To keep your plants as healthy as possible, you will want the highest-quality compost you can find. There are thousands of compost producers on the market. As a result, finding the right one can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for.
We have reviewed a vast selection of high quality composts and determined which ones are the best. We have even narrowed it down to a #1 recommendation—Charlie’s Compost.
But depending on your preferences and plant types, you may need something different. If our #1 option is not for you, we’ve also listed nine other bagged composts for various garden bed purposes. Some contain composted cow manure, some are plant-based with organic material, and some of them can even serve as bagged mulch.
Read on to find out which bagged compost is best for you!
#1: Best Bagged Compost: Charlie’s Compost
Regardless of your garden type, this compost is likely to be an excellent choice for any gardener.
Charlie’s Compost is 100% certified organic in the state of Kentucky. Its main ingredient is antibiotic-free chicken manure from local sources. It also contains small amounts of biochar, organic grasses, and other organic composting materials. It is safe to say this brand is all-natural and kind to the environment.
The chicken manure in this compost is nutrient rich, providing phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. These three elements are the key to a thriving garden. In addition, they can help you grow healthy, nourished plants at a more affordable price. Cow or horse manure, on the other hand, is more expensive and less mineral-dense.
Charlie’s Compost is also excellent at maintaining soil biota. This refers to microscopic organisms that can help improve your garden’s health.
Keep in mind that you only need a small amount of this compost per cubic yard to reap its benefits. However, too much can damage your plants, so you will want to be careful in that aspect.
Even though its main ingredient is manure, this compost does not have a strong or unpleasant odor.
#2: Best Bagged Compost Containing Worm Castings: Wiggle Worm Soil Builder
It is no secret that worm castings come with a large array of benefits. They help the garden soil hold onto water and provide healthy minerals to your plants’ roots. With Wiggle Worm, your seedlings can grow into strong and healthy plants.
This compost also has a high moisture content, which can improve your potting soil ’s biota and hold onto water. Because of this, you should make sure not to overwater your plants.
Wiggle Worm Soil Builder is 100% organic and works well for both flower and vegetable gardens. Because it has a low odor, you can use it for both indoor and outdoor plants.
One bag of Wiggle Worm weighs thirty pounds. If you like to stock up on bulk compost, you can buy up to four in one pack.
#3: Best Bagged Compost for Vegetable Gardens: Peaceful Valley Organic Compost
Peaceful Valley Organic Compost is an excellent choice for vegetable and herb plants. While it is organic and all-natural, it does not contain any animal products or manure. Its main ingredients are plant compost made from leaf and grass clippings.
Not only can this compost improve the texture of your soil, but it also provides humic acids. This is a compound that allows your plants to absorb nutrients.
It can also draw in beneficial microorganisms and even earthworms. These nourish your plants and help them produce high-quality vegetables and herbs.
You will want to be careful when handling this compost, though. Their product page mentions that it may contain small traces of broken glass or metal. So, as with any bagged compost, you should wear a set of sturdy gloves when you handle it. You may also want to sift through it beforehand.
One package of Peaceful Valley Organic compost weighs 41.10 pounds and can fill one cubic foot.
#4: Best Loam-based Bagged Compost: Black Gold Organic Lawn & Garden Compost
The smooth, absorbent texture of loam compost is excellent for your garden’s health. If you prefer this composition for your plants, Black Gold might be what you’re looking for.
This compost includes all-organic matter such as peat moss, perlite, and pumice which is perfect for soil mixes. These can help promote consistent and efficient water drainage. It also contains worm castings, which provide minerals and improve your soil’s health.
This compost is also excellent for fruit and vegetable gardens or a raised bed mix in particular. The nutrients it includes can help your plants grow big and healthy produce.
You will want to be careful which plants you use this compost on because it could damage seedlings. Once they’ve reached maturity, though, you can apply this compost directly to the stems of your plants.
One package of Black Gold Compost weighs about thirty pounds and fills one cubic foot.
