What Is the Best Compost For Vegetable Garden?

Composting is a huge part of gardening, but finding the best compost for your vegetable garden can be a challenge. Vegetable gardens require careful care and consistency with the type of compost to be fruitful. Compost comes in forms all the way from mushroom compost to manure.

If you have struggled with getting healthy produce from your garden, we rounded up five compost options that may be right for you.

What Is the Best Compost for Growing Vegetables?

The best compost for growing vegetables needs to be rich in organic matter. Organic matter like fruit and vegetable waste, tea bags, peat moss, and grass or plant cuttings from landscaping make great compost materials. 

Compost piles should be rich in vital nutrients. Vegetable gardens need these nutrients in a high quantity, so be sure to seek out a specific compost instead of a general gardening mix. 

Manure is useful as compost for vegetable gardens because it is nutrient-rich. However, to be useful as compost, it needs to be heavily broken down. You can buy compost pile mixtures that include cow manure and organic matter. This is a good option for vegetable gardens. 

Making your compost out of organic matter is a good option for vegetable gardens. 

Composting at home has many benefits. It eliminates your waste from going to the landfill, and it is all-natural and chemical-free. It is also cost-effective and boosts satisfaction in your garden knowing that you have poured everything into it from the beginning. 

Finally, compost is good for growing vegetables because it allows water to sink into the soil better than generic garden dirt. A bonus is that compost is more environmentally friendly because the compost runoff doesn’t dump chemicals into drinking water sources, unlike fertilizer. 


5 Best Compost for Vegetable Gardens Reviewed

Keep reading for our top five bagged compost options for your vegetable garden. 

#1. Michigan Peat 5240 Garden Magic Compost and Manure


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Michigan Peat 5240 Garden Magic Compost and Manure is available on Amazon for purchase. Online purchases options include one to four bags at once. Each bag is 40 pounds of compost and provides a natural nutrient content. 

This compost is a combination of organic materials and manure. The bag boasts features like being screened for uniform consistency and being a balanced blend of organic peat moss and manure. This particular product has a 4.6 out of 5-star customer rating online. 

Pros:

  • An odor-free blend of natural organic reed sedge peat and composted manure
  • Good for improving a wide range of planting soils
  • Naturally moist and fibrous 

Cons:

  • This product has to be mixed with soil as a top layer. 
  • Not light enough to be used to fluff up topsoil. Very dense.


#2. Charlie’s Compost

 

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Charlie’s Compost is available for purchase on Amazon. It is a natural fertilizer and soil additive made in the USA. 

Charlie’s Compost is made from recycled manure from chickens on the farm in Kentucky as well as other organic matter. It sits for eight to ten weeks for the optimal breakdown of the manure into a rich finished compost. 

This product is marketed as a “cure” for a garden with nutrient deficiencies. Charlie’s Compost is an all-natural, locally sourced, and grown product that adds nutrients, microorganisms, and organic matter that are all critical to garden health. 

The company is a member of the U.S. Composting Council, the Garden Club of Kentucky, and the Southwestern Indiana Master Gardeners Association.

Pros:

  • All-natural, organic, and safe ingredients 
  • Developed and grown in the United States
  • It will jumpstart the bioactivity and nutrient content of your soil

Cons:

  • Only comes in a 10lb bag. No larger quantities are sold online. 
  • Made by a small business, which could become an issue for supply in the future. 


#3. Blue Ribbon Organics OMRI Certified Organic Compost


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Blue Ribbon Organics OMRI Certified Organic Compost is available for purchase online at Amazon in 35-pound bags. 

This bagged compost is made from non-animal materials. There is no manure or other animal product in its contents. 

Instead, it is made from grass clippings, leaves, vegetable waste, garden debris, wood chips, and other wood-based scraps. It is run through a screening system but does not contain any sift additives. 

Some of its main call-outs include that it improves soil structure and aeration. If you are looking for organic potting soil that you can get in a larger quantity, this might be a good option for you. 

Pros: 

  • OMRI certified product made with all organic ingredients 
  • Available for purchase in a 35-pound bag 
  • Safe for use at any concentration and promotes water retention 

Cons:

  • It is not a sifted product and does not have any sift additives 
  • The price might be a little steep for the product 


#4. Fishnure Sustainably Sourced Odorless Organic Humus Compost

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This is a unique garden soil product as it is made with fish manure. Fishnure Sustainably Sourced Odorless Organic Humus Compost is available for purchase on Amazon in 8-pound bags. 

