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Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

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Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  Nine on 3/28/2013, 7:25 pm

Finding compost has been more challenging than I thought it would be. I worry about manure from farms as I don't know how to tell if its fully composted and safe.

Looking for a bagged solution and thought maybe this would do?

Dr. Earth Natural Choice Compost 1.5 Cu. Ft.
Natural Choice Compost is formulated from a fine selection of composted organic materials. This blend is packed full of organic materials that help your plants become established. This product is made from forest humus, fir bark, earthworm castings, alfalfa meal, kelp meal, soybean meal, fish meal, fish bone meal, MicroActive seaweed extract, aloe vera, yucca extract, oyster shell and dolomite limes. It is also fortified with probiotic beneficial soil microbes plus both endo and ecto mycorrhizae. Mycorrhizae extend the plants root system to assist in improving the plants performance and vigor following transplanting. The key difference in this compost is the broad spectrum soil inoculant. The soil inoculant helps to break down organic materials in the compost.

Ingredients: Forest Humus, fir bark, earthworm castings, alfalfa meal, kelp meal, soybean meal, fish meal, fish bone meal, seaweed extract, aloe vera, yucca extract, oyster shell & dolomite limes, ecto & endo mycorrhizae and beneficial soil microbes.
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Re: Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  llama momma on 3/28/2013, 7:44 pm

No one here can tell you how well it works unless they successfully used the product. I personally think it would be a huge gamble without knowing the exact percentages of ingredients...perhaps you could use this on a few squares and continue to find the 5 ingredients as Mel suggests. After 30 years I think his formula can be totally trusted. Honestly, the square foot gardening mix we call Mel's mix works so well I wouldn't mess with other formulas. If you give the product a try, please let us know how it worked!
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Re: Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  bnoles on 3/28/2013, 8:01 pm

Hi Nine and welcome to the forum.

I think llama mama has offered some excellent advice (as always). The only safe and sure fired way is to follow Mel's wisdom developed over many years of research. He has done all the work for us and all we have to do is stick to his teachings. That's my story anyhow and I'm sticking to it. Very Happy

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Re: Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  plantoid on 3/28/2013, 8:04 pm

Hiya Nine,
Be aware that there are differences and confusions about earth , composts and manures .
What you seem to have is a complete mix for improving mother earths own soil .
What our style of SFG does is use five different kinds of composted material which we add to peat and vermiculite to make a soil less growth medium.

Forrest humus and fir bark come from the same source
Fish meal & fish bone meal are the same source to all intents and purposes
Oyster shell and the lime are forms of calcium which we do not add as such to our MM though that said there is often some found some in spent mushroom compost ( Not the cappings )
There is no need to add the endo and ecto stuff for it is present in the composted animal manures .

So on the strength of what I've said , I'd only ever use it as one part of the five different types of composted matter for the formula of MM and eveen then I 'd be crosing my fingers that it was any good .
Be very wary of getting any other suggested compost that contains the same ingredients as your Dr . Earth stuff for youll be doubling up on those materials

Don't lose heart, the secret of MM is the variety of what's in the five composts , after a while you'll find so many sources you'll wonder why on earth you ever had dificulty in ever finding it.
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Re: Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  plantoid on 3/28/2013, 8:12 pm

Telling how composted a farm manure is ..
It tends to be a rich dark rich brown and you can't easily indentify what it was made from .
It should not smell of ammonia for that means it's not quite finished composting

If there is a very faint aroma of ammonia just spread the bag contents out on the ground & leave it over night to dry off then use it in making your MM
If it stinks to high heaven of ammonia and you can easily identify what has been use to make it I'm afraid you'll have to try get a couple of bags of it if you can afford it to make a sensible pile and take it through " The 18 day hot composting method " to get it well composted .
It might cause you a delay in getting going but it will at least get you going in the right direction with the best chances of getting decent veg.
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Thanks!

Post  Nine on 3/28/2013, 8:20 pm

Thanks for the reply, guys. I've got my vermiculite source and peat moss seems readily available at Lowes. I just need to take my time finding the composts. So many shop owners kept telling me just to get their Dr Earth or whatever they had and I'd be fine.

