Need to vent...ACE composted manure

noinwiJune 28, 2008

I've often used this stuff for side dressing and mulch in my small garden. I don't have room to store(or anywhere to get) non-commercial stuff as I'm in an apartment, so I usually swing by the hardware store and toss a bag or two into the car and keep it there until I need it. Well, I ripped a bag open today and it looked like black sand...and felt like it, too. There was hardly any smell...usually it has a nice earthy smell. I rolled the bag over to see if I grabbed the wrong one(thinking topsoil?), then I realized it read "Composted Steer Manure...with organic material". The organic material part was of course in smaller print. I'm so disappointed. Can't a person buy a decent bag-o'-poo anymore? Is it just ACE, or are all the stores selling crummy soil products lately? I guess I'll have to have the next bag opened before I decide to buy it.

Anyway, thanks for reading my rant.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

noinwi - I guess I don't understand what you think is wrong with it? That organic material was added? That's needed to compost it. Normal. Should work for side dressing with no problem. Can't really see any composted manure used as a mulch in the usual sense of the word but its a good soil amendment. The texture sounds fine too - maybe a little dry is all.

So can you clarify why you are upset with it?



    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 9:05PM
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Well, I've noticed that a lot of "compost" sold is actually very little actual compost, and has a great deal of sand (or who knows what) added to it. Many of the labels are misleading, and a high percentage of fillers other than compost are in the bag. I, for one, resent paying a fair amount of money for garbage.

That's why I started vermicomposting, and I keep the worm condo in my house with no pest problems whatsoever. I have the Can o' Worms system, and it takes up little space. It is also user friendly, and can be done in an apartment. It's a good way to use table scraps (no meats) and other organic matter. The quality of the worm compost can't be beat.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 11:29PM
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It wasn't as rich and "humusy"(is that a word?) as it used to be. It contains a lot of sand.
I mulch with shredded bark, but I like to put down a good layer of manure first. I also mix some manure into the planting holes along with some granular fertilizer and bonemeal. It's just what I've always done. I'm a creature of habit and didn't like the change in the mixture. I'm sure I'll get over it.
Thank you both for responding.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 2:11AM
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hilltopviews(z7 SE)

I've also noticed there is a lot of sand added to what we buy as "soil".
Whats up with that?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 4:31PM
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I don't understand any of the complaints. I guess I'd have to see the stuff. Some changes occur because people have requested it. Sand is not just an additive. Soil is rock that has been ground over millions of years (aka sand) and organic material. . . so why is that bad? It helps with aeration and drainage in the right ratios. Sand isn't just glass. It's the ground up minerals the plants get their micronutrients from. Super fine sand with water (clay) is what is below your natural topsoil that the plants are drawing up. If the plants you compost didn't have this available, your compost would soon be worthless by itself. Actually, you wouldn't have compost because you wouldn't have any plants to put in it. They would never fruit to reproduce. Sand would make the bags heavier and would cost a lot to procure for the simple reason of "filler". It costs a lot of money to ship sand as it is so heavy. It would probably be cheaper to leave it out if it weren't for the fact that minerals are good for soil. It would be much cheaper, if the goal was to "fill", to just use unfinished composted sticks and such from green dumps and tree surgeons. Before automatically assuming you are getting filler, check with the company that makes it and see if there is another reason they added it. You might find it to be a superior product. In case nobody knows, some sands are highly recommended as organic soil amendments in every book on organics I've ever read. Surely someone here uses green sand. . . According to Garden Web (Preparing a New Garden), your soil should be 40% sand.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 12:53PM
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