The best bagged compost should cater to your plants, be compatible with your soil, and fit your budget. Nevertheless, bagged composts on the market greatly vary in quality and purpose.
So to help you to find the right one, we will give you some valuable pointers along with a list of our seven top choices.
Right off the bat, we would like to tell you about our favorite, Charlie’s Compost. It is a well-rounded organic formulation and has noticeable effectiveness.
The mixture is composted from chicken manure, corn stalks, straw, and other organic ingredients. After a composting period of 8 – 12 weeks, the end product always reaches the customer’s hand fully finished.
Many gardeners hold this compost in high regard due to its balancing NPK ratio, non-antibiotic formula, and delicate texture. And despite being made mainly from chicken manure, it doesn’t have any discerning odor.
- 1 In-Depth Reviews Of Top 7 Bagged Composts
- 1.1 Charlie’s Compost – Best Overall
- 1.2 Blue Ribbon Organic Compost – Best For Quantity
- 1.3 Soil Blend Super Compost – Best Organic Compost
- 1.4 Purple Cow Organics Tomato Gro – Best For Tomato
- 1.5 Wakefield BioChar Premium Compost – Best For Soil Enrichment
- 1.6 Soil Sunrise Blended Compost – Best For Diverse Blend
- 2 Buying Guide For Good Bagged Composts
- 3 Conclusion
Charlie’s Compost – Best Overall
The manufacturer locally composts their products in windrows from chicken manure, corn stalks, straw, forest products, hay, clay, and beneficial microbe inoculants. So you can rest assured that everything you’re going to feed your plants is all-natural.
Take a handful of it then you will feel the fluffy texture of fully finished compost. There is no trace of undecomposed raw material.
Lift it to your nose, and we guarantee that you will enjoy the earthy scent. The only sign of the chicken manure left is the picture on the bag.
Since the NPK is more balanced than most spike fertilizers, you don’t need to worry about burned roots.
That also means a more versatile application. You can use the manure compost for shrubs, berries, dwarf trees, flowers, etc.
There is no downside to our best bagged compost.
- Well-rounded formula
- Organic materials
- Fine, fluffy texture
- Pleasant smell
- Versatile application
Blue Ribbon Organic Compost – Best For Quantity
- Improves soil structure & aeration
- Promotes water retention
- OMRI Certified for Organic Use
Blue Ribbon Organic Compost is a convenient and economical choice for gardeners who have a large garden. The 35-pound bag will surely keep your plants healthy and happy for an extended period.
You can add the product to your soil safely at any concentration. It won’t burn any roots no matter what.
As this pick is an OMRI-certified product, it is perfectly safe for organic application. The feedstocks are all-natural, including brush, cut firewood, garden debris, grass clippings, leaves, sod, vegetable waste, and wood chips.
Unfortunately, the formula doesn’t contain any manure. So if your plants require an injection of manure, you may want to check out other items on this list.
- Safe for use at any concentration
- OMRI certified for organic use
- Pairs with soil builders
- Doesn’t have manure
Soil Blend Super Compost – Best Organic Compost
- Certified Organic
- American Vegetarian Association Approved & Recommended
Soil Blend Super Compost is a superb compost for organic gardening. This nutrient-dense formula promises tasty fruits, colorful flowers, and healthy and productive yields.
Because it is a GMO-free product, it is healthy for hydrophobic and microbe deficient soil and yourself. There is no surprise that the American Vegetarian Association highly recommends this organic compost.
A particular thing that we love about this item is the organic material of earthworm castings. Be careful with your bag since you can have worms and worm eggs for your soil.
The only thing that will make you think twice is the hefty price. So remember to grab some of it when you see these bags of compost for sale.
- Certified organic compost
- Nutrient-rich formula
- Worm castings
- Approved & recommended by American Vegetarian Association
- Slightly expensive
Purple Cow Organics Tomato Gro – Best For Tomato
- COMPOST BASED! Get all of the benefits of adding compost...
- FOR TOMATOES AND MORE! The added nutrients and minerals in...
- FEED ALL YOUR PLANTS! One bag of Purple Cow Organics Tomato...
The formula addresses the need for early and frequent feeding with a bio-catalytic effect. This effect makes nutrients more accessible for your tomato plants.
Its added nutrients and minerals also work exceptionally well with other heavy-feeding edible plants. Your eggplants and pumpkins will surely love it.
In addition to being compatible with many veggie plants, the formula is highly versatile with different garden types. The compost will help your plants whether they are on the ground or in some containers.
With this product, the health of your soil will significantly improve. The soil will develop a better defense against cracking and blossom end rot.
This is the best compost to buy for a vegetable garden. However, like the above item, its good effectiveness does not come with a low price.
- Specifically formulated for tomato.
