davidb6
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Where to buy high quality compost in bags

I want to try making compost tea for my lawn in a 55 gal drum. I’d like to start off with the highest quality compost possible so I end up with best tea.
Any ideas where to get good quality compost on-line?

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farmerlon
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Re: Where to buy high quality compost in bags

davidb6 wrote:.... I’d like to start off with the highest quality compost possible so I end up with best tea...
I don't mean this to sound like a "wiseguy"... but I think the best way to assure the highest quality is to make your own compost. :D

Certainly, you may have some reason(s) that make compost production impractical for you; so I can understand if you need to find a quality product to purchase.
In my area, there is a company that processes horse stable manure, into what appears to be a top-quality compost. However, they only offer it for sale locally. You might look for a similar operation in your area.
Also, Black Kow (composted cow manure) that is available at many of the big home improvement stores, might be suitable for brewing a good compost tea.(?)

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applestar
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Hmm... I concur with farmerlon. I have serious doubts about quality of bagged compost, no matter how well it was made to begin with.

- Once bagged, the environment rapidly becomes anaerobic.
- Stacked on pallets, they would become compressed
- The standard moisture level of a compost pile seems a bit high for shipping purposes so they might dry it out a little first
- Most customers are not going to want to see bugs crawling around and out when they open the bag, so they might pasteurize the product first

... :?

That said, I like Master Nursery's Bumper Crop Soil AMENDMENT/CONDITIONER to add to my garden beds and I like Gardener's Gold Organic Potting Soil to mix with potting soil. (I've tried Bumper Crop Amendment in lieu of home-made compost and had horrible results, so I don't think it is equivalent to compost)

I've also purchased spent mushroom "compost" from Lancaster County, PA, which is not too far away from me in NJ. If you live proximate to Maine, I think Coast of Maine Lobster Compost might be a good one. I considered it, but decided the distance might be too great to count on reliable quality.

Last year, I came to the conclusion that if you have to buy them bagged, on-line or at nearby garden centers, it would be a good idea to check where they are from and choose ones that have not traveled all that far and ones that do not look like they've been sitting in the stock yard compressed and weathered (moisture as well as cooking sun) for a long time.

(Ha. I just looked up where Master Nusery might be located, and here it turns out they're "partnered" with Coast of Maine. Hmm... )

The organic potting soil when I bought them had been stored in the greenhouse or inside warehouse, out of the sun. The bag was clean and inflated (not compressed) and the contents when opened was in amazing condition -- woodsy, slightly mushroomy aroma, slightly damp and crumbly. My plants responded well.

Bumper Crop, on the other hand, are usually stacked up outside in the yard. I'm going to pay better attention to how the bags have been stored and not accept them if they're not in good condition. I know one garden center that stores one of the sizes in the warehouse. I may only go to them from now on.

Mail-order -- Certainly having them shipped direct from whoever makes and bags them would probably get you "fresher" compost than buying bagged compost that have been shipped hither and yon and stored in varying conditions between shipments.

davidb6
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Interesting, I thought I would get a differant response. I started composting last year and really not sure of the quality. I think I did everything right but you never know without all the proper test equipment. If I'm going to go through the effort to make 50gal of tea I thought it made sense to buy 5 or 10 lbs from the experts.

I completly agree, I would never buy compost from the big box stores or from anyplace that stores it outside in the sun. Thats why I was hoping there was a reputable place to buy it.

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applestar
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Found their website: https://www.coastofmaine.com/masternursery.shtml

I wonder if the one that I had bad results with had been poorly stored. I'm definitely taking my own advice about this one in the future. :wink:

FWIW and FYI -- the bad result I had was from mixing Bumper Crop and Sand with no soil. :? I normally mix my own compost, garden soil, and sand in varying amounts but something like 1:1:1 to maybe 1.5:1.5:1 ratio.

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soil
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look no further than the best wormcastings you can find.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

toxcrusadr
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I'm not sure what test equipment you would really need to determine whether you had good compost. If it's brown, crumbly, and smells wonderful, it's black gold. Simple as that. 8)
Tox

Carol Lake
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Best Compost for Compost Tea

We use compost from [url]https://www.compostwerks.com[/url] to make our tea - all their compost is specifically made for tea applications, they don't use any animal manure so no chance of e coli. Each batch of compost is tested by Soil Food Web labs for purity and biological activity. It's been wonderful stuff, and very reasonably priced. The founder, Peter Schmidt, is one of only a handful of certified Soil Food Web Advisors in the country, he'll help you make your own too if you prefer.

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