Planting in pure compost


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What have you managed to successfully grow in pure compost? I managed to grow radishes and carrots very well in compost. A relative of mine has also managed to grow tomatoes from seed in pure compost.
 
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I have never grown anything in pure compost. I always mix it with the existing soil along with other things such as gravel, depending on what I'm growing. This is very interesting because I had never considered using pure compost before and I usually have a large abundance of it.
 
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I didn't realize you could do that. I'll have to research that. I always worry we're putting too much compost in the garden. Maybe I shouldn't worry so much. I'm guessing you could probably only grow certain things in it. Do you know what the basic rules would be on how to use this method?
 
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I grow my tomatoes in pure compost.The tomatoes are juicy, huge and abundant. My chilles too love to be grown in pure compost. Basil smells very strong and lovely.. I used to do this with all my herbs.. but this has become too expensive for me.. and I started mixing soil to the potting mixture.Now that I have found a way to compost without worrying about smell I think I will do this all over again.
 
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I've never heard of it, I always mix compost with soil...but it sounds like a really good idea. I think I could give it a try. I hope winter will pass soon. I want to experiment a little and make some innovations in my garden - this could be one of them:)
 
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I have never tried fruits or veggies in pure compost, but I never had much luck with plants & flowers in straight compost. So I usually buy equal amounts of soil & compost, then mix, unless I may plant succulents.
 
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If you think about your growing mix from the persepective of Mel Bartholomew (author of Square Foot Gardening) you would not find this odd. His idea is to mix 5 different kinds of compost, so for example homemade compost, composted cow manure, composted horse manure, rabbit or goat or llama/alpaca manure (doesn't need to be composted), composted chicken manure, worm casting or mushroom compost. He suggests mixing that as 1/3 of your mix with 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 peat. The vermiculite is to just help it hold water and the peat is to fluff it up. So really straight compost would work great, as well as being all the fertilizer you would need to grow!
 
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Must be my bad luck as it never worked well for me ! I am glad it works for you ! I think it's like medicines as not all medicine works same for all people!

Continued success with your garden!
 
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I was going to say that all compost is not created equal and Danni's post illustrated that perfectly. I think that if you're making it yourself and you're making sure to add enough stuff to balance out the soil PH, and its phosphorous, etc., then you could make it multipurpose.

A lot of people say they have had success growing plants using only compost, but since it takes a while to get your own materials composted, and to get enough to make a difference, it's probably good to mix it in with other soil at least periodically. That way you can stretch it.
 
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That is a very good point Chanell. I think Mel's mix is a really good starting point. I think we need to make cure that our soil is not just "one tone". Does that make sense? And I really see the point with adding a fluffer material like peat. Compost itself can get really heavy and make it hard for some veggies to move their roots out.
 
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I think it's probably a good idea to have a compost pile/bin and then have another space for creating leaf mold. I'm not crazy about the idea of using peat; something about it has always bothered me, though I have no idea why. Reading about it now I see there is brewing controversy of the harvesting of it.

Hadn't considered the idea of compost getting "heavy," though I think anything that isn't turned regularly could have that problem after a while. Will have to consider that before starting any perennial veggies.
 
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Yes, that is right Channel.. this is true of container gardening,, the soil gets hard if you do not loosen it up regularly.. vermicompost is light and does not harden up.. I have had very few problem with pure compost gardening. It is the dirt in container that make it really hard. I compost with vegetable/fruit peels and it is really light and well balanced.. Sometimes I add a few calcium tablets to it depending on the need of the palnt.
 
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I guess I hadn't considered that, Maddie, since plants tend to outgrow their containers. Wouldn't it take a while for the soil to become that compacted? I know that when you transplant from one container to another you should loosen the soil and root ball slightly, but isn't soil basically the same thing as compost, but with less nutrients?
 
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My tomatoes and peppers love compost. Some of them were potted last year in pure compost, then someone told me that was bad. But I never re potted them because they grew so well. But I will say that this was after I had moved them from seedling tray to a bigger pot that they thrived in pure compost. I did try as an experiment to start a seed in it, and it was a little more difficult. I was thinking perhaps because it has a tendency to compact a bit that maybe the seed couldn't spread well. Pure guess though lol
 
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My tomatoes and peppers love compost. Some of them were potted last year in pure compost, then someone told me that was bad. But I never re potted them because they grew so well. But I will say that this was after I had moved them from seedling tray to a bigger pot that they thrived in pure compost. I did try as an experiment to start a seed in it, and it was a little more difficult. I was thinking perhaps because it has a tendency to compact a bit that maybe the seed couldn't spread well. Pure guess though lol
It's not bad if it's your own compost and not some purchased stuff. When you start compost in a bin at home with the proper layers - including some soil, you have everything you need. When you recycle the soil in your pots by adding it to the compost, you're refreshing it and your plants can thrive in a loamy mix that gives them nutrients, but also has good drainage.
 

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