GeorgiaGirl
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Location: Metro Atlanta, GA (zone 7)

Innoculating your compost pile: can bagged compost do it?

I mean compost that you can buy at Whole Foods etc... or do I have to buy "innoculant"?

Sorry for the newbie question... I tried searching to find this out but I must not be searching for the right terms! Basically I want to make sure my new compost pile has all the right microbes it needs to do the dirty work. :D The soil around me is horrible for growing most things -- pure red Georgia clay -- and I doubt it has the full range of microbes that would help my compost pile.

Thanks in advance! So glad to have found this forum... I've learned so much already from reading old posts!
Julia in Georgia

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smokensqueal
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I've never bought store bough compost but I'm betting it's been cooked before packaging which there's not going to be much help left in that. If you can find someone else that has some compost going grab a bit of their or just start your pile and toss in a little dirt just to get it going. Maybe a walk out to a timber or tree covered area and just pick up a little dirt/leaves that have been sitting there for years and toss that in. That should really get things going.

GeorgiaGirl
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Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:08 pm
Location: Metro Atlanta, GA (zone 7)

Thanks so much for your reply... that was my hunch too, that it had been either overprocessed, or just sitting in bags so long that there wouldn't be a good healthy microbe life.

Weirdly enough, I don't know anyone (in person) who composts, but I do live on the edge of a deciduous forest area -- great idea to use some of that dirt/leaves. Definitely better than my "sterile," hard-packed, yucky clay! Thanks again!
Julia in Georgia

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There are some good organic composts bagged; my friend Mark, the [url=https://www.organicmechanicsoil.com/]Organic Mechanic[/url] worked really hard to come up with a bag that allows microorganisms to survive plastic bagging, and to make a really great mix. I have used the [url=https://www.coastofmaine.com/]Coast Of Maine[/url] products and like them as well; they are fairly local to me and it seems fresh. But in lesser brands I have run across some very anaerobic bags (once where the smell of ammonia would have knocked you over) that would actually harm plants if you used it. Better to make your own or find someone you trust and get theirs...

HG
Scott Reil

GeorgiaGirl
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Location: Metro Atlanta, GA (zone 7)

Great resources -- thank you!!
Julia in Georgia

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applestar
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I haven't been to Whole Foods in a while -- I'm trying to cut back :wink: and also trying to live off my garden as much as possible. But last spring, they had a fancy bubbling giant tank of aerated compost tea that they were selling by the pint, quart, and gallon (don't remember the price as I was in the middle of my own aerated compost tea experiment at the time and scoffed at the idea of BUYING some). But if they're selling that again, that might be one source.

I've got some bubbling away this year too, BTW. (mad scientist cackle)
Just finished one batch and poured it (diluted 3:1 -- hope that was about right -- it rained last night anyway) all around my Enterprise apple tree's drip line while the Veg Garden inhabitants looked on in envy. :lol: The tree just started to June drop so I think this is a good time to give it a boost. I also uncovered my drowned weeds to put in the compost pile -- it smelled remarkably like horse manure. Makes sense I guess. 8)

The Helpful Gardener
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AS, compost tea is about as good as it gets to add biology, so don't worry so much about the dilution as it is an innoculant and will continue to build in the soil (assuming proper nutrient levels, moisture, air and a lck of chemical interference). Interesting to see Whole Foods in the tea business; my friend Pete Wild is making an organic compost they are selling and packaging it in old food containers from the stores; recycling the packaging and adding a green product to it... Pretty green, those Whole Food folks... :mrgreen:

It is a prime example of spending more to use a green product, but there is a value there for a lot of us... :D

HG
Scott Reil

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