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Dry compost

KT53KT53 Posts: 2,381
I've just bought 2 bags of Miracle Grow Moisture Control compost.  When loading it into the car one of them seems a little light, but I didn't really think much of it.  There weren't any tears in the bag so it hadn't lost content.
When I opened the lighter one it was bone dry with almost solid chunks in it.  It did break down with a bit of persuasion but I'm wondering if there will be any life in whatever is used for the moisture control element.
I'm wondering if it was left over stock from last year although the other bag is OK.
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Posts

  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 1,770
    Internet says it uses coir as a moisture retainer.. so I expect it will probably be fine once you re-wet it.  I've had that issues with bags of compost before.  I found the best thing was to dump it into a wheelbarrow and use a hose, stirring it and letting it sit overnight to evenly remoisten.  
    Utah, USA.
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 2,381
    Thanks Blue Onion.  T'interweb is a wonderful thing :)
  • PurplerainPurplerain Posts: 327
    I don't know what else it contains, but coir has no nutrients whatsoever. That would be ok for seeding, but personally I wouldn't be happy with that if its for potting on or baskets etc.

    I am using Levingtons Original this year and so far I am happy with the results. Plants have beefed up the way I remember from when I was a girl 😊.

    It is heavily peat based with added seaweed extract so it won't be for everyone.
    SW Scotland
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 2,381
    I add slow release fertiliser to tubs and baskets so that should help counter any lack of nutrition in the compost.  What I did notice was a number of twiggy pieces which I've never seen in Miracle Grow compost before.
  • PurplerainPurplerain Posts: 327
    The quality of compost seems to change from year to year. I can only recommend Levingtons this year, but it might be poor next year.

    The one thing that I have been getting increasingly annoyed about are manufacturers who claim they are using green recycled products, which is basically other peoples bin rubbish. One year, I was plagued by blue flies in my garden feeding on a so called soil improver.

    My council collects every week, but my food waste goes in there along with weeds, branches etc. They are also adding clothing fibre, in fact anything that can be dyed brown and is cheap to produce.

    The lack of growth in many potted plants is down to this I believe. Once they get into natural soil they perk up. 

    Really good compost is what we need to get back to in my opinion. We are being ripped off and when we get dry compost full of twigs like you have, then we have every right to return it and complain.

    Rant over 🙂.


    SW Scotland
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 2,381
    I agree that the quality of compost varies wildly.  A couple of years ago the general purpose compost I bought was more like shredded bark.  Absolutely useless for pots and tubs.
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 1,770
    I agree.. even the expensive 'organic' stuff I bought this spring looked like 98% shredded wood.  I've noticed a rise in 'organic' fertilizers that are increasingly made from food waste..  :o  .. basically selling people expensive small bags of kitchen scrap compost looking sort of like FB&B.  
    Utah, USA.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 3,408
    I bought my first mushroom compost recently and it's lovely stuff - juicy and rich. Unlike the Gro-sure manure, which is like dessicated powder, dry as a bone. 
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 902
    edited 16 May
    I've been buying Melcourt multipurpose which is has a pretty decent consistency but it is now referred to as 'sustainable growing media' rather than compost. Luckily I have a huge amount of home made stuff stockpiled now so I can mix it in to hopefully improve it a bit.

    My advice is get better at making your own as the way compost is going it will be the only way to get decent soil soon. Leaf mould is easy to make too and you can never have enough of that.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 3,408
    I'm interested in the common assertion on the forum that homemade compost is not good for potting and also that it has very little 'nutritional' content. This year I have used it only for improving bed structure. I make a bit (not hot), but have little illusion that it is very rich overall. But has lots of worm and woodlice poo. Which is good enough for me.

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