There are several pros and cons of buying compost through a compost supplier or manufacturer vs. making your own homemade compost. Some of the pros include the amount of compost that is always available to the buyer, importer or wholesaler, while some of the cons include the quality of the compost materials that the compost contains. If you choose to buy compost, you need to know what types of ingredients you will be introducing to your garden.
For example there is much controversy about using spent mushroom compost. This is a compost that is made by recycling the soil that has been used to grow mushrooms on mushroom farms. Some people feel that it should never be used around edibles in the garden due to the possibility of it containing pesticides. While others feel that the correct use and processing of it will allow for it to be used around any types of plants, edibles or otherwise.
The advantages of spent mushroom compost are that it is easy to buy from a manufacturer or distributor, it is readily available, weed free, and is a great source of organic matter. It has great water holding abilities, is produced by recycling, which makes it inexpensive when compared to other products. It is also great to build up clay or sandy based soils.
Some of the disadvantages that cause the controversy is that it is typically not cured, it has been pasteurized or sterilized which has killed off the microbial life and it has a high salt content. For these reasons the recommendation is that it not be used immediately upon delivery or steps be taken before it is used.
It really does not matter whether you choose to purchase your compost from an importer, manufacturer or distributor. The most important thing to know is what is in the compost that you are purchasing. You want to ensure that if it is turf based or has a high bark content that it has been properly processed. This will prevent you from having problems in your garden in the future. The best bet is to create a homemade compost that will allow you to control what is added to your soil.
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