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Help with Compost Sources in West Central Florida

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Help with Compost Sources in West Central Florida

Post  BrianDorry55 on 10/18/2013, 9:41 pm

Hello Everyone!

I am finally putting together my first square foot garden this weekend!...Naturally, I am scrambling to find sources because I'm mostly limited to big box stores in my area, Spring Hill, FL.

So here's what I've got.

1. Worm Compost from Rabbit manure from a great local company, Rabbits Etc. (so glad I found this source, wish I could use more of this but I've been advised not to on this board in the past)

2. Black Kow

3. Mushroom Compost ("Just Natural" brand from Lowes)

4. Black Hen (with a 25 or so minute drive out to Brooksville)

5. ???????

The only other things I've been able to find in my local stores is more Cow Manure Compost ("Just Natural" brand), Earthgro Compost derived of not less than 51% cow manure and not more than 49% "forest products" (I just know in my heart that this is full of peat), and Scotchman's Choice "Organic" Compost from Wal-Mart...which I have not heard promising things about.

I can't even find 4 cu. ft. bales of peat, which is frustrating because that is exactly how much I need...

I want to do this right the first time, I don't want to half-a** this...so I'd really like to find a decent 5th source.

So the question I am asking is, does anyone in the surrounding area - Hernando, Pasco, Citrus counties know of another good compost source in our area that doesn't fall into the categories that I've already mentioned? Or does anyone in the area have a compost pile at home that you would be willing to sell me some? (I would be forever grateful!)

If not, does anyone else have any solutions?

Who knew the 4 cu. ft. of coarse vermiculite would be the easiest thing to find!?

Thanks for any and all help!
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Re: Help with Compost Sources in West Central Florida

Post  sanderson on 10/18/2013, 10:39 pm

I know others will jump in on this post. Here are a couple of quick ideas:

Try Graig's list:  example of what I found:

http://tampa.craigslist.org/hil/grd/4128741643.html

Whole Foods - some WF stores carry compost made from produce

Any chance of locating shrimp / lobster / crab shell compost?

Read labels carefully (sounds like you are doing that).   You may not need much peat moss, after all!!

You can do a fast hot compost - 3 weeks. But for sure, make your own compost for future replenishing and filling more boxes and pots. SFG is addictive.
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Re: Help with Compost Sources in West Central Florida

Post  BrianDorry55 on 10/18/2013, 10:56 pm

Thank you for your help Sanderson...

I've checked craigslist...I see mostly the horse manure sources unfortunately...I'm weary of these sources because of all the stuff people give their horses...

I called Whole Foods a while back and they don't do the composting in my area...said they were starting late this year but I can't remember exactly when. I'm planning to call back tomorrow and check after my failed trip to the stores tonight.

I haven't been able to find any shellfish compost...you would think there would be some down here, but even the big company from Maine doesn't send anything down this way.

At this point, if I can't find a solid 5th source in the next few days, I think I may just grab another bag of the rabbit/worm and another bag of black kow...I feel like I'd rather cheat a little with two quality sources rather than buy a junk source with useless filler just to say I have 5 sources.

I am definitely getting a compost bin asap...cooked a big meal tonight with a boat load of scraps and couldn't believe what I was throwing away.
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Re: Help with Compost Sources in West Central Florida

Post  sanderson on 10/19/2013, 1:24 am

Brian,  Do I see a business opportunity with shellfish compost!! ??

As I see it, you have 2 options.  One, wait until you have 5 perfect composts to blend.  Two, go with what you have to get started and continue looking for other types of sources.

So, you've got worm castings, commercial composted cow and/or chicken manure, and "mushroom" compost mix.  Heck, if I were you, I'd just grab some "forest" compost even with the peat moss and call it good for a starter batch.  Reduce the amount of peat moss accordingly.

The only reason I say to go with the above is that my 1/3 compost part was Kellogg's!!  Embarassed  Anything you come up with will be far superior to what I started with.  Yes, I had to add fertilizer to keep things going!  But meanwhile, I was experimenting with dozens of different seeds and making my own compost.  Well, experimenting with compost is closer.  Rabbit poop is a "cold" fertilizer and can be added directly to the top of the squares.  All kinds of fixes available.

Don't give up on the composted horse manure.  Ask the seller about the vaccination, worming and antibiotic schedules and uses. See if you can find sea kelp. Check in with WF now and then. I think you are definitely on your way! Very Happy 
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Re: Help with Compost Sources in West Central Florida

Post  walshevak on 10/19/2013, 1:05 pm

Look for a source of rabbit manure. Perhaps the place that is making the worm compost from rabbit manure can hook you up. When you get your own pile going, look into the leavings of a seafood retail market. One in my area is making and selling compost from all the shrimp heads and dead crab/lobster carcasses mixed with sawdust.

Are there any Llama herds in your area? LLama manure can be used right away the same as rabbit manure and then the excess mixed into your compost pile for the next go round.

I had good luck my first year with a forest fines compost from Lowes, black hen, black kow, mushroom and moo-nure from Lowes. Yes, I know it is heavy with manures, but it was a great garden. I still use black kow and black hen and mushroom compost mixed with my home made compost.

Kay


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