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types of compost

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types of compost

Post  tammyj38 on 5/5/2010, 3:58 pm

I'm new to square foot gardening, this will be my first year. I'm having trouble finding 5 different types of compost! I've searched without any luck for worm castings. I have mushroom compost, cow manure compost, and something that just says garden compost. I can't find two more kinds. Can I use just 3 kinds of compost? I'd like to start my gardens off right and use the recommended 5! If anyone has any answers to help me find what I need, I'm located in Southern Illinois.
Tammy in Southern Illinois


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Re: types of compost

Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/5/2010, 5:29 pm

Welcome! Most bags of compost I purchased didn't say "compost" on the bag. Cotton burr was labelled as "soil conditioner", and most were manure. Some have used cow or steer manure (usually readily available) from different manufacturers -- that way you're really getting different products. Scott's manure is readily available around here and has a couple of different sources in it. In Texas it's cow manure and poultry litter.

You could go with just three and add more as you find it, but you might find your garden soil is out of balance. Others will be along shortly to give their ideas as well.

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worm castings

Post  tammyj38 on 5/6/2010, 6:02 pm

Hi! Did you get my pm message? I'm new to chatting on forums and not sure if I sent messages the right way. Anyway, I live in Opdyke and yes I'm interested!


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Re: types of compost

Post  mckr3441 on 5/9/2010, 7:13 pm

Hi Tammy! to the forums.

Oh boy! Composts! One of my favorite subjects. It's like a treasure hunt, isn't it? I stop at every place that looks like they might have such a thing! Friday I found dehydrated manure . Anyone ever heard of that? Not sure how this might be different from regular old composted manure. I haven't opened the bag yet (of course I had to buy some!), too cold and rainy to mix soil the last couple of days. I'll let you know if it is significantly different. At least it's from a source I haven't seen before. This garden center also had worm castings, too. That's a first for me. They said it's the first for them too! I bought two small bags but they cost too much $$$$$$! I think I'll try Josh's method of a tube in the box. have you seen that?


Another way to get worm castings is described in Choksaw's post:

Enough about worms! The very best thing you can do for next year, if you have the space, is to start your own compost pile (I have seven!) OK my neighbor and I share 7 !

Does your community have a composting facility? Many do but most people don't know it. I get some bagged stuff called Cleveland Compost. Who knows what's in it but it hasn't killed anything yet. If you are actually trying to mix the soil from Mel's recipe and you use soil conditioner or some other such thing, read the ingredients. If there seems to be a lot of peat in there, go lighter on your added peat.

Have a good gardening day.


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Post  vanter0109 on 6/16/2010, 12:47 pm

If you have any stables in the area, you could try there. They usually give it out for free.

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Re: types of compost

Post  Colin.B on 6/16/2010, 1:16 pm

We have pelleted chicken manure not sure if it would be cost effective to use yet , but i,d be interested to know if it could be used at any time from set-up to daily use when replanting . There also another i found on my travels called compossted bark not sure if thats available in your area ,but again i,m not sure if it can be used so would need clarification on this one too


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Re: types of compost

Post  Squat_Johnson on 6/16/2010, 1:31 pm

This past winter I added a truckload of Horse manure to my garden. I got it from a guy that sells mulch...

I suspect that it contained herbicides. Farmer sprays pasture to kill weeds, horse eats grass, etc... (article in UK

I have some tomato plants that are doing very poorly in one specific bed (some of the others are OK.)

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