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Old 24-03-2009, 05:09 PM posted to rec.gardens
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Default "cow manure & compost" really a mulch?

I just bought about a dozen bags of "Organic Valley" cow manure & compost.
When I spread it out, small wood pieces made up roughly 1/3 of the whole
composition!

The wood certainly is not composted, and I certainly would not feel right
about selling something marketed as a composted cow manure and compost, when
it has this much foreign matter.

Does this sort of thing happen often in the industry?



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Old 24-03-2009, 06:23 PM posted to rec.gardens
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"OhioGuy" wrote in message ...
I just bought about a dozen bags of "Organic Valley" cow manure &
compost. When I spread it out, small wood pieces made up roughly 1/3 of
the whole composition!

The wood certainly is not composted, and I certainly would not feel right
about selling something marketed as a composted cow manure and compost,
when it has this much foreign matter.

Does this sort of thing happen often in the industry?

Your error was in buying "cow manure *and* compost".
You should have purchased "composted cow manure.

Whenever you buy "compost". regardless from who, you are buying a pig in a
poke... compost is a verb (something occuring), not a noun (a finished
finished product)... those wood chips are composting... compost is something
one does, not something that is. The fully composted portion of organic
matter is called "humus". There is one and *only* one way to know from what
humus was composted, that's to make your own... composting is like grinding
meat, the *only* way to know what/who's in it is to grind your own.

Mulch can be any solid matter that impedes plant growth, for gardening
organic matter is desirable, but mulch can be stone, plastic, rubber,
roofing shigles, broken glass, anything that doesn't readily decay.


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Old 24-03-2009, 07:12 PM posted to rec.gardens
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Default "cow manure & compost" really a mulch?

On Mar 24, 1:23*pm, "brooklyn1" wrote:
"OhioGuy" wrote in ...
*I just bought about a dozen bags of "Organic Valley" cow manure &
compost. When I spread it out, small wood pieces made up roughly 1/3 of
the whole composition!


*The wood certainly is not composted, and I certainly would not feel right
about selling something marketed as a composted cow manure and compost,
when it has this much foreign matter.


*Does this sort of thing happen often in the industry?


Your error was in buying "cow manure *and* compost".
You should have purchased "composted cow manure.

Whenever you buy "compost". regardless from who, you are buying a pig in a
poke... compost is a verb (something occuring), not a noun (a finished
finished product)... those wood chips are composting... compost is something
one does, not something that is. *The fully composted portion of organic
matter is called "humus". *There is one and *only* one way to know from what
humus was composted, that's to make your own... composting is like grinding
meat, the *only* way to know what/who's in it is to grind your own.

Mulch can be any solid matter that impedes plant growth, for gardening
organic matter is desirable, but mulch can be stone, plastic, rubber,
roofing shigles, broken glass, anything that doesn't readily decay.



So is there a way we can make this “something occurring” to “a
finished product”. (Thinking like throwing them alone in compost bin
and wait for some time to see it as “a finished product”)

TIA.
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Old 24-03-2009, 11:44 PM posted to rec.gardens
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Default "cow manure & compost" really a mulch?

On Tue, 24 Mar 2009 11:09:15 -0500, "OhioGuy" wrote:

I just bought about a dozen bags of "Organic Valley" cow manure & compost.
When I spread it out, small wood pieces made up roughly 1/3 of the whole
composition!

The wood certainly is not composted, and I certainly would not feel right
about selling something marketed as a composted cow manure and compost, when
it has this much foreign matter.

Does this sort of thing happen often in the industry?


By cutting product with a less expensive one, the company increases
profit. Laundry soap has been playing the filler and
measuring-cup-size game a long time. Often, cow manure that is
packaged for retail is mixed with compost, peat or sand. 100% cow
manure is no longer locally available, as it was 5 years ago.

Not good if your mix contained a large amount of wood chips, buy no
more. Better yet, tell us which brand to avoid. My woodshop
produces more wood chips than I can give away, sure they compost but
take an extra long time.

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Old 25-03-2009, 02:03 AM posted to rec.gardens
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Default "cow manure & compost" really a mulch?


"Jangchub" wrote

And one very last bit; never buy compost in bags. Rarely, if ever is
it compost.


That's just not true. If one buys "composted cow manure" it is indeed
composted cow manure. Buying composted cow manure in small bags is not very
economical but very often that's all some may need. There is no reason to
cheat on composted cow manure, it's not like there is any shortage of cow
shit... no shortage of bull shit either, Victoria..

Anyway, commercially composted material is not a very wise choice regardless
from whom it is purchased... and composted cow manure, or any composted
llivestock manure is not a very good choice because livestock, especially
cows do not eat a very varied diet.

And the typical bulk topsoil/compost merchant cheats, cheats big time, they
fill their product with bank run (essentially clay and sand) and wet it down
just prior to delivery so it looks nice. Composted wood chips is about the
very worst choice. The *only* way to get quality composted material is to
compost ones own... typical kitchen scraps, being of widely varied
materials, make a far better composted material than anything one can buy.





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Old 25-03-2009, 05:44 AM posted to rec.gardens
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Default "cow manure & compost" really a mulch?

On Mar 24, 12:09*pm, "OhioGuy" wrote:
* I just bought about a dozen bags of "Organic Valley" cow manure & compost.
When I spread it out, small wood pieces made up roughly 1/3 of the whole
composition!

* The wood certainly is not composted, and I certainly would not feel right
about selling something marketed as a composted cow manure and compost, when
it has this much foreign matter.

