Author Topic: Cow manure compost from Lowes  (Read 23056 times)

Offline Poolboy

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Cow manure compost from Lowes
« on: March 03, 2010, 04:12:58 PM »
I'm trying to buy up some materials to add to my raised beds whenever I get them built. I was at Lowes and noticed that they have a bag of organic cow manure compost for only little over a buck. Is this something that I should buy a bit of to add to my garden soil?
I seem to recall Jack mentioning sometime that you get what you pay for and this seemed pretty cheap.
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Offline QuiltingB

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2010, 06:13:24 PM »
How expensive can poop be?

I have used it for years, except last year and this year when I received a mountain of horse poop from a neighbor who had horses for a few years.

Next year I am going to have to go back to Lowes cow poop.  I haven't had a problem with it.  We switched to Lowes after a Lowes came to our area and after hearing a story that China-crap-mart's composted manure had herbicides in it!.
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But, alas, it doesn't matter anyway because you are not and never were a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN (US Constitution Art 2, Sec 1). At best you are a dual US-British citizen - but even that was lost when you became a citizen of Indonesia. Are you still an Indonesian citizen? One thing you are NOT is legally eligible to be President of the United States. WE ARE IN A CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS AND NO ONE CARES.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2010, 09:04:31 PM »
I need to pickup some this weekend since the load I picked up from the dairy was disgustingly fresh and currently barely started in composting.   I'll report if anything seems odd about it but I really don't think it will be.

Offline Herbalpagan

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2010, 05:51:29 AM »
I'll have to look for that stuff. I would prefer to use the good stuff from a farm, but have no way to get it home. I've used the bagged stuff, which if nothing else is good filler for the raised beds.
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Offline cohutt

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2010, 03:01:37 PM »
Ok, I checked out Lowes and the other bigboxers plus the local Ace hardware

The "organic" stuff was mushroom or "jungle" something or another and was close to or well over $4 everywhere.  Lowes and maybe home depot had the "Black Kow" pure cow manure compost for a similar price.  The bags had all types of volume or weight or "sq ft coverage" descriptions on them so comparison was never head to head exactly.  The more expensive stuff above was generally in a 50 lb bag that would have been less that 2 CF, probably 1.5 if that.

There is a compost brand here that is "Evergreen" that was the cheapest of all by far.  $1.38 at Lowes and $1.70 or so at Ace.  Walmart had some for $1.38 too but when i checked (Friday eve) they only had a couple bags and  it was off in the dark side lot.  All of these were for 1 CF and all they were not organic nor pure manure compost.

I bought a few bags of "Evergreen Manure Compost" for the sake of research (aka cheapness) lol to see what it was like. 

Yes, you get what you pay for. IMHO my homemade compost was significantly superior to this.   This is composted cow and chicken manure PLUS ground pine and hardwood "tips" or some term like that meant to describe the tree and branches too small to do anything with commercially otherwise.

The company that made this is in south Georgia so i wasn't surprised by the pine smell that was apparent when I cut open the bags. 
The composting appeared have a little more to go; there are still small pieces of chipped wood in it that had not been consumed yet.  The pine-ish smell and the manure smell confirm this i think.  However, this was definitely further along than the partially composted yard waste I picked up from my city (which I promptly filled into a large wire compost bin to finish).

Bottom line - a little undercomposted but adequate as an addition to a bed, definitely  not the vision one gets thinking of "Organic cow manure compost" by any means.   Would I buy more?  No, since I really don't need it at this point and have a truckload of yardwaste composting as well as a load of cow manure.  I have a pretty good amount of last year's homebrew left, which is what I will finish up my season prep with.

Offline dabucnut

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2010, 05:43:32 PM »
I supplement with the "Black Kow" brand. I love it as much as one can love poop!  ;) I use my own compost, plus the cheap stuff too. Whatever works for you. Local horse crap is nice when I can get it without having to involve the lovely spousel unit.

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BrotherWolf

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2010, 07:58:34 AM »
I picked up a few bags of the stuff from Lowes to toss into the garden to help get things going.

The composting appeared have a little more to go; there are still small pieces of chipped wood in it that had not been consumed yet. 

I'm no purveyor of poo, but I agree with the above statement--the composting didn't seemed quite finished.  But for 1/3 the price of most of the other bags of compost at Lowes, I can't complain much.

Offline Dr. Horrible

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2010, 08:41:49 AM »
The cheap compost from Lowes (both cow manure and mushroom) isn't much more than soil mixed with wood chips. A lot of wood chips. Very little nutrients. I initially tried both of those with my SFGs, and the fussier plants either were stunted or didn't come up at all.

The only difference between them and the generic "garden soil" seems to be that the "soil" has a little perilite and some fertilizer thrown in. I might put a thin layer of it in the bottom of my beds, but I wouldn't depend on it to grow my plants.

If you have to buy from a big box, Black Kow seems to be the way to go. If there's one near you, check your local (non-big box) gardening store for any additional types; the same people who make Black Kow also make a chicken manure version. Don't just settle for what's on the shelf; ask if they can special-order. It may cost you extra, but I'd rather pay more for something that works than less for something that doesn't.

Personally, I'd recommend making your own. A compost heap isn't difficult to do, and a worm farm isn't much worse. If you don't have a gardening store near you, odds are there are some farms (or lots of trees if nothing else) where you can find what you need. Until you get there, though, don't scrimp too much or you may wind up regretting it.
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Offline BoltsFan

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2010, 09:08:43 AM »
Good info. I am doing my first SFG this year. I have a good source for Llama manure. I was thinking of using just that for the 1/3 compost.
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Son_of_the_Republic

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2010, 09:45:21 AM »
Local famer,whom we get milk from,tells us that Cow poop is not so great for gardens and that Horse poop is the way to go.

