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Low quality compost, can it still be useful

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by marquis de sod, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. marquis de sod

    marquis de sod LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    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.
  2. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,257

    For the lawn it would still help with tilth.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
  3. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    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

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