#5: Best Bagged Compost Tea: Sustane Compost Tea Bags
You may want to consider using this compost along with another product featured on this list. It is an excellent addition to your gardening, but it may not be strong enough on its own.
Unlike most bagged composts, this Sustane Tea is very lightweight and easy to use. It also does not have the foul odor that can come with other types of compost from food scrap or yard waste.
To use Sustane Compost Tea Bags, all you need to do is “brew” the tea by soaking one of the bags in a bucket of water for 24 hours. Once the compost is ready, sprinkle it atop your bulk soil and the leaves of your plants.
One package contains ten tea bags, which can make up to ten gallons of compost tea. While the process of making this tea involves a lot of waiting, it is definitely worth your time.
Sustane Compost can promote beneficial microorganisms in your soil. It can also reduce the risk of rotting or disease in your plants.
Some studies have suggested it can help your plants produce more vegetables. It may even make your flowers more likely to bloom.
#6: Best Bagged Compost with Cow Manure: Hoffman Organic Compost & Manure
Using cow manure in your garden comes with plenty of benefits. With Hoffman Organic Compost & Manure, you are sure to hit all those notes.
This finished compost includes essential elements such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. It is also easy to use—you can either work it into the soil or spread it on top. To make things even better, it is gentle enough that it will not burn your plants.
While it does not contain worm castings, it can create an environment that worms will thrive.
This compost is also suitable for nearly every purpose. You can use it for flowers, potted plants, vegetable gardens, and even your lawn.
The product page does not list cubic measurements, but one package weighs 20 pounds.
#7: Best Bagged Compost for Potted Plants: Coast of Maine Lobster Compost Soil Conditioner
If you want your potted plants to thrive to their full potential, Coast Of Maine Lobster Compost & Soil Conditioner is a wise choice.
This soft, mineral-rich compost has some unconventional but still natural ingredients. Sphagnum peat moss and composted lobsters are the critical sources of minerals here.
Its texture is absorbent enough to hold the water your plants need to grow. But rest assured, it will also drain quickly so your potted plants and raised flower beds won’t rot.
Coast of Maine Lobster Compost also comes with a soil conditioner. This can repair damaged soil in your potted plants and help water and nutrients.
It also has a very mild odor, ideal for both indoor and outdoor potted plants.
One package of this compost can fill one cubic foot.
#8: Best Mushroom-based Bagged Compost: Just Natural
Not only are mushroom-based composts more affordable, but they’re also excellent at retaining water. They can even add a boost of nutrients (such as humus) to your potted plants, lawns, and raised garden beds.
Just Natural organic matter compost is ideal for loosening tightly packed soils. It may also allow dry, sand-like soils to hold more moisture.
The only downside to this brand is that it comes with an unpleasant odor. Unfortunately, that is usually the case with mushroom-based composts. Because of this, it might be best to reserve this option for outdoor plants.
It also contains traces of silica, a carcinogenic compound. Because of this, you should take safety precautions when handling it. You may also want to avoid using it in vegetable gardens.
It comes in a relatively small package, containing only 0.75 cubic feet per bag. Still, even when you take this into account, it is comparatively cheaper than some other options.
#9: Best Bagged Compost for Flowers: Dr. Earth
To help your flowers bloom to their full potential, you will need high-quality compost. Dr. Earth all-purpose compost is high in worm castings, alfalfa meal, and kelp meal. These components work together to provide your flowers with the nourishment they need.
If necessary, you can use this compost as a mulch. It can also break up clay and other unwanted substances in your garden. This can help improve the soil’s texture and allows your flowers’ roots to grow to their full extent.
While this is our top recommended bagged compost for flowers, it is not limited to them. It is also excellent for lawns, gardens, shrubs, and more.
You should also keep in mind that this compost may come with unwanted stray pieces of rock and wood chips. So, it may be in your best interest to sift through it beforehand with a sturdy pair of gloves before using it.
One package of Dr. Earth contains one and a half cubic feet of compost.