* Does this sort of thing happen often in the industry?


yeah; in fact, after my last "compost" purchase i determined to
actually use the stuff as mulch from now on. at which it works pretty
well, given that it is composty, compared to woodchip stuff. i plan to
repeat the application this year.

this after quite a few years of trying quite a few brands from various
garden stores and big box home centers. at this point, i consider a
brand to be of the better quality if it at least doesn't have rocks in
it. seriously, how many rocks do cows poop out? i had tried
laboriously screening the stuff (literally, with screen) to get out
the big junk, but it's way too labor intensive.

i crank out my own compost from whatever cellulose comes to hand;
mostly vacuumed up leaves from the edges/corners of the lawn, but also
weeds, any left over kitchen greenery, dead houseplants, etc. my mower
is a mulching mower, so the grass clippings and majority of the leaves
are mowed into the lawn. i only get maybe a cubic yard of the homemade
good stuff per year, so it goes where the need is greatest.
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Old 25-03-2009, 05:47 AM posted to rec.gardens
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Default "cow manure & compost" really a mulch?

On Mar 24, 12:09*pm, "OhioGuy" wrote:
* I just bought about a dozen bags of "Organic Valley" cow manure & compost.
When I spread it out, small wood pieces made up roughly 1/3 of the whole
composition!

* The wood certainly is not composted, and I certainly would not feel right
about selling something marketed as a composted cow manure and compost, when
it has this much foreign matter.

* Does this sort of thing happen often in the industry?


oh yeah, and the other thing, like the guy mentioned, it's somehow
always sopping wet, even though lately i've been taking care to get
the bags before they've been rained on at the store. it hadn't
occurred to me that they're soaked a priori to up the weight, but that
makes sense. honestly, it's so damn messy, i'd be happy to pay more it
it were dry. (i've tried some of the "dehydrated" stuff which comes in
a thinner bag with less weight, but it's still not dry)
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Old 25-03-2009, 09:15 AM posted to rec.gardens
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Default "cow manure & compost" really a mulch?


"OhioGuy" wrote in message ...
I just bought about a dozen bags of "Organic Valley" cow manure &
compost. When I spread it out, small wood pieces made up roughly 1/3 of
the whole composition!

The wood certainly is not composted, and I certainly would not feel right
about selling something marketed as a composted cow manure and compost,
when it has this much foreign matter.

Does this sort of thing happen often in the industry?


the raw horse poop in bags which I get for free from some local horse studs
also contains some wood chip. That comes from the horses stalls. After
composting, the poop & chips are nicely broken down. Much better to poop for
free in cases like you have explained.

rob

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Old 27-03-2009, 03:54 PM posted to rec.gardens
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Default "cow manure & compost" really a mulch?

On Mar 24, 9:09*am, "OhioGuy" wrote:
* I just bought about a dozen bags of "Organic Valley" cow manure & compost.
When I spread it out, small wood pieces made up roughly 1/3 of the whole
composition!

* The wood certainly is not composted, and I certainly would not feel right
about selling something marketed as a composted cow manure and compost, when
it has this much foreign matter.

* Does this sort of thing happen often in the industry?


I'm afraid that I'm going to disagree with pretty much all the
previous reponses.....with the exception of perhaps brooklyn's
first :-)

As stated, 'compost' describe a process, not necessarily the end
result. One can compost anything with organic origins - kitchen waste,
plant parts, bark and wood products (including sawdust), animal
waste....even the animals themselves. In fact, a more or less finished
compost product is made up of a lot of dead animals, but they are too
small to see :-) There is absolutely nothing wrong with a compost
product that contains visible bark or wood chips - it is just not a
totally finished compost product. But then few - including any home
composts - are totally 'finished'. Fully finished compost is humus,
the ultimate end result of the composting process. It takes a long
time to achieve this state and an awful lot of input for not very much
output, which is why purchasing anything labeled as "humus" tends to
be very pricey. And extremely hard to find. Virtually all commercial
composts will be partially finished, as will 99% of home composts. And
there's nothing wrong with that!

So there is nothing "foreign" about including wood products in
something labeled as compost. There is no false advertising or
anything underhanded or sneaky about including them in a composting
product. The wood products, like any other organic matter, will
continue to decompose and add value and nutrients to the soil. They
just take longer to breakdown and lose obvious visual identification
than other, faster decomposing plant material. And if you have the
impression that "mulch" is a specific product, that again is more of a
process than a product - a mulch is anything that is applied to the
top layer of the soil to guard against erosion, insulate the soil,
prevent evaporation and deter weeds. An organic mulch also adds
benefit by eventually improving the soil texture and providing
nutrients as it decomposes (very much like any 'compost'!). Compost
itself can be used as a mulch - it is the ony mulch I use in my
garden.

I'd also like to dispel the myth that somehow bagged or commercially
prepared compost is by nature less 'valuable' or otherwise less
suitable and more deficient compared to homemade compost. Often, it is
quite a bit better, as the composting process is better controlled due
to the larger scale and with higher temperatures generated, resulting
in a product that has less weeds and potential pathogens - it's harder
to achieve and maintain similar results in a home compost unless the
person tending the compost is very diligent and attentive to turning
and temperature monitoring. Most homeowners are not :-) A lot of
commercial compost IS regulated and tested and even certified but not
all - it is just as easy to purchase a poor quality commercial compost
as it is to purchase a good one. Ideally, inspecting the product
before purchase - only valid with local, bulk supplies usually - is
desirable but researching bagged product or reading the labels
carefully and looking for certification or testing info can be a
reasonable substitute.


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