Buying compost

nick1427dApril 2, 2012

There's a composting company close by me that sells various types of compost at around $30/cubic yard. Most of my beds around my property are perennials and foundation plantings of evergreens. Last year I only used mulch in these areas. I'd like to incorporate some compost just to be a bit more organic and maybe not have to use any or much fertilizer.

My question is, this company has a fine ground "black gold", a manure, and a blend of the two.

In your opinion what would be best for just placing on top of these beds, I will not be tilling much if at all.

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I'd speak with them and get their opinion.

Guess you can always hedge your bets and get the blended stuff

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 6:43AM
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With no info on what went into the 'black gold' type, or test results on either one, it's a crapshoot. I agree with tn that you should ask them what they recommend, and whether they ever test their products.

The composting process tends to equalize different materials towards a common product, but not completely, so not all compost is the same. I bet either one would be good for your gardens.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 10:08AM
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Went with the black gold per their recommendation. It's a humus type compost, very fine screened. Did a little top dressing today, will till it up a bit later.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 5:41PM
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You can also ask to have a sample to be tested by a lab.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 10:21PM
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sounds familiar! Do you go to St. Louis Composting? I just spent my whole day doing shuttle runs of field and turf enhancer...

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 10:48PM
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Compost is compost. There are no various types except for marketing hype which means "Caveat Emptor" (Let the Buyer Beware). Finished compost should have a near neutral pH, smell of good rich earth, and be a bit moist. Putting on labels, such as "Black Gold" means nothing.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 6:35AM
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I agree that labels don't mean much, but not all compost is created equal in the real world. I can show you lab tests of the 15 varieties I bought last year and had tested, and they very considerably...

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 10:59AM
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The nutrients that show in those tests are fairly soluble, readily available. Tests for nutrients in compost are usually not a good indication of what is really there, and are largely a waste of time, and money.
Since there are no rules and regulations about what is compost people can, and do, sell whatever as compost. Some may be good and some may not be good. As anyone coming here should find out fairly quickly there are perhaps 1,000 ideas about how to make compost and what is good compost.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 6:44AM
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