What about this compost?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by huntw11871, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. huntw11871

    huntw11871 LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 71

    I found out that the town sells compost to the public for cheap. It is made up of leaves grass clippings shrubbery trimmings and tree limbs. This is all put in there tub grinder and then aged for about 6 months before selling. Is this stuff good compost? Does it have all the right stuff for me to use on lawns. Let me know what u are thinking. Thanks for any help u can give me.
     
  2. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    Ask them for a soil analasys on it. They should be happy to give you a copy. Then share the results here, people will jump in for sure. Thats the stuff I plan on using, and have used on my test/training lawns. In my case it needs a little finer screening though.
     
  3. huntw11871

    huntw11871 LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 71

    I will give them a call and see what they say.. If they will give me the analasys I will post it as soon as possible. Thanks
     
  4. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    In almost every state bulk soil amendments have to be tested for heavy metals, what else they have to test for I don't know, you would have to look at the law in your state, or call one of the officials.

    It is the county so they may have some way of getting out of the testing procedure.
    If you were selling it to the public you would have to have a copy of the tests available to anyone that asks
     
  5. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    I made a 1/4" screen, got pics of it, I think they are in the "my first topdress" thread, for about $10. I used some chicken wire that I found at HD and tacked it to the frame. It did pretty good but I think I would like to see one a little smaller, just need to find a smaller wire mesh.

    Any ideas? That stuff was as small as it got at HD. It worked good, I think when I get the good compost it won't be an issue, I got crappy compost and it let a lot of small wood chips through. Again, I think that this screen will be fine once I get my own compost going. I think...
     
  6. huntw11871

    huntw11871 LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 71


    What should I do if they don't have any paper work to give me? I would not sell to others but would it be ok for my lawn?
     
  7. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    chances are it is done well enough that it won't hurt anything. The analysis is just going to tell us how good it is. Looking at it visably it should not have a lot of wood in it, it should be like black/dark brown soft soil. No chunks, and no smell. If you see some trash in it just make a frame out of some scrap wood and tack some chicken wire to it. I explained how I made mine on the "my first compost job" I believe with some pics. Tree says to prop it up at an angle and then when you throw the compost on it will sift through while falling down and the big stuff will be left over. I put mine on top of my wheel barrel and put a shovel full at a time on the screen. Most of it went through, what got clogged I moved around with the shovel and the big stuff was all that was left on top. That way when you do your topdress you don't have to worry about picking stuff out all the time. It is worth the time. If you have to I am sure you can get all your needs from HD for under $20.
     
  8. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

  9. huntw11871

    huntw11871 LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 71

    Thanks for all the info Deep.
     
  10. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    The problem with green compost is it still may have pathogens, seeds, pesticides, herbicides, and if these things don't knock the snot out of the turf green compost will rob nutrients from the soil and turn the turf yellow.

    So it is important to know what you are getting
    Around here they make a product from all of the leaf collection in the fall called leafgro, it is an independent composter but backed by the county with property and equipment. They try to compost it real quick and more often than not, it is green, they bag it and sell it real cheap.

    almost every lawn company I talk to around here about using compost, they say "I tried that stuff and it turned the grass yellow and caused disease problems, you can't tell me that compost is good for grass"

    not good
     

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