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 Post subject: buying compost
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:11 am
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I was wanting to top dress my lawn again this fall but didn't want to break the bank for compost. Any recommendations for quality but inexpensive compost in a fine form around the Frisco Area? I was going to put it into my broadcast spreader so it needs to be in finished grade to apply.


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 Post subject: Re: buying compost
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:00 am 
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Location: Dallas,TEXAS
Buying in bulk from a good source is a good idea but I have never seen compost that didn't have some chunks in it. I usually toss it out with my hand.

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 Post subject: Re: buying compost
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:58 pm 
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What is the reason for topdressing with compost? Are you trying to get your OM levels up? Because there is a much less expensive way to do that.

In my neighborhood, compost delivered to the door costs about $70 per cubic yard. If one cubic yard covers 1,000 square feet, then the cost is $70 per 1,000 square feet. But if I can buy alfalfa pellets at the feed store for $12 in a 50-pound bag, and it goes on at 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet, then the cost of organic fertilizer is $4.80 per 1,000 square feet. I can apply an excellent organic fertilizer 15 times for the price of compost. Fill in your own numbers. If you can get a yard of compost in the back of your truck for $35, then the cost of compost is only $35/1000. Still I can fertilize 7 times with real fertilizer.

The total N content in compost is about the same as in one app of fertilizer. Compost is not cost effective as a fertilizer.

Now how you improve the OM in your soil? By growing roots. Besides microbes, roots are the most massive OM in your soil. More roots, more OM. Applying fertilizer 10 or 15 times is much better at building roots than applying compost. Grass is one of few plants that sheds its roots. Every year it loses about 1/3 of the roots and regrows new ones. Those roots it loses become OM in your soil. So the more roots you grow the better your OM becomes.

Then what is compost good for? Compost is great for restoring the microbial species and population to your soil. If your soil has become depleted from drought, flood, or chemical spill (including herbicide, insecticide, fungicide, and chemical fertilizers), then compost is the fastest way to restore the biology to the soil. Not compost tea, compost. Compost is also excellent as a micromulch. You cannot mulch a lawn with something like bark mulch, but you can apply compost to get some of the same effect. Mulch is excellent for holding moisture content steady for long periods of time. One of the best ways to improve unimproved soil is to mulch it for several months. But if you already have a lawn, then your soil is improved and getting better.

Now after I've launched into several rants, you're going to tell me you are topdressing with compost because someone gave it to you and you don't know what to do with it. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: buying compost
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:56 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2003 9:01 am
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Interesting debate on compost. I probably agree that applying compost year after year is not cost effective and unnecessary in most cases. We have been working for some time now helping develop a fertilizer that functions more to stimulate microbes than to provide NPK. Products that are efficient in this regard should be able to be used at far lower rates than current products. Will keep everyone posted.


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 Post subject: Re: buying compost
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:02 pm 
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I was planning on composting after I aerated this fall. My yard is on a newly developed lot. High traffic in the back yard from the kids and dog and in general very compacted clay soil. I had the yard aerated this spring and began the organic program with compost and dry molasses in early spring and a blend from fertilizer from natures guide over the summer. As well as 2 applications of the garret juice when I performed the sick tree treatment to my trees. Is there another recommendation for the compaction? I wasn't sure how successful a surfactant would be at helping the soil and allowing oxygen to the roots. I have noticed a drastic difference in the quality of turf and the texture of the soil over this year compared to the previous years. I plan on making my own compost pile if i can get the wife on board but even then it wouldn't take care of the 2500 sq ft of turf.


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