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Commercial Compost

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Commercial Compost

Post  KenL123 on 5/15/2014, 8:02 pm

I've noticed on some bags of compost at the store, it says that the compost has been blended with top soil.  Is that OK, or should I avoid those?

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Re: Commercial Compost

Post  donnainzone5 on 5/15/2014, 9:09 pm

Absolutely!  Top soil is not a Mel's Mix ingredient.

Also, try to find bagged composts that do not contain peat moss.

By the way, have you read the second edition of All New Square Foot Gardening?

Many of your questions will be answered there, and we're here to fill in any gaps.

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2nd edition

Post  KenL123 on 5/15/2014, 10:49 pm

I just obtained the 2nd edition from the library, but haven't read through it yet.

I wonder how much topsoil would be included in a bag of compost.  Is it significant ?

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Re: Commercial Compost

Post  Marc Iverson on 5/15/2014, 11:12 pm

Since the price of topsoil probably comes in at somewhere between cheap and free, I'd guess you're likely to get a lot of topsoil. And not all topsoil is of very good quality.
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Re: Commercial Compost

Post  cpl100 on 5/15/2014, 11:42 pm

Getting compost ingredients that contain no peat moss is very difficult in my area, next to impossible in fact.

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Re: Commercial Compost

Post  camprn on 5/16/2014, 1:51 am

Top soil is dirt.

cpl there are quite a few listings on CL:




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Re: Commercial Compost

Post  FlutterBy on 5/24/2014, 10:32 pm

I just purchased compost and this is the online description:

Mixture of Composted Manure and Organic Humus

  • Add to garden soil to improve condition
  • Improves soil texture
  • Manufacturer may vary

Dimensions: .75 cu.ft

Is this okay, or did getting the Organic Humus in it make it unacceptable?

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Re: Commercial Compost

Post  walshevak on 5/24/2014, 11:38 pm

Humus is almost the same as peat.  I found this explanation


Of particular interest is this paragraph.

To this end, soil scientists break up the components of soil into categories. The portion that is the stable organic component is then refered to as humus, the portion that it is sand, clay, and related particles is silicates, the OM that is still decaying is, surprisingly, decaying organic matter. A simple way to look at this from the scientists perspective is to think of potting mix made from 1/3 peat, 1/3 compost, 1/3 sand or perlite. Peat is pretty much in its final state. It may have been that way for thousands of years, and may continue to be. Peat is humus. The compost, even if mature, is still breaking down and supplying nutrients. It is the decaying OM. The sand is the silicates.

"forest fines" (an industry term for bark, forest soils, needles etc.

So I think forest fines is better than humus.  Unless I  completely misread.

I guess this is why some of my MM is better than other batches.  Humus in the mix.  I offset with more than the recommended amount of manures and all was well.  This is why making your own compost is so recommended.  You have control of the ingredients.  To bad we can't all do so.



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Re: Commercial Compost

Post  FlutterBy on 5/25/2014, 2:07 am


I scored the last bag of horse compost at a local landscaping shop.  Made my day!

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Re: Commercial Compost

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