good or bad??

montgomery, AL(Zone 7b)

We usually use WalMarts potting soil but couldn't get it in the 40lb bags so we got WalMart top soil..we mixed 40 lbs top soil to 20lbs of WalMart cow manure... now I read that the manure is almost worthless..probably the top soil is too.. Do U think that will work in a LARGE container..what can I do to make it better?

Lancaster, CA

I don't know why the manure would be worthless. I'm no expert but I think organic matter is always good. I've used bagged compost, manure, composted horse manure and homemade compost. All have given much better results than my poor soil so I'm not complaining.

Use what you can find to improve your soil. Use what is inexpensive and easily available is my opinion.


montgomery, AL(Zone 7b)

I saw somewhere else that WalMart cow manure compost is mostly dirt & sand.. thats why I said it was probably useless.. the topsoil is very black but I can tell it has lots of sand in it. It feels very fine not like the potting soil. We mixed it with the manure. We have 4 whiskey barrels to fill also quite a few tire pots to fill..We are also making lasagna beds for next spring. We just can't afford the $8 potting soil. We do have horse manure so wonder how that would mix with the cheap soil(in pots) or would using manure tea be better? We are using the manure in the lasagna beds.

Santa Barbara, CA

Gee, I don't know, Sugar, about raw manures in potting mixes (too unstable, maybe too nutrient rich). Dirt alone is not recommended because it isn't sterile, probably full of weed seed and maybe insect pests, and tends to harden unless very sandy. So look for some composted bark or well composted manure product. Most bagged manure has only been dewatered and ground fine and is too "hot" for containers.

If you have aged stable manure (min. 9 month), you can pulverized that and mix one quarter-to-one third aged manure to three quarter-to-two thirds soil. Add sharp sand for drainage if heavyish. Add perlite or volcanic ash (pumice) to lighten the mix and improve drainage.

montgomery, AL(Zone 7b)

I have filled on whiskey barrell for fall plants (not yet added)The topsoil I'm refering to is from WalMart.. 40 lbs for $1.. the composted cow manure is also from WM..we mixed 40 lbs topsoil & added 20 lbs of the composted manure.
We put plastic bottles in the bottom of the barrel to keep from having to use so much dirt.. sure hoping to have nice flowers..

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