The lower the price you pay for your compost, typically, you should expect the quality to match. This is due to the fact that shop bought compost is generally produced in mass and therefore less care and precautions are taken to make sure it’s up to the appropriate standard to be as effective as possible and fit for purpose. In comparison to home-made compost, you have no control over what you expect to find when you open up your bag and therefore no say in whether the compost will do the job you are wanting.
But how do you actually know whether your compost is low quality? Surely price isn’t the only determining factor. While price is a major determining factor, mostly because the ingredients required for manufacturers to compost their raw materials can be costly, they can often omit the sufficient amount required to fully allow the raw materials to transform. Between meeting the needs of supply and demand and shifting product that has a shelf life, quality isn’t always at the top of the list of priorities of compost manufacturers, despite what they might officially tell us. The simple solution might seem to be to pay more but before you consider spending more money, you need to know what signs to look for to show you that your shop bought compost isn’t up to scratch…
Common characteristics include:
- Dampened moisture
- Ammonia odour
- Excessive traces of un-composted sawdust, wood fibre and weed seeds.
- Traces of waste such as plastic or glass
- The compost isn’t fully composted
In essence, lower quality compost is more likely to have excessive amounts of the above characteristics. Although we’re not guaranteeing that if you pay more that you still won’t find some of them present in your compost. Actually, we think the best way to say no to unwanted surprises in your compost is simply to make your own. For advice and guidance on how to make your own compost and other gardening tips, make sure you stay up to date with our blog and social media content for more information.