im gonna be going to the stores to find some organic compost for the garden does anyone know what i should get without any manure in it?
You may have trouble confirming the exact ingredients of any particular bag. Some of them say what they contain, some don't.
Products vary by region, so it's unlikely you'll have the same product labels as anyone here (even if we knew where you were :-)
Generally, the quality of bagged compost in terms of nutrient and organic matter content roughly correlates to price, but not always. The best stuff in MO in my tests is a mid-priced Cotton Burr compost made in SE MO in cotton country. Some of the priciest were not that great for the money. On the cheap end you can make up for lower quality with more pounds for your dollar, especially if you need a lot of it.
Homemade using a variety of ingredients is best.
Thanks I will see if they have Cotton Burr here.I would also like to ask about peat moss would it be a good idea to put the peat moss in the garden when I put the compost in or would it be better to just put the peat in the hole i dig for the vegetables?
If you get dry peat moss it is better to mix it with something else, as it can sometimes repel moisture otherwise.
Remember that peat is somewhat acidic, so don't over do it with veggies that don't like that.
Many people claim peat moss will lower a soils pH. My experience is contrary to that. One year I prepped two 4 x 4 beds, had the soil tested and found the pH of that soil was 5.7. I worked in 3.8 cubic feet of peat moss, let the beds sit fallow for the year and had the soil tested the following year and found the pH was now 7.2.
I have worked tree leaves and pine needles into my soil over the years, pH ranges from 3.2 to 4.2, and the pH of the soil have gone from 5.7 to 7.2. One source of information I found years ago stated peat moss would lower a soils pH, in about a thousand years. Now, I know peat bogs are acidic but nothing I have found says it is that way because of the peat or the absence of Calcium.
All compost is organic and very little of the commercial compost I have seen indicates if it contains any manure. You may find an ingredients list on the websites of national compost suppliers, but more local suppliers most likely will not have a website or an ingredients list. One of our local landscape companies collects grass clippings, tree leaves, and trimmings and composts those without manure, but you will not know if this compost contains any of the very persistent "weed" killers that have raised havoc with many gardeners.
Cotton burr is also one of my favorite composts. There was even one variety that would come acidified. So far this year I have not been able to find any, I am just hoping the big stores will get it in soon.
I also like Mushroom compost but, I like the one that my Home Depot has better than the one Wal-Mart has. Home Depot sells a bigger bag of it cheaper too. Wal-Mart has a better price on steer manure. All this to say, it does pay to shop around and not assume that one store has the best price, just like in all things.
You can buy several compost packs and brands, and mixing it all up. In that way, you get manure, mushroom, and anything else the other compost packs had. This is a way to help add more of all the things that one keeps hearing about that a garden compost should have and also helps if one particular compost is deficient in a certain resource that you wanted.
This post was edited by gardenper on Fri, Mar 28, 14 at 11:33
Some folks might find the following interesting. A fairly short, not too technical paper. Shows how much variation there is more than anything else.
THE WOODS END REPORT: Analysis of Commercial Bag Compost ProductsWOODS END REPORT 1
THE WOODS END REPORT:
Analysis of Commercial
Bag Compost Products
This link may help some.
Here is a link that might be useful: Woods End Report