annastasia76
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where to buy compost & how do I figure how much

I was wondering if there are places where I can buy compost in larger amounts than the small bags that are sold at places like home depot and how do I find them.

also how do I figure out how much I need (I don't know if I could even dream of affording it)

other than the manure I added last year, nothing has ever been added to the dirt, we are the first to ever live here, The only place I can add a garden (without doing above ground) is on my slope, the rest of the property is DG (decomposed granite) I wish I knew how the weeds can grow in it. I am unable to use a machine to mix it into the soil so all that has to be done by hand, which I am fine with, it's just alot of work. on the slope the soil seems to be good, it has good drainage and is a rich brown color, at the bottom of the slope is sandy so I can't plant there
Annastasia

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farmerlon
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Here's some interesting "figures" I came across that might be helpful to you:

1) 3.1 cubic yards of material (compost) will apply a 1 inch layer covering 1,000 square feet

2) on average, 1.7 cubic yards of compost weighs 1 Ton (2,000 lbs)

3) calculated from the average weights in #2 above...
1 Ton of compost will cover about 275 square feet, 2 inches deep.
1 Ton of compost will cover about 550 square feet, 1 inch deep

I hope that helps with your calculations. :)

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farmerlon
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Re: where to buy compost & how do I figure how much

annastasia76 wrote:I was wondering if there are places where I can buy compost in larger amounts ...
In my area, there are a few commercial operations that sell composted horse manure or composted poultry litter in bulk (truckload) quantities.
You might be able to find similar producers in your area. Sometimes, those can be found at web sites promoting local organic growers, such as "Local Harvest", "Slow Food", and similar organizations.

Best of luck in your hunt! :)

annastasia76
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Location: Southern Ca

thank you. do I only need 1" covering the entire area or do I need more on the bags it just gives a table that starts at 1" and up to 6", I don't think I need 6".
Annastasia

annastasia76
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sorry I just realized that I posted this in the wrong location.
Annastasia

wordwiz
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annastasia,

I don't know how things are in your community, but around here (Cincinnati), if you have a truck, you can get compost for free or for a minimal charge. Plus, there are places that house horses and always have a great supply of horse manure. Some of it needs to age a bit, but the fairgrounds (about 1/4 of a mile from me!) has bunches of it that is anywhere from fresh to more than eight years old.

FWIW, a Korean Master of Sininju often remarked one cannot make a silk purse from a piece of a pale pig's ear. (I have no clue what it means, but he always used the phrase when trying to describe his job of teaching a white male!). Anyway, if your ground is horrendous maybe you would be better off growing in containers and at the end of year, dumping the soil in your yard. In a few years, you would have a great base.

Mike

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jal_ut
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It is worth a call to your local landfill or the city office. Many cities compost lots of yard waste.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

annastasia76
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actually, I am not sure what waste management does with the greens that they do collect from the few cities that they collect it from. When I checked their website it was showing free composting classes to encourage people to compost it instead of throwing it in the bin.

our area however does not offer green bins so I am wondering if they do sell the compost, will I even be able to get it because I am not a resident.
Annastasia

TWC015
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I agree with jal_ut that a local landfill is a good place to buy compost.

I buy mine by the truckload (pickup) for around $15. The place I buy it from also delivers dump truck loads, but I live outside the area they deliver to. The landfill I buy it from only uses yard waste, and I haven't had any problems.

As for how much to use, I don't measure it out; I just put it on the ground, till it in, and feel the soil to see if it has enough. I have clay, so I can definitely tell if there is enough or not.

DoubleDogFarm
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Have you looked in the yellow pages. Bark, topsoil, compost, mulch. Look under Landscaping or landscape material. Bulk here ranges from 45.00 to 65.00 per yard, but I live on an Island. Cheaper on the mainland.

Eric

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soil
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around here you can get bulk compost at just about any material yard or landscaping supply, even a few feed stores carry compost. prices range from 20$-40$ a cubic yard. which is MUCH better than buying compost in bags.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

DeborahL
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I think the green waste company's gardeners are gonna love me-my green can is where I empty my rabbits' litterbox, which is just hay, p&p.
God must think highly of animals - He created them before creating us !

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farmerlon
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jal_ut wrote:It is worth a call to your local landfill or the city office. Many cities compost lots of yard waste.
Just keep in mind that many city/county "composts" are really a mulch... very high in Carbon, and not aged or "matured" to the stage of a finished compost.
If it's a mulch, be sure and keep that on the surface; if turned into the soil you could get a lot of nitrogen "tie up" from that.

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farmerlon
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annastasia76 wrote:thank you. do I only need 1" covering the entire area or do I need more on the bags it just gives a table that starts at 1" and up to 6", I don't think I need 6".
I've seen recommendations to not add more than 2" per season (or per application). But, every garden/soil is different, so more or less compost may be best, depending on your specific situation. :)

tedln
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I'm in full agreement with Jal. A city near me has a very good recycling program. They collect all yard waste and grind it and compost it. It is very, very well composted and is probably the best compost I have ever seen. I don't use it, but many friends do.