This is a high concentration compost. One pound treats up to 60 square feet of garden space. 

Fishnure is a long-lasting product because the organic matter is bound to the microscopic clay particles in the humus compost. This resists further decomposition. 

This compost boasts many claims online. These include an increase in yield, water retention, soil fertility, and aeration. Another benefit to using this product is enhanced plant disease suppression. 

If you are looking for a different kind of bagged compost that may increase your yields, this might be a good choice for you. The combination of compost and humus helps your garden increase its organic matter load, thus creating bigger yields. 

Pros: 

  • Odorless – comprised of fish manure for the same effect of manure without the smell 
  • High concentration means you can make one bag last longer 

Cons:

  • Contains humus 
  • Is highly concentrated, so you may overindulge in the placement of the compost 


#5. Worm Castings Organic Fertilizer – Wiggle Worm Soil Builder


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Worm Castings Organic Fertilizer – Wiggle Worm Soil Builder is an organic fertilizer that includes pure earthworm castings. 

The product page on Amazon claims to be cost-effective due to the need to use a small amount, so it lasts longer than other similar products. 

It is all-purpose, can be used indoors or outdoors, is odorless, non-toxic, and organic. Earthworm castings contain large proportions of water-soluble nutrients. The castings also contain large quantities of beneficial bacteria and microbes which are added to them by the digestive process. 

This garden soil fertilizer helps improve aeration because the worm castings don’t pack together. You can expect your soil structure to improve with the use of this compost as well. 

Overall, many people online seem to be happy with this product. If you are looking for a product that includes worm castings, you may have just found your answer. 

Pros: 

  • Made with all-natural, non-toxic, organic ingredients
  • One of the best rated by consumers organic fertilizers on the market 
  • The company offers a money-back guarantee 

Cons:

  • It is not advertised as a compost product, but rather a fertilizer product
  • It does not specify the diets that the worms are on, which can affect the efficacy of the product


FAQs

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about compost products and composting.

Is compost or manure better for my vegetable garden? 

Compost and manure work together. Some products contain elements of organic composted material and animal manure. 

You can choose to use just compost or just manure depending on the soil condition of your garden and what your garden needs. 

Researching the type of soil your vegetable plant will need is an important step in choosing to use solely compost or manure, or a combination of the two. 

Using an additive like compost or manure is crucial in giving your garden soil a fair shot. It helps facilitate water retention, aeration, and fertility. 


Should I add compost to my vegetable garden?

Adding compost to a vegetable garden is a good idea. While we don’t know the specifics of your garden, we know that compost is proven to help improve a garden. 

Some benefits of composting include mitigating erosion in your garden, reducing soil runoff, and creating nutrient-rich soil. On top of these benefits, your garden will be more organic which is a health benefit to your garden and you. 

Using chemical fertilizers is harmful to your garden, the water sources around you, and yourself.

Composting has even been proved to change the nutrient dynamics of the land that it affects. If you create a more nutrient-dense soil, it is likely to stay that way for a long time. 


Is multi-purpose compost safe for vegetables?

Yes. Multi-purpose compost is safe for vegetable gardens. However, it is not generally the best choice for all vegetables. One reason is that multi-purpose compost has a shorter lifespan than more specific types of compost. It is good for seed germination and small plants or shrubs. 

It is also not the best choice when planting vegetables in a raised bed, which is often the case with vegetable gardens. Multi-purpose compost is best used in small planters or containers. 

Even though it is safe to use, many gardeners prefer to use specific compost that will help their vegetables reach their full potential. 


How do you prepare the soil for a vegetable garden?

Preparing the soil for a vegetable garden is not the most difficult task. It does require a bit of research about the type of vegetable you want to grow. 

After you’ve marked out an area of your yard that will receive 6-8 hours of sunlight each day, loosen soil and pick up a handful. Test the soil by squeezing it into a ball. Too hard or too soft soil won’t be good for growing. Amend the soil about a month before you intend to plant. This includes adding compost and topsoil. 

Once you have completed these steps, it is time to add more compost or fertilizer and start planting your garden. 


Outro

Compost bins might seem like a basic gardening need that does not have many variations. However, there are many different options when it comes to compost, as we have seen. It is crucial to pick a compost that you feel will do best in your garden, after all, you will be the one reaping the rewards!

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The Green Thumbs Behind This Article:

Tiffany Lei

Tiffany Lei

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