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  #1  
Old 08-25-2014, 03:15 PM
freakyhair freakyhair is offline
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Finding good compost for topdressing

Hey all,

I'm looking for some tips on finding properly aged compost for topdressing my lawn. I ordered some compost last year from a reputable mulch/compost supply place, and there was still quite a bit of un-decomposed material (small pieces of sticks, etc). When I spoke with them, they said that is the finest they screen their compost.

Are there any good pointers (or sources in MN) on finding well aged compost?

Thanks!
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:34 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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As long as those little chunks of sticks can be easily crushed with your fingers I wouldn't worry about using it...
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:42 AM
caseysmowing caseysmowing is online now
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Also interested.
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  #4  
Old 09-28-2014, 08:19 AM
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LawnMowerKing10 LawnMowerKing10 is online now
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I have had great luck with LeafGro.
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Old 09-28-2014, 10:03 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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I would look for local compost available from construction yards and county dumps... There should be no need for using bags of regional or national distributed brands,,, unless it is a small job...
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Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
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Old 09-28-2014, 10:50 AM
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I'll second that finding sticks (and other strange objects) is pretty normal, and doesn't mean it's inferior compost. It's not the easiest material to screen.
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Old 09-29-2014, 08:35 AM
PicturePerfectLawns PicturePerfectLawns is online now
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Some compost are inferior to others. But I don't think a few sticks here and there make it any less inferior. I'd be looking more at the NPK levels in the compost as oppose to a few sticks here and there.
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Old 09-29-2014, 10:08 AM
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phasthound phasthound is online now
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The simplest way to tell if your compost is mature - ready to use - is the "bag test." Put a handful of compost into a zip-lock bag and leave it sealed for a week or so. Then open the bag and smell it. If you detect an ammonia or sour odor the compost has not finished curing.

IMHO, NPK is not really relevant with compost. You have to consider that the microbes in compost will begin to break down nutrients into plant available forms.
Some bacteria will pull N from the air in the soil, fungi will mine P & K and make it usable by plants. Additionally, many of the minor nutrients will be made plant available.

Plus, compost will increase soil porosity and even out soil moisture. But you must use finished compost. If not, the the unfinished stuff will sequester nutrients for awhile and turf will suffer until this process is completed.
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Old Yesterday, 12:35 AM
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DA Quality Lawn & YS DA Quality Lawn & YS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freakyhair View Post
Hey all,

I'm looking for some tips on finding properly aged compost for topdressing my lawn. I ordered some compost last year from a reputable mulch/compost supply place, and there was still quite a bit of un-decomposed material (small pieces of sticks, etc). When I spoke with them, they said that is the finest they screen their compost.

Are there any good pointers (or sources in MN) on finding well aged compost?

Thanks!
Freaky,
Call JMJ Landscape Supply of Rochester (google him), he keeps an excellent quality product on hand. Dry, loamy, no large sticks.
I also used Hsu's compost in bags, but the stuff was WAAAYYY too wet and I paid the piper on that one. Good quality stuff but they should not have bagged it so wet.
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  #10  
Old Today, 04:57 PM
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Make sure you check the compost before buying it. Had a friend buy a load to spread on his yard and it burnt the whole yard. Had chunks of concrete in it and smelled funny. Lets just say, they are never buying for that nursery again.
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