I read the importance of the formula as stressed in the book and I want to make sure I'm getting the right stuff.

I'm in Eastern PA if anybody has a source.
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Re: Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  plantoid on 3/28/2013, 8:24 pm

Aye Nine your right on the money there ,
The sales people do just that if they can ..... they'll sell you anything.

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Re: Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  camprn on 3/28/2013, 8:26 pm

@plantoid wrote: The sales people do just that if they can ..... they'll sell you anything.

+1

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Re: Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  Nine on 3/28/2013, 8:32 pm

Does this look like a good source for one? A place called Hy-Tech mushroom.
Q : What does Hy Tech use to create their mushroom compost?
A : We are proud to say that we recycle many different organic compounds to bring our compost to the right consistency for our use. We use wheat straw, straw bedded horse manure, hay (most commonly orchard and timothy), poultry manure, cotton seed hulls, cotton seed meal, cocoa shells, and gypsum. Individually, most of these items do not benefit your growing environment, but when mixed together using our precise formula; we are able to obtain an excellent mixture that delivers results.

Q : Why is the product occasionally clumpy?
A : Our Pasteurized Mushroom Compost comes straight from the Mushroom House and is not processed further. The clumps will quickly break apart when applied or mixed with other components (soil, wood mulch etc.).





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Re: Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  plantoid on 3/28/2013, 8:51 pm

I'd be inclined to take that as one element of your five composts .. just another four to find. Wink

I'm off to get my beauty sleep as its 00.50 hrs here in great Britain

TTFN AFKB five days ........ I'm off on holiday with my family 08.30 ( ish ) in the morning .
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Re: Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  Nine on 3/28/2013, 8:59 pm

If I have to pick the stuff up over a few weeks will this kind of stuff keep in buckets or something? Also, is it ok to just leave under tarps outdoors?
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Re: Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  chjbr63 on 3/28/2013, 10:11 pm

I wanted to try Dr Earth compost as one of my five but the price being $17-$50 a bag was way out of my budget. That mushroom compost sound good for one of your composts. If you are close enough to pick it up, at $1-$3 a cu yd it is a very good buy.
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Re: Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  Nine on 3/28/2013, 11:00 pm

In the backbone forum he lists composts that work or SFG. Can each of these be considered one source?
This is what they say:

Here are some compost blends that are good for SFG:

• "Garden Manure": a mix of at least cow and hen manure, and possibly more

• "Organic Compost": shrimp and seaweed blended compost.

• "Penobscot Blend": salmon, mussels, and blueberries (with peat moss so adjust accordingly).

• "Quoddy Blend": crab, lobster, and aspen bark.

• "Chickity-Doo-Doo": granular chicken manure

• "Whitney Farms Planting Compost": aged and composted softwood bark and forest products, manure, dried poultry waste, feather meal. It should look like black dirt with no recognizable pieces of wood.

It doesn't really say compost but fertilizer on the Chickity-Doo-Doo. Is this a compost and considered safe? They say to use much less on the site.
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Re: Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  southern gardener on 3/29/2013, 1:36 am

There sure seems to be a huge business opportunity for someone to make a 5 blend compost and sell it for all of us SFG!! We all seem to search high and low for the 5 ingredients. We all seem to be able to find the peat moss and vermiculite, but the 5 blend is so hard for some...
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1 type of compost maybe ??

Post  jimmy cee on 3/29/2013, 8:19 am

I came across this bag or material at our local Lowes store.
Ingredients state

organic & sustainable compost
compost food scraps
bio-char...derived from charcoal for soil enhancement

pure & processed poultry manure
and it's free of peat..

Made in Delaware USA
$7.00 for 1 cu foot bag
your thoughts for using this as 1 type of compost ?
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Re: Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  llama momma on 3/29/2013, 8:48 am

I hope you can find local sources of ingredients instead.
In my humble opinion.. It's still about gambling your trust of quality control to a manufacturer. I figure they got a team of advertising specialists come up with a great looking package, with the goal of a profit driven product with the least cost in production, leaving you with questionable quality. It's your money in their pockets.. Whoa! That's my sinister and negative opinion of store bought compost. Shocked I'd rather add fresh solid local nutrients since sfg is such an intensive method, we need solid ramped up sources of nutrition, in my humble opinion.

