Adding compost to compost

jusme_newby(5b North-Central MO)October 16, 2013

My compost bin will not be ready by the time spring rolls around. I purchased three types of compost bagged (Cotton Burr, Cow Manure and Mushroom) and was planning on using my own next spring.

Can I add my purchased compost to my pile (made up mostly of chicken manure and wood chips) and hope it cooks down by spring? Also, do I need to "balance" the amounts?

This will be my first SFG and I want to follow Mel's formula as close as I can

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donnyl(7)

If it were me, I would not add the bought compost to my compost pile. Let your pile cook down over the winter and then mix them when you fill your beds. Use equal amounts of each type of compost. the bought compost has already cooked down, so I dont think it would do much if added to the pile. But I am a newb like you, so if I am wrong, someone will probably correct me shortly.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 8:36AM
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charlieboring

The purchased compost probably has a lot of good bacteria in it and it might cause your compost to cook more rapidly. If it is administratively easier, I would go ahead and mix them, as long as you have a sufficient amout of green matter or manure to help with the cooking process.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 9:28AM
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jusme_newby(5b North-Central MO)

Thanks.
I am checking with some Amish friends to see if they will sell me some of their horse manure to add to my pile.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 10:32AM
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maternut(7 west tn)

I would be very careful with using cotton burr. There is lots of chemicals in cotton burrs. Lots of bad stuff, farmer trying to kill bole weevils I knew a lady that got very sick and had to see a doctor, because her son put down cotton burrs in her garden.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 9:57PM
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charlieboring

Cotton burrs are generally not a good compost to use on a vegetable garden for the reasons that Maternut stated. The insecticides directly hit the entire cotton plant including the cotton bulbs (which includes the hulls) in order to kill the bole weavils. I am not sure about cottonseed hulls however since the cotton seeds never are directly hit by the insecticide. I used cottonseed hulls on my father's garden to no ill effect that I know off. If you are going to use horse manure for your compost pile, it will need to cook very hot in order to kill the grass/oat seeds or you will have a invasive grass problem in your garden. For my compost I visit the local Fairfax VA transfer facility where I can get free composted leaves that are a dark and loamy compost. I mix those with vegetable scraps, grass clippings, coffee grounds and composted manure.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 7:36AM
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