Buying compost in bulk

For larger quantities of compost, buy in bulk. The price is less in quantity, and you can check the quality of the compost as well. Many private companies, municipalities, and community groups make and sell compost. Often, they even deliver the compost to your yard for a fee.

Use these tips to evaluate bulk compost:

  • Consider the source. Before buying the compost, ask about the primary, organic-matter sources that were used to make the compost. Compost made from yard waste (leaves and grass clippings) is considered to be the safest and best. Other compost may contain ingredients that had contaminants, such as herbicides from agricultural crop residues and heavy metals from municipal wastes, which may affect the growth of your plants or accumulate toxins in your soil. Ask if the finished product is tested for contaminants.
  • Look at the color and texture. Finished compost should look dark and have a crumbly texture without any large pieces of undecomposed organic matter, such as branches or pieces of wood.
  • Squeeze it. If water oozes out when you squeeze a handful of the material, it's too wet; if it blows away easily, it's too dry.
  • Give it a whiff. The smell should be earthy, without a strong ammonia or sour smell.

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