After 3 three years of making my own compost, it about killed me a week ago to cough up 5 dollars and change for a 10 pound bag of soybean meal to try out the 18 day Berkely hot composting method...
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Re: Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  Nine on 3/29/2013, 8:49 am

@Nine wrote:In the backbone forum he lists composts that work or SFG. Can each of these be considered one source?
This is what they say:

Here are some compost blends that are good for SFG:

• "Garden Manure": a mix of at least cow and hen manure, and possibly more

• "Organic Compost": shrimp and seaweed blended compost.

• "Penobscot Blend": salmon, mussels, and blueberries (with peat moss so adjust accordingly).

• "Quoddy Blend": crab, lobster, and aspen bark.

• "Chickity-Doo-Doo": granular chicken manure

• "Whitney Farms Planting Compost": aged and composted softwood bark and forest products, manure, dried poultry waste, feather meal. It should look like black dirt with no recognizable pieces of wood.

It doesn't really say compost but fertilizer on the Chickity-Doo-Doo. Is this a compost and considered safe? They say to use much less on the site.


Hoping somebody can answer this one. Would each count as one?
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Re: Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  llama momma on 3/29/2013, 9:02 am

That list looks like great sources of greens/nitrogen.
But a great nutrient rich compost needs a balance from sources of browns/carbs like the following -- leaves, straw, even pine needles, paper, or some sawdust. Mel also lists shredded twigs and bark. There are others too, hope this helps.
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Re: Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  jimmy cee on 3/29/2013, 9:08 am

I'm certainly with you in that regard momma.
My compost piles (2) and a tumbler will not be ready for a while.
Having horse manure, cow manure, mushroom compost, may be able to pick up some compost on Monday from our local recycle center,but that could be a zoo
some fresh manure for the piles is coming next week.
I need one more type, hopefully.
I'm searching diligently, however I do want to get this right and if I cant, I'll just plant this season as I have in the past..plain ol dirt
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Re: Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/29/2013, 9:19 am

I've combined two topics here that were pretty much the same topic.
I agree LM, it's so important to get your own compost going right away and be done with the hassles of purchasing bagged product.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t14581-mel-s-soap-box-february-18-2013-compost

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Re: Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  llama momma on 3/29/2013, 9:38 am

ok Rooster!

Jimmycee-
I was wondering if you have woods or a park nearby. If you were inclined to collect leaves, it would be a nice source of browns. Your mix is heavy on greens. I got permission from a park to collect pine straw from certain areas of the park. They were grateful I asked before hand and were extremely nice about it.
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Re: Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  Nine on 3/29/2013, 10:00 am

@llama momma wrote:That list looks like great sources of greens/nitrogen.
But a great nutrient rich compost needs a balance from sources of browns/carbs like the following -- leaves, straw, even pine needles, paper, or some sawdust. Mel also lists shredded twigs and bark. There are others too, hope this helps.

So if I were to get:

• "Quoddy Blend": crab, lobster, and aspen bark
- Mushroom Compost
- Cow Manure
- Chicken Manure (is this safe to garden vegetables immediately if it says fertilizer?) Dont see any that say compost.


Then I'm thinking these 3 are solid right?

Then a vegetable based compost and one other.
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Re: Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  walshevak on 3/29/2013, 11:55 am

That sounds like a good combination for bagged composts, and yes the chicken "fertilizer" is a good compost ingredient. Wish I could get the Quoddy blend.

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Re: Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  Nine on 3/29/2013, 12:28 pm

@walshevak wrote:That sounds like a good combination for bagged composts, and yes the chicken "fertilizer" is a good compost ingredient. Wish I could get the Quoddy blend.

Kay

Search Quoddy Blend and do a zip code search on their site for sellers. I was surprised by the locations near me.
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Re: Can I Use this As My 5 Sources of Compost?

Post  Nine on 3/29/2013, 12:29 pm

@walshevak wrote:That sounds like a good combination for bagged composts, and yes the chicken "fertilizer" is a good compost ingredient. Wish I could get the Quoddy blend.

Kay

When you say ingredient, do you mean it is not composted yet? Or will it be safe to plant veggies with it straight out of the bag?
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