- Great for other heavy-feeding vegetables
- Suitable for any garden type
- Combats plant diseases
Wakefield BioChar Premium Compost – Best For Soil Enrichment
- 100% ORGANIC MATERIALS – All-natural premium Wakefield...
- HEALTHY SOIL CONDITIONER – Blend Wakefield Organic Compost...
- MAINTAIN LAWNS AND GARDENS – To use as a top dressing for...
Besides the primary purpose, you can use the product for many other things. It can be used as a topdressing or added to your vegetable soil mix and sod.
The compost went through a lengthy aging decomposition that ranges from 4 to 6 months. This process allows active fungi and bacteria to break down every piece of feedstock thoroughly.
This nutrient-high soil amendment is listed as all-organic compost by the Organic Materials Review Institute. So you can trust that the manufacturer didn’t use any contaminated material.
However, because this is a soil improvement product, you should not expect too much of its effect on plant growth.
- Great for soil fertility
- Aged compost
- OMRI listed
- It does not noticeably increase production
Soil Sunrise Blended Compost – Best For Diverse Blend
- Hand Blended Biochar Soil Additive- Hand blended Biochar...
- Biochar, Worm Castings, Mycorrhizal Fungi- Add some of...
- Add to Soil or Compost- Our blended biochar soil and compost...
This soil additive features extensive natural ingredients, including biochar, worm castings, and mycorrhizal fungi.
This combination of soil conditioners is the foundation for future productive yields. With this product, you won’t have to harm your plants and bed garden with synthetic or chemical fertilizers.
This blend is a great team player, so you can mix it with other compost if you want some specific nutrient for your plants.
The only quibble with this product is that it only comes in small 4-quart bags. But given that you can add it to other compost, the packaging choice is understandable.
- A diverse blend of natural ingredients
- Ideal for soil amendment
- Works harmoniously with other composts
- Long-lasting benefits
- Small volume
The common method of breaking down ingredients is thermo-composting or aerobic composting. In this type of compost, microorganisms are the primary player.
Regular compost is reliable to get the job done. The only disadvantage is it is not as efficient as worm compost in improving soil structure.
Also called vermicompost, this method has worms doing the heavy lifting. Bacteria inside the worms’ digestive systems play a secondary role.
Vermicompost is the best type for amending soil structure. You can use the extra worms at the end of a composting cycle as animal feed.
However, because there is no heat build-up, you can’t kill the pathogens as quickly as with other methods.
As the name suggests, mushrooms are used to break down the ingredients. Even though mushroom compost is excellent for water retention, many gardeners do not favor this type.
It is because the mushrooms take out many nutrients. Also, it contains high content of harmful soluble salt, which is detrimental to young seedlings and salt-sensitive vegetables.
Ideally, you want your compost to be fully organic and pesticide-free. Healthy natural ingredients include leaves, grass clippings, plant trimmings, peat moss, food waste, old herbs, and poultry manure.
Look for the usual things that fall on the ground and become nutrients for the next generations.
For example, if your soil is high in phosphorus, look for an NPK ratio around 10-3-5. Otherwise, your leaves will suffer from chlorosis or yellowing.
Fully finished compost should have a dark brown color and fine, fluffy texture. If the ingredients are not fully broken down, their original colors and texture can be seen and felt.
Smelling the product is another easy way to detect immature compost. Look for compost that emits an earthy, natural smell.
The preferred moisture content in compost is the same as in soil. Too low or too high moisture can affect the compost’s effectiveness and make it hard to work with.
You want your bagged compost to be 100% compost. Product mixed with soil or sand is not desirable, both for your plant and your wallet.
An advanced way to check for quality compost is by asking for the test results of the current batch. Those are the result of chemical and biological analysis for element levels and microbial levels.
It would be best if you avoided inorganic matters like plastic or glass. They don’t have nutrients and can prevent the roots from absorbing nourishment.
If possible, trace the source of the organic ingredients. Persistent herbicides often can be found in essential elements like hay and straw.
Besides, it is advisable to steer clear of industrial waste. It can be high in salt, heavy metals, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and toxic chemicals.
The complex decomposition process needs a large amount of oxygen and nitrogen. Immature compost will suffocate the roots.
The high carbon to nitrogen ratio (>30:1) of immature compost will cause nitrogen deficiency in the soil. Microorganisms need to take nitrogen in the soil to keep breaking down the carbon compounds.
Partially finished compost can stunt plant growth and burn leaves. The cause of this is the high content of phenol and organic acids.
Unfinished manure-derived compost has a high level of electrical conductivity value and can burn plant roots. As a soluble salt, a high percentage of potassium leads to phytotoxicity.
A significant amount of ammonia, which results from the low carbon to nitrogen ratio, can kill your plants, while a small amount can burn younger leaves.
Immature compost may still have weed seeds, pathogens, and fungi, all of which are harmful to your plants.
Having a bad smell, rough texture, or off-looking color are some signs of low-quality compