LOL, you have a point, but what if top soil is 80% of the compost blend. The making of commercial compost in the States is under regulated and there are really no standards to speak of, and label requirements
I have no idea how old this info is but it gets the idea across.
http://www.recycle.cc/compostregs.htm

That's actually a good source of info. Thanks!

80% topsoil in "compost". That is way too much. What do you think would be an acceptable percentage?

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  camprn on 4/14/2012, 8:26 pm

A big fat zero % is just right. I do not buy anything that says 'top soil' if I can help it. What a Face

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topsoil in compost

Post  tomperrin on 4/14/2012, 8:28 pm

I understand from a local landscaper that most topsoil sold in NJ can't leave the town that it came from. Apparently, it takes a thousand years to make an inch of top soil. So the topsoil that is sold is all manufactured with compost and clay being prime ingredients, along with rock dust and a few assorted mystery ingredients.

As far as bagged compost is concerned, I found it very difficult this year to find just plain compost. The dehydrated cow manure is just that. Poop with the water taken out. I bought 20 bags of last year's crop for $1.00 a 25 lb bag and used it as one of my five components of blended compost.

The best stuff I have found this year came from, of all places, China's own Walmart. The compost was full of red wrigglers, indicating that it was, indeed, compost.

The ultimate solution is to be very aggressive in making our own compost.

Tom

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/14/2012, 8:40 pm

@tomperrin wrote:I understand from a local landscaper that most topsoil sold in NJ can't leave the town that it came from. Apparently, it takes a thousand years to make an inch of top soil. So the topsoil that is sold is all manufactured with compost and clay being prime ingredients, along with rock dust and a few assorted mystery ingredients.

As far as bagged compost is concerned, I found it very difficult this year to find just plain compost. The dehydrated cow manure is just that. Poop with the water taken out. I bought 20 bags of last year's crop for $1.00 a 25 lb bag and used it as one of my five components of blended compost.

The best stuff I have found this year came from, of all places, China's own Walmart. The compost was full of red wrigglers, indicating that it was, indeed, compost.

The ultimate solution is to be very aggressive in making our own compost.

Tom

How would they stop someone from buying topsoil in one town and taking it to the next?

I won't hesitate to buy compost at a store that has miscellaneous ingredients. I figure that it's gotta be better than not having any.

As you all know, I am really into making my own compost but mine doesn't have some of the better ingredients like anything that comes from the sea. Believe me, if I had a source of seafood ingredients to add to my compost, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I could probably make phone calls and drive around to get some but is it worth my time and gas money spent? I never would drive more than a two-hour round trip to get my ingredients.

Speaking of home-made compost.......

I wonder if it's doable to make my own compost to sell.

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Re: Is bagged compost REALLY compost?

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