Help! A truck full of compost!

ani_t(bellevue, wa)February 5, 2012

I had a truck full of compost delivered and used half of it to mulch and for plantings. But I still have half left and a starry ambition of a full container garden. But how do I go about converting this horse manure compost to potting soil ? I live under giant pines and have learened to accept that unless I have containers on wheels I won't see any flowers...

Thanks much

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I wouldn't recommend compost as a significant fraction of any container soil.
You might be able to add 1 part compost to 5 parts bark, plus 1 part Perlite to make a decent mix.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 8:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ani_t, I would use the material as starter for composting. I visualize 6 or so raised beds, filled with a 1:4 mixture of the material to regular soil; allow it to process, turning as needed and then planting your choice crops therein.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 8:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I couldn't agree more.
Turn that compost into raised bed gold.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 10:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I concur, as well... compost is wonderful stuff for outdoor gardens and raised beds, but is not a stable choice for container use.

For container growing, see the article/thread entitled "Container Soils - Water Movement & Retention XV".

Here is a link that might be useful: Container Soils - Water Movement & Retention XV

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 1:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ani_t(bellevue, wa)

Thanks for your replies. I don't think I can make a raised bed. The little sunshine I have is on the driveway and on a steepslope, hence the container idea. So I guess I would be using this to make a really large container garden!

Your recipe mentions bark... where do I get such a large quantity of bark ? and the parts is by volume correct ?

Also, once the containers are spent, can i mix the remnants into the garden soil, ie., will perlite harm pollute my yard.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 1:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

You would find bark at a garden center, nursery, landscaping yard, possibly a big box store.
In Washington, there should be copious bark available. You want to find bark in the size-range from
dust up to about 1/2 inch. I use Greenall brand Micro Bark, and I pull the largest pieces out.

The parts are by volume....whatever measurement you choose, whether cups or gallons, et cetera.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 7:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ani_t(bellevue, wa)

Ok I've been reading the link about Perched Water and water movement etc! Spent almost all day alternating between running builds and checking out posts. Looks like I have my work cut out for me. A pity I bought a big bale 3 cu ft of peatmoss yesterday.... looks like I need to find the gritty mix thing. I am convinced gritty mix is the way to go for containers after seeing so many people swear by it!
But the first order of business is the compost to get rid of. Since the premise of the gritty mix is to not have any microorganisms etc., I can see why compost would be plain silly adding to it.

But I suppose a 5:1:1 mix could use some compost ? I did not see too many indepth threads about 5:1:1 mix... please enlighthen me with links to your favorites.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 1:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ani, I use 5:1:1 for a lot of my houseplants and the gritty mix for succulents.

It's 5 parts fine bark (sifted to get out the big pieces and the dusty pieces), 1 part peat moss, and 1 part perlite.

From what I understand, the peat moss portion is interchangeable with compost. For some of my plants, I used leftover MiracleGro potting mix as the peat portion of the 5:1:1.

When you say "horse manure compost," do you mean it's pure horse manure that's been aged?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 7:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ani t ,
These might be worth checking out for the sub irrigated container option :
On the info on Bills Figs he has a picture of a great plant dolly he builds to move these fairly large sub-irrigated pots.
The soil mix in these pots needs to wick moisture up from the resevoir inside , so your peat moss and compost would be very useful as part of your mix.
I use these for figs and for veggies and my mix is an organic equivalent of Pro-mix with a little extra coarse perlite and compost.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 9:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

that's exactly the recipe (5-1-1) I mentioned in the first reply.
The "peat fraction" can be substituted with compost, potting soil, coco coir, et cetera.
Basically, you just need 1 part fine material to help "bind" the bark and the perlite.

5-1-1 works exceptionally well in outdoor containers.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 11:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What about turning the top part of that steep slope into a terrace, or terracing steppes? It would take some work... digging and leveling, then firmly installing the wood or whatever you determine was the best material to hold the terrace area in place. But once done, you'd have a permanent spot in the sun to grow a nice little garden.

Google or search GW for terracing ideas... just a thought...

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 10:19PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
CRF burn if 5-1-1 sits a while?
I have some 5-1-1 that was fully made, including CRF...
"tapla" root pruning question
Hi Al, I bought another Brush Cherry, and wanted your...
Testing mycorrhizal fungus inoculant in containers
So I have decided to test a mycorrhizal fungus inoculant...
anything you wanted to talk about vii - prolly mostly ot
I guess I didn't realize the last thread was about...
tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)
Repotting into 5-1-1 soil. Questions about 511 materials.
Hey all! I am a newbie with 5 container citrus. Right...
Sponsored Products
Landmark Lighting Restoration 66323-4-LED 4-Light Pendant in Aged Bronze - LED -
Beyond Stores
Divine Ice 38" High Crystal Sconce
Lamps Plus
Creekvine Designs Cedar Twin Ponds Chair & Table Set - WRF1130SETCVD
$649.00 | Hayneedle
Juno Track Lighting Trac-Lites 8 ft. Natural Aluminum Track Section R8NA
$34.97 | Home Depot
Knoll | Saarinen 54-Inch Round Dining Table, Carrara Marble - Quick Ship
Chill Low Voltage Pendant
LBC Lighting
IBENA Pure Cotton King-size Blanket
2nd Avenue Lighting Bechar Wall Sconce
$538.20 | LuxeDecor
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™