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I know that home made compost is great stuff and I've discussed making some in this forum but in the meantime while mine is cooking, I've bought some bagged stuff.
I'm wondering is anyone else has used Back To Nature's Cotton Burr Compost to improve or mulch their planting beds and can tell me how it's work for you? I have a couple of beds that need soil improvement and this was recommended to me at the nursery I stopped at today.
Lula - It's about 8' x 16'. The plants there are not doing anything, not growing, not blooming much. The first 6" is okay dirt but then alot of clay underneath.
I thought I'd pull the plants out, then add sphagnum peat and the cotton burr compost and then till it in and put the plants back in. I'd spread more compost around them now and again in the spring, and continue that practice.
I have hard clay too. I have been working to improve my soil. I haven't removed and replaced any. But, I am trying to heavily ammend the soil with compost. This year, I have hauled 3-4 truckloads of mushroom compost. I am planning on a couple more. I get it from a garden center.
I have stayed away from bagged compost because given the quantity I am using, bags would be cost prohibitive. I have found that what I do this year often does not show until next season's bloom. So, we'll see what happens next year.
I've brought in bulk mushroom compost by pickup truck when doing large beds. I can only get the mushroom compost from my usual place in spring. But this area isn't that big so I thought I'd just use bagged stuff. I don't think the stuff at Home Depot is very good so I bought this stuff at a nursery. I also checked the website on it and thought it sounded pretty good. I just didn't know if anyone had ever used it. At least it's not supposed to tie up the nitrogen in the soil so I feel pretty safe using it.
I love cotton burr compost! I had a large bald spot in my St Augustine lawn, so I spread CBC about 2 inches thick on the area, this summer my lawn is totally covered again. I use it when I run low on my own compost bins, I keep 5 bags in my garage, never want to be without it!!
Thanks for your input, I had given up on a response. I did use it to improve the soil in a flower bed. I pulled all the plants out and tilled in the cotton burr compost and peat and replanted. I put in some Lime Rickey Heuchera from another spot that were doing terrible. Boy, they got in that stuff and between the improved soil and cooler temps, they really took off. Like you, I wanted to get some in clayish areas in my lawn but used it all up in the bed. I have to go fairly far away to get it so I'm waiting until next spring. I did put some in one small area and will throw a bit of seed in there and see what happens in spring. I think it's processed in Texas if I remember correctly, is it easy for you to get it?
Do you use the Nature's Blend? That's what I used but mulch with the Regular cotton burr compost.
Medinac,we use rotton cotton compost right from the cotton gin.It really helps the plants grow.We use it for our rose beds and they grew,some of them are taller then me.It's really good with the plants.I say go for it.
Back to Nature Cotton Burr Compost can be pricey at some places. I paid $8.99 for 2 cubic foot bags at the Alsip Home and Nursery store in Frankfort, Illinois last week. That was the best price I've seen anywhere. Has anyone else found it cheaper? It's not even available in Ohio and West Virginia. I hauled it 560 miles home! (No, I didn't make a 1120 mile round trip to buy compost; I was in the area on other business... lol)
have used Back to Nature Cotton Burr Compost for years and love it. It is very well composted and I have never had weeds from the bags. We have a place that sells compost by the truck load (18 weelers ) but it is always still hot and sometimes burns the plants. For myself, I always use my own compost and use Back to Nature Cotton Burr Compost for people I do work for. I can get the 2 cubic foot bags for $3.50 and always thought it was a good deal.
KenBoy, I'm really glad you added your comments to this thread. I was wondering how much less the price of cotton burr compost would be when you got closer to cotton gins. The place I bought cotton burr compost near Chicago must have to cover a really big transportation cost in their retail price; and of course maybe they want higher profit margins too.
Back to your Aug 23rd. post saying you have 6" of dirt over clay. I too have about 6" of dirt over clay and I always worry about drainage in the flat areas. If it rains hard, those areas stay pretty wet and shallow rooted plants hate that - especially blueberries. On the slightly sloped areas, the soil drains excess water away quickly. Soooo, if you are on flat ground, you may do well to buildup the height of your planting area for better drainage. Just a thought.
Ywa, I LOVE Cotton Burr Compost . I use it on my vegetable garden and I really think I own my success to this compost.
I always add this compost anytime I add a new vegetable plant. I really recommend it A++++++++++++++
Kenboy - that's such a good price for CBC but of course you're right there in TX,...lucky! BTW, I now have 2 Southern Comfort Heuchera...they are turning color now with our cooler weather here and are just beautiful!
Sunnyside, I get mine from a place called Meinke's on Touhy in Niles - which is way, way northeast of Frankfort and paid $7.95 for the 2 c.f. Nature's Blend. What you paid is the going rate at the garden centers around here. I stock up at Meinke's, otherwise it's not worth it with gas prices since I'm near O'Hare and Niles is a bit of a ways from me!
Paul, you are so right. I should be planting in raised beds. I'd have to brings lots of soil and compost in though and I'm just not "up" for all that work so I continue to put a band-aid on it and hope for the best. Amazingly the shrubs do pretty well, it's the perennials that are fussy. I have lost my share to the perils you describe. This year I've decided to put in more shrubs and less perennials, I just can't deal with the losses anymore and shrubs are less work anyway and can be just as pretty with all the different colors and blooms!
drthor - I've now been using this compost last year and this now. I love the rose bed compost for the roses, clematis and sprinkle some around the perennials. The Nature's Blend for the lawn is the best, and the regular for spring mulching around the shrubs etc.
I love the stuff so much I posted about it on the Midwest forum to spread the word.