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Thread: Compost Bulk buy

  1. #1
    colonel is offline Germinator
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    Question Compost Bulk buy

    Hi,

    I am looking to bulk buy some compost to help improve the soil in my veg beds.

    I dug up a lawn last year, added some compost and got fairly good crops. However the soil is still quite heavy clay and I would like to add more organic material to break up the clay and get a better humus consistency.

    If anyone has any advice, re bulk buying compost (which types, where to buy) or other solutions, it would be much appreciated.

    I live in the Oldham area of Greater Manchester if anyone knows where to source locally.

    Thanks
    Can the Man and Starch like this.

  2. #2
    Starch is online now Seedling
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    I also have clay I use Sharp sand, bulk bag about 50 + horse muck free to 1 a bag generally and old compost from previous years tomato etc.
    Can the Man likes this.

  3. #3
    ESBkevin is offline Cropper
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    Hello Colonel,

    Just about any organic material will in time improve your clay soil. Time being the costly thing, because ready made compost is expensive but a good solution. The essential process is worms and microbes that break down the organics and cause the soil to form a crumbley structure which defeats the clay.
    In my area the local council collect everyones green waste and have it processed into 'soil improver' which is available in bulk at a decent price. It is sterile and usually still warm when you get it, but it will be good for the soil. Left for 6 months it is ideal as a mulch when it has composted naturally some, but beware it can have bits of plastic in it because waste collections include all kinds of garden waste for some people!
    Wood chip, you can get fresh wood chip delivered in bulk (ask local tree surgeons) just so they can dump it locally rather than haul it away. BUT if it's fresh it will rob nitrogeon from the soil where it contacts it in the first year before it starts to break down. If you can compost it in a heap for a year or two before use it will then be good as a mulch and will break down and condition the soil.
    Free horse manure, many stables are looking for a way to get rid of this by product all the time. BUT beware that it cannot be fresh for the roots of most crops and again needs to be composted for best effect.
    Experiments have been conducted where digging in composted organic material verses mulching/the No Dig method have been conducted (I can't remember where these results were posted - sorry). The upshot was that undisturbed soil provided better growing results in the first year, which was completely counter intuitive to me!
    So maybe get some soil improver, you might dig some in, then mulch an area while putting down a thick (free) woodchip mulch on another area, knowing you can't grow on it for up to two years. This can be speeded up by using green manure like field beans to put nitrogeon into the mulch and provide a living root to add excudates to the soil which are a great benefit.

    Sorry thats all a bit rambling, I hope you can take something from it.
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  4. #4
    Mamzie is offline Sprouter
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    Our local old fashioned garden centre sells a recycled soil improver which is mde locally - bagged its 2.99 for 40l, but bag your own into their recycled 50l compost bags and its 1.75 (10 bags for 15)

    Search google for bulk compost near me, thats how I found the one above hth
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  5. #5
    colonel is offline Germinator
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    Question

    Thanks for your replies guys. I think I will bulk buy some compost for now as it's the quicker option and maybe add some sand too.

    Has anyone bought compost from a website called 'Dandy's'? I have done some research and it seems like the cheapest one. Although I am tempted to get one called 'black gold' from 'Compost Direct' as it sounds like good stuff but is more expensive!

    Thanks again for all the advice. This is just my second year growing my own fruit and veg so any advice is most welcome.

    Happy growing everyone.

    Colonel
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  6. #6
    Logunner is offline Rooter
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    Quote Originally Posted by colonel View Post
    Thanks for your replies guys. I think I will bulk buy some compost for now as it's the quicker option and maybe add some sand too.

    Has anyone bought compost from a website called 'Dandy's'? I have done some research and it seems like the cheapest one. Although I am tempted to get one called 'black gold' from 'Compost Direct' as it sounds like good stuff but is more expensive!

    Thanks again for all the advice. This is just my second year growing my own fruit and veg so any advice is most welcome.

    Happy growing everyone.

    Colonel
    Everything sounds “good stuff” when it’s being pushed online, but you will only know if you buy it.

    Have you tried your local authority? Some do offer bulk drops
    Can the Man likes this.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by colonel View Post
    Has anyone bought compost from a website called 'Dandy's'? I have done some research and it seems like the cheapest one. Although I am tempted to get one called 'black gold' from 'Compost Direct' as it sounds like good stuff but is more expensive!
    Not compost, but we did buy some 'vegegrow' topsoil from Dandy's two or three years ago. It wasn't particularly great quality and contained lots large stones, glass and other interesting detritus such as bits of plastic bag, plant pot, plant label, crisp packet, electrical cable and circuit board. Ended up having to sift it all by hand.

    When I complained the customer service response was very slow. By the time they replied I'd already filled up a raised bed with the stuff so returning wasn't an option, and they just offered me a small discount on my next order (hohohoho!). I wrote a fair review on their website but they didn't publish it.
    Last edited by toomanytommytoes; 15-02-2020 at 12:35 PM.
    Can the Man likes this.

  8. #8
    Chestnut is offline Cropper
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    Farmers often have a large muck heap somewhere on the farm, often well rotted -but sometimes v fresh.
    We have a local chap who will deliver within 5 mile radius, 15 for a pickup load. Mostly cow manure and bedding, with a little bit of poultry manure from the few he keeps for eggs thrown in.
    If you have an out of the way corner to let stuff rot down for a year, this is much more economical than the commercial stuff. Maybe wander down to your nearest allotments on a fine day and ask around for local sources?
    Logunner and Can the Man like this.

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