They sell it at $30.00 per cubic yard. That sounds expensive, but in fact it is much less expensive than the compost bought by the bag at the big box stores.

They sell two types of compost. The "Dyno Dirt" is a mixture of normal compost mixed with composted solids from the waste treatment plant. It is perfect for lawns and flower beds. They also sell "Dyno Lite" which is vegetative compost only and is intended for food crop gardens.

I would imagine many cities provide this service.

Ted
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Bobberman
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Do what I do and you will have success the first year. get a shovel of mushroom manure and have a shovel of strained top soil on top of it in a single load on your pick up. It will run you less that $30 a cubic yard! When you shvel it into the garden just mix as you go! The mushroom manure is spent or not very hot but has everything you need plus you have the good top soil as a base you can't loose. Maybe add a little nitrogen like blood meal to the mix later if you think its necessary depending on what you grow! You may even get some nie mushrooms growing since there is usually some spawn in the mix and a lot of working bacteria!
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garden5
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If you do go the route of mass-produced compost, keep in mind what Farmerlon said. Not all mass produced compost is the best, generally, it's not quite as diverse as if you would've made it yourself.

One qualm I have with city-recycling-based compost is that city-compost uses materials that folks put at the curb or take to a dump and those can occasionally contain pesticides or possibly other chemicals. Personally, I just don't like the idea of those in my compost.

Maybe buy some compost this year, but start making your own over the summer time and you will have some good-quality compost next year, not to mention cheap.
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rot
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Getting organics into the ground

..
The name of the game is getting organics into the ground.

You can start mulching with a variety of things that are cheap to free like grass clippings & coffee grounds maybe pine needles, leaves if there are any in So Cal. Leaves and pine needles work better running them through a mower. I will just empty a barrel of grass clippings from a neighbor and spread it around on a bare patch of dirt.

It sounds like you have a bleak blank slate to start from so I wouldn't be too picky about what you dump on the ground as long as it starts covering that bare ground. That will block a lot of the weeds from starting and will bring life to the dirt. Once you start planting things you can start worrying about this mulch or that here or there.

Start hitting the Starbucks and ask for coffee grounds. If you make it a regular thing, you'd be amazed at how much you can collect. Hope you have strong back.

Can you hit up the neighbors for grass clippings? I compost so I'll take anything that's been run through a mower. Heads up: you can often end up with weed seeds which is why some folks like to compost that stuff before applying it.

Grass clippings will stick if there's wind. Leaves will not. Coffee grounds will crust over but if you throw grass clippings on top of the grounds it does a wonderful job improving the soil. Worms dig it and will do the work of mixing things into the soil. I really like the effect of grass clippings on top of coffee grounds for mulching.

Do a web search on 'the county you live in' & "mushroom" and maybe there's a mushroom farm in the area which likes to unload spent mushroom compost in bulk.

Las Virgines (Malibu) water treatment plant offers free composted bio-sludge. I'm ambivalent about that stuff and haven't tried it out. It's over 40 miles from here so hauling it means it's no longer free.

Be sure to visit the next home & garden show in your area and I'm sure you'll find local suppliers of bulk compost and mulch.

This path is not quick but over time pays off. Mulch to the teeth and keep mulching.

Consider raised beds for a garden sooner than later.

Someone else can advise on tilling. I don't.

two cents
..

rot
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Plan B

..
Plan B

https://www.pacificlandscapesupply.com/

or

https://www.compostjunkie.com/buy-compost.html
..

Bobberman
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I would think that mushroom compost is safe for a garden since its made to grow a food product like mushrooms! I think all organic materials are used in the composition of mushroom manure! The manure contains cow manure, corn socks, lime, sand , peat moss& straw. and the best thing is the heat generated from the mix kills all the weed seeds! Can you think of anything bad in it?
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toxcrusadr
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Corn socks? Is your corn cold or did you mean 'stalks'? :lol:

One thing about compost made by big industrial operations or municipalities.... yes, they may have all the crap people set at the curb, and a lot of them have sewage sludge too, but their piles are quite large and formulated to heat up pretty well in order to move material through faster. So you can be pretty confident that whatever is in there is cooked pretty good.

Our city owns the trash service and the landfill, so it has an incentive to keep green waste out. They shred up all the curbside stuff plus clean wood and drywall scrap. The compost is pretty nice, although I haven't used much of it. I plan to get a load this year to redo the lawn in a bare area.
Tox

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soil
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I would think that mushroom compost is safe for a garden since its made to grow a food product like mushrooms! I think all organic materials are used in the composition of mushroom manure! The manure contains cow manure, corn socks, lime, sand , peat moss& straw. and the best thing is the heat generated from the mix kills all the weed seeds! Can you think of anything bad in it?
you would be surprised what most mushroom growers put in there growing medium. if it was organic mushrooms then its basically a safe bet. but large commercial growers use loads of chemicals to sterilize things, speed things up, just like most commercial food production. so just like garden5 said, not all mushroom compost is created equal.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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