Cheap brush compost vs cheap manure compost

paulsiu(5a)September 22, 2011

After some searching, I can get cheap brush compost made from leaves for like $3 per bushel (which I think is 1.24 cubic feet). For about the same price, I can get big store bagged compost made from manure.

What do you think is better? The brush compost seems to be Ok, but could use some screening. I haven't purchase any manure compost yet to compare it with.

What are the advantage of one over the other?



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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

one would think.. that if its properly finished.. that compost is compost ...

manure would have a tendency to have the potential to be higher in nitrogen .. from the associated urea ...

but if it is fully composted ... then for me.. price reigns ...

i dont understand why a finished compost would need screening .... but if it had some larger chunks.. that wouldnt bother me ... depending on what the chunks were .... and how big they are .... the whole point is to add aeration to the soil .. so chunks should not be an issue ...


    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 3:37PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

For some reason, I've never trusted that big-store-bagged-compost as being what it says it is. I have no proof it's not what it says it is, but still.... I just don't trust it. (weird me I guess)

I would go with the brush compost if it's from someone local and I agree, the chunk thing is not an issue. My compost has chunks. It still goes on the garden. The chunks disappear with time. Gardens are all about time.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 4:24PM
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Nevermore44 - 6a

$3 for only 1.24 cf seems steep to me when the bagged compost/manure is $1.5+ for 2 cf.

I have bought compost/manure from a few different big box stores. It is widely different from one brand to the next of course.. And even sometimes within the same brand it can vary widely from one pallet to the next. Some is almost like black dust (dry) vs others are high in grit/sand vs others are nice textured(ie: what you are looking for). So I usually "take a sample" of the contents before I buy.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 5:22PM
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The chunk comes from it being sitting around on the outside. If I managed to acquire it when they first deliver it, there are few chunks and definitely weight a lot less than soil. However, the stuff get rained on and becomes chunky. However, even at its best, it isn't as good as the bag of mushroom compost I got, that was fine grain. However, I suspect it had more soluble salt than I would have like.

I guess with bag stuff, I wonder if they add fillers. I recall that someone tested a bagged compost once and discovered that it contain less organic material than his soil. I wish consumer reports or some gardening magazine would do an analysis of the bagged stuff so I know what to buy. I think I know to avoid certain products. There was another brand of mushroom compost that smell strongly of ammonia, that was probably unfinished...


    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 5:28PM
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Another thing is that not every home depot carry really cheap compost. The stores here don't sell compost at 1.5 for 2 cf, it's like $2.69 for 25 lbs. I can't even get them to tell me what brand it is. The guy on the phone tells me it's Manure brand and mushroom brand...


    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 10:10AM
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Nevermore44 - 6a

I concur with paul on the HD. I just went to a different one than i usually go and their compost/manure is more $$. So i guess the one by me is selling it for less for some reason. It is still more product in comparison though.

You can always offer to buy the torn bags for cheap too. That has worked out nicely in the past too for compost and for mulch.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 11:26AM
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