View Full Version : Low quality compost, can it still be useful

marquis de sod
11-10-2010, 10:02 PM
I wanted to ask the experts: If you have a "low quality" munincipal compost that checks out for toxics is it still a waster of time to put it on a yard as compared to a high quality product?
I ask because I have a great source of high quality compost, 2-1-1 analysis and consistent quality at $4o a ton 45 miles away and then the lawn clipping leaf compost from a city facility that needs to be screeded to be used but still only costs $10 a ton when i'm done processing it. It is very finished but maybe more like a leaf mold than an active compost. It is turned on site but is stockpiled for almost a year.
Turf responds to the high quality compost like to a good fertilizer.
Would the low quality still be a good carbon based food for the beasties in a heavy enough quantity? I could double or triple the applications easily and maybe build SOM a little faster than with the better product.
What am I missing here besides more handling at application.

11-10-2010, 10:20 PM
For the lawn it would still help with tilth.

ICT Bill
11-11-2010, 11:10 AM
The leaf compost would be great for beds and trees, they would love it as long as it is an aerobic compost

when compost goes anaerobic it basically volitizes most of the nutrients that is why it smells like ammonia, if it smells like rotten eggs it has putrified, in both cases there is not much nutrient value left and you may be spreading pathogens

If the $10 stuff is not warm but cool and smells earthy it should be fine

Like you said choose the great stuff when you need to turn a site around quickly, the other stuff for maintenance, beds and trees