Offline Old Scout

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2010, 10:04:24 AM »
We just finished 9 raised beds and used 4 bags of the Lowes Composed Manure in each 42"x85" bed.  Found it well composted dark rich soil.  For $1.19 per 40# bag we are pleased.

In each bed We also included a 3.8 CuFt peat moss bale, about the same amount of bulk mushroom compost from a local outlet which is mainly composted horse manure.  We added a wheel barrow full of our own compost which includes manure from our chicken coop as well as yard cuttings and kitchen stuff including a lot of coffee grounds.  We finished each bed off with about a cup of blood meal and top soil from the garden with lots of worms. The broccoli, brussle sprout and cabbage seedlings that we started back in mid February are loving it!

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Offline daniel61

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2010, 06:16:51 PM »
I would suggest that as early as possible start networking with local farms and stables to acquire your manure and compost it yourself. In hard times a local supply is the best supply. We purchase horse manure compost for 20 bucks a full size longbed full, and they load.

Offline cafinator

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2010, 11:17:57 PM »
I use one of the black kow composted cow manure bags from Lowes + (1) 3.8 cubic feet bag pete moss + 25% vermiculite + 25% dirt + my own compost.  I did a couple of raised beds like this two months ago and am currently harvesting radishes from both beds with beans, carrots, Dill, and tomatoes on the way. I plan to do four more raised beds this way tomorrow. I also dump rabbit droppings on top of each bed once every few days. I was planning on using the rabbits for my slow cooker but they make far better compost machines during growing season.

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2010, 07:09:03 AM »
Black Kow is currently $4.77 / 50 pounds here in Texas.

I totally need to find a horse barn I can scoop out.

Offline Roamer

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2010, 05:38:20 AM »
 I used some of this low cost compost from Home Depot. It was part of my mix for the four raised bed I just started. I also combined
bagged mushroom compost, local free landfill compost, peat moss, and course vermiculite.

  Too early to tell results but the Lima's are coming up very well.

Offline Stein

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2010, 11:21:36 PM »
I used to use it, then I read about what is fed to the cows in the big CAFO "farms."  Now, I don't use it.

Offline OKGranny

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2010, 01:23:05 AM »
There's more than likely a riding stable, horse race track, something along those lines near everyone that isn't in a very large city and trust me, people who have a lot of horses around have a lot of manure that gets composted. We used to have 14 horses and even with the huge garden we had then we couldn't use all the compost. Luckily my son in law is a race horse trainer so I still have access to all I need.

Offline bushpilot807

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes - Make your own
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2010, 07:30:07 PM »

A couple of weeks ago I built the 3 garbage can composting system as outlined by Jack in his MSB video.

Since I bought my supplies at Lowe's like Jack did, I ended up with exactly the same materials he had.

One difference in my project: I started out with a hole saw, but part way through I decided to try an Irwin Speedbore bit.  They are those flat bits used to auger larger (3/8" and up) holes in wood much faster than a traditional brace and bit.  The Speedbore I used was the newer style that has spurs on the outer edges, and I found it worked much better than the hole saw, as well as being much less expensive.

Anyway, today I went out and checked my bins, and I was amazed at how far along the compost was in just 2 weeks; it is close to being finished, and was perking right along with self-generated heat.  The starting point for the compost was nothing but fairly course shredded branches from some cut back brush, I didn't add grass clippings or anything that would have added nitrogen.  All I did was layer it in 8" to 10" at a time and soak each layer down good with the hose as each was added.

If you have been thinking about building Jack's system, I highly recommend it.

























Offline JGreene

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2010, 05:59:07 AM »
The guy at the local Agway was really helpful last week.   One of the things he told me about the bagged "composted manure" is that it really doesn't have much fertilizer affect, its great for soil structure, but limited in the X-X-X components.

Offline btigtime

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2010, 07:44:42 PM »
The Crappy thing about picking up manure from Horse barns, Chicken pens and Cow Pastures is you have to make sure you compost it for at least 6 months.  There be monsters in manure.  E-coli, Antibiotics, worms, and other parasites in fresh Manure.  And if you do pile up the poo, you will need to add lots of grass and water to make sure it gets up over 120 degrees. Fecal can be fickle if not treated properly.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2010, 08:09:15 PM »
If you don't mind choveling chit you can turn it a few times, compost it a lot faster than 6 months, like 6 weeks.

Offline JGreene

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2010, 05:39:54 AM »
It sounds like there is an optimum time to use 'fresh' manure... too fresh and it may contain nasties as well as be too strong, if its too old, then it loses its nutritional value.  Is that right?

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2010, 09:01:33 PM »
It sounds like there is an optimum time to use 'fresh' manure... too fresh and it may contain nasties as well as be too strong, if its too old, then it loses its nutritional value.  Is that right?

Not losing nutrition, primarily just the nitrogen.

Offline Pathman

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Re: Cow manure compost from Lowes
« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2010, 06:05:46 PM »
I mixed a bag of mushroom compost and manure compost I bought at a local garden center for a couple of containers and bagged the rest.  I am thinking on getting some organic plant food and add it to the compost for future use.  I want to have some on hand for when I harvest the vegitables in my SFG I can plant more with the compost.  I have an old plastic trash can and was thinking about storing the compost in that and throwing kitchen scraps in there.  I would then leave it out in the sun and roll it around every couple of days to mix it up.  Would that work to help enhance the compost or should I leave it as it is? 

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