#10: Best Bagged Compost for Lawns: Fishnure Fish Manure Organic Living Humus Compost Soil
A high-quality compost can make a massive difference in the appearance of your yard. To ensure that your grass is a green as can be, you’ll want something that’s gentle and has no harmful pesticides. You’ll also want to look for a low price since it will take many cubic yards to cover your whole lawn.
Fishnure’s Organic Compost Soil ticks all these boxes and more. True to its name, it derives its minerals from a mixture of fish manure and clay and will keep your yard fertilized. It is light and aerated as well, so it will not damage your grass, either.
This compost is a pesticide-free method to fight off parasites. It can even prevent weed seed from sprouting in your yard and lower the risk of disease in your plants.
Though its name might tell you otherwise, this compost will not stink up your yard. Its odor is actually relatively mild and more like that of fresh soil rather than rotting fish.
Do you still have questions about buying garden compost? We have the answers.
Is Bagged Compost Any Good?
Both bagged compost and homemade compost have their respective benefits. Whichever one you use depends on your preference, and both of them can help your garden flourish.
One perk of homemade compost is that it can help you cut down on waste in your home. Sick of throwing away food scraps? You can turn them into something more practical and eco-friendly.
Making your own compost also means that you can control everything that goes into it. As a result, there is a lower chance of harming your plants with non-organic matter and chemicals.
Homemade compost comes with a downside, though. When you are making it from scratch, you may not have access to quite as many materials. Animal manure, for instance, can be a little hard to find. It also costs the same as a bag of compost, thus nullifying the financial benefit of making it from scratch.
Making homemade compost can also become time-consuming; tending to a compost pile can be messy and take a lot more work than it might be worth.
Store-bought bagged compost is more convenient than making it from scratch. Once you’ve purchased it, you usually do not have to prepare it before you use it.
You will also have access to a wider variety of ingredients than you would with homemade. However, with this in mind, there’s a risk of store-bought composts containing unwanted elements.
In other words, bagged compost and homemade compost both come with their own pros and cons. Neither is necessarily better or worse.
What Is a Good Compost to Buy?
Good bagged compost should be full of nutrients and help your soil retain moisture. Look for minerals such as phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Many people prefer a bagged compost with manure. Depending on the animal source, composted manure can provide a giant array of benefits. These include supplying nutrients, water retention, and improving the quality of bagged soil.
You will usually want to opt for something organic. Synthetic composts may be denser in nutrients, but that does not always mean they are better. They also do not provide much help for the soil quality, which is crucial in maintaining a healthy garden.
Can I Put Compost on Top of the Soil?
Yes, you can! There are a couple of different ways you can add compost to your gardens. One of the most accessible options is by putting fresh compost on the topsoil.
You may even want to put some around the base of your vegetable plants once they have begun sprouting. Just make sure it does not contain manure that can burn the stems.
For year-round gardens, you will need to till the compost in the spring.
You can do the same process for more fragile plants such as flowers and herbs. All you need to do is loosen up the soil and gently work the compost in your gloved hands.
Does Bagged Compost Go Bad?
As long as you store it properly, your bagged compost should never go bad. It may begin to break down over time when you store it in a plastic bag, but it should always remain usable.
Should I Buy Compost or Fertilizer for My Plants?
It is actually best to use both fertilizer and compost, as they serve two different purposes.
Compost feeds the soil of your garden, while fertilizer feeds the plants. To make things easier, you can buy bagged compost with fertilizer mixed in.
Regardless of why you own a garden, everyone wants their plants to thrive to their full potential. To ensure that your hard work pays off, you will want to settle on a well-trusted brand of bagged compost. A high-quality mulch and fertilizer are also a plus.
All the items featured on this list are of top quality, but if we had to recommend only one, it would be Charlie’s Compost. Not only is it multi-purpose and derived from local sources, but it’s also one of the cheaper options.
Whichever option you choose, make sure it suits your garden’s needs and your budget.