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Old January 27, 2009   #1
creister
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Default Opinions on Black Kow compost

Is this stuff good, or sand and saw dust. Sold here by Lowe's. Want to mix it with some cotton burr compost.

Thanks,

Curt
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Old January 27, 2009   #2
feldon30
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Black Kow is 100% composted cow manure. It's incredible stuff, although it will set you back about $4.50 a bag. It's silky smooth black gold with no odor. I use this like crazy. Sometimes I'll find Sheep Manure at local nurseries and I use that too.

The bags of "compost", "manure", "topsoil", etc. at Home Depot and Wal-Mart for $1.99 or 99 cents a bag are like you say -- sand, sawdust, or whatever other garbage they can find. The bags all say "contains no more than 10% compost". What a joke.


P.S. I believe there was a post elsewhere saying that Cotton Burr compost cotton seed meal might have some pesticides since they use a lot on most cotton crops. Just pointing it out since you posted in the "Gardening in the Green" forum. I use it, but I am not trying to be 100% organic.
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Old January 28, 2009   #3
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I try to stay organic as well. I don't want to hurt the worms, beneficial fungi and bacteria. They are way too important. Luck has it, that one of our local nurseries sell soilmenders cottonburr compost. It gets Howard Garretts seal of approval. I have used it, and it is high quality stuff made here in Texas. I do avoid the cotton seed meal for the very reason's you stated. The soil mender stuff is pricey at 6.99 for cu. ft..

I think I will try some Black Kow mixed in and see how it grows.
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Old January 28, 2009   #4
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Make that 6.99 for 2 cu. Ft.
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Old January 29, 2009   #5
veggie babe
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i bought cottonbur compost. my question,what do you mix with it or can i use it altogether in my raised beds and containers??????
neva
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Old January 29, 2009   #6
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Neva I put mine in my garden and am planning on some in my raised beds. I think Ray suggests good old miracle grow non moisture control for his containers with a little lime and tomato tone.
Kat
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Old January 29, 2009   #7
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In OH (and TN) whenever we have gotten the Black Kow, its pretty sandy. Nice and dark, no odor.
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Old January 29, 2009   #8
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I don't know if I would grow anything in straight compost. I will make a three parts blend of cotton bur, black Kow, and mushroom compost to mix with coir fiber and expanded shale.
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Old January 29, 2009   #9
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In a container, some people don't use compost at all. I use about 10-15% and the rest potting mix and other light stuff.

In a garden bed, I think the general rule is 1-2 inches of compost a year. If it's a new 4' x 8' bed then 2 bags of compost. A new 4' x 16' bed 4 bags of compost.

Also some crops prefer richer soil than others. Melons like really rich soil. Maybe as much as 50% compost.
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Old January 30, 2009   #10
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thanks,i will follow the good adivce. still have so much to learn; that's why i love t'ville you all are great about sharing your knowledge/experience without laughing at me. or at least i haven't heard anyone laugh.
neva
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Old January 30, 2009   #11
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I use Back to Nature products including, cow manure, cotton burr compost and nature's blend with alfalfa and humate. Here is a piece written by someone with the company.

I'm the guy who built the market for cotton burr compost. I've been at it since 1984 and currently work as the field marketing rep. for Back To Nature, Inc. the oldest and largest manufacturer of cotton burr compost on the market. I've been through all the hoops re: Q&A about the stuff, including United States Compost Council's guidelines and university research, so hope I know what I'm talking about.
The use of cotton gin trash as a soil amendment goes back over 150 years. It was known even then for its ability to break up clay soils and for the fact that plants seemed to thrive in it.
The use of cotton gin trash as a soil amendment ceased upon the introduction of the mechanized cotton stripper because the plants had to be defoliated prior to harvest to keep from jamming the equipment. Unfortunately, the defoliant of choice was arsenic acid (arsenic). Arsenic is a heavy metal that accumulates in the soil and plants can uptake it, so using it as a soil amendment fell from grace until the late '70s.
Arsenic was outlawed by the EPA several years ago and all chemicals used on cotton now must be bio-degradable within two weeks of application. Careful composting eliminates any remaining traces of defoliants, chemicals, insects and weed seeds.
The cotton burr composts produced by Back To Nature, Inc. since 1984 have come from the High Plains of Texas, where defoliants were seldom used as a result of early freezes. In the rare events where chemical defoliants were used, sodium chorate was used in place of arsenic.
The reason cotton burrs (bolls) do such a great job of restoring soil tilth and fertility lies in their nutrient contect. Cotton depletes the soil of nutrient as it grows. The nutrients wind up concentrated in the seed and boll of the plant. Raw cotton bolls contain a high concentration of protein and are fed to cattle. They are also a natural, organic fertilizer, hold as much moisture as peat moss without the wetting problems, and don't tie up nitrogen like wood based composts do.
Back To Nature Cotton Burr Compost is a superior food source for the beneficial organisms that make nutrients available to plants, help aerate the soil through their tunneling, keep harmful organisms in check and provide soil and plants with immunity to diseases and pests.
It is important to realize that the only place in the U.S. where cotton bolls actuallywind up in the gin trash is on the Texas High Plains. The cotton grown there is short, staple cotton, which must be harvested with with a stripper. All other cotton in the U.S. is harvested using a cotton picker, which leaves the bolls on the plant where they are eventually tilled back into the earth.
Cotton compost from any region other than the Texas High Plains will not have the same nutrient content.
Salts tend to be rather high in most cotton compost analyses, but they are not sodium salts and leach rapidly once in the soil. The salt content is not anywhere near as high as it is in mushroom or manure composts.
When composting is done properly, as it is in our Lubbock production facililty, the end product is free from weeds, insects, chemicals and pathogens.
In short, there is no better soil conditioner than Back To Nature Cotton Burr Compost and Blends. They are sold in 24 Central and Southeastern states through independent garden centers only. Never through big box stores.
I would encourage you to visit our website: www.backtonaturecompost.com
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Old January 30, 2009   #12
creister
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Good to know. Back to nature is the brand I get here, somewhat pricy, but extremely high quality. Duane, have you started your plants yet? I will get mine started Sunday or Monday.
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Old January 30, 2009   #13
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I need to correct myself. I use Back to Earth brand from soil mender.
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Old January 30, 2009   #14
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Check that again, I have used both, and both are good, the name is so similar.
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Old January 30, 2009   #15
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I do have my plants going, had a couple that were stubborn as far as germination but now everything is up. Plan to go in the ground sometime the last week of February.
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