Soil and Compost forum: Commercial Compost

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Jul 11, 2015 8:38 AM CST
I need several bags of compost - does anyone have a suggestion on which is the best one to buy? Also, I live in a small town so I will probably have to have it shipped in, so I would rather hold that cost down...
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Jul 11, 2015 10:21 AM CST
I make my own, and have never purchased any and had it shipped. That sounds so expensive! So no help with suggestions, sorry. Maybe check with the county agent and see if there is a local source nearby. Sometimes the city or county will have compost or at least mulch that can be turned into compost for free or a small charge, of course that normally depends on if you have a way to haul it.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Jul 22, 2015 6:22 PM CST
Well, the best compost is anything you can get your hands on. Some pricy commercial products are just fancy sawdust.

Making your own is easy if you can find raw materials. But it does take time and a square yard or two of room.

Wow, shipping compost? I can buy a cubic foot locally for around $1.30. It might weigh 20-30 pounds.

I'm used to paying $2.32 to mail three OUNCES, or $4 to mail 12 ounces. I can't imagine shipping 30 pounds cross-country.

Have you tried every Home Depot, Lowes, Wal-Mart, nursery and hardware store within driving distance? If you can't get compost, clean bark mulch will become compost in 2-3 years.

Larry's suggestion about county or city programs for mulch or compost is excellent. That might require driving, too, though.

I found the phone number of the (lonely) engineer who runs the sewage treatment plant for Everett (a nearby pretty big city). He was super-eager to give his "biosolids" away to private citizens, but you need a truck to haul with.

If you see a road crew or anyone doing tree work, ask for wood chips.

If you see a bag of leaves by the side of the road, snarf it up!

If you stop at a fruit stand, bring a 5-gallon pail and ask for their rotten discards.

Save your newspapers and kitchen scraps. Pile them somewhere outside and get some water onto them every few weeks. That's all it takes!

Good luck finding local suppliers! Maye look for the local "Master Gardeners" phone line and ask them where they buy compost.

How about a local ag extension agent? I used to have a better link for finding them, but my signature block has this one:
Coop Extension Finder

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