confused about compost....help!
I'll make this as short as possible; apologize if it's a long post. Mainly compost questions; yet to get straight answer.
Long story short I make my own soil mix (2-3 cubic feet pine bark mulch, 5 gallons perlite, 5 gallons spaghnum peat, 2 c lime, and 2 c fertilizer (osmocote).
Last season when I made soil mix, used wrong type of fertilizer (wasn't suitable for container gardening). Didn't realize this till after soil mix had been made. Had to remake soil mix, didn't have time or money to add correct fertilizer to mix.
Tried to compensate by fertilizing on top of soil w/liquid fertilizer; this made things 10 times worse...stressed out plants and aphids which decimated my harvest. I really don't want to botch my soil mix again this year by over fertilizing.
People keep suggesting adding compost to my mix, my questions about this are....
1. Will compost cause soil too become too compact heavy and/or water log plants.
2.Don't have space to make compost; even if I did, wouldn't be ready in time. Read threads and commercial compost is basically sewage? Is it safe to use?
3.As stated above, I don't want to botch my soil mix by adding too much fertilizer. Since my soil mix already has fertilizer will it be overkill mixing compost in too?
4.If I add compost to my soil mix, should I reduce an amount of one of the ingredients in my soil mix and replace it with the equivalent amount of (that is if I reduce the peat from 5 gallons to 3 gallons, would I use 2 gallons of compost). OR, would I keep the measurements of existing soil mix (one listed above) exactly the same and add compost to the mix? If so, how much per batch? One batch makes 30 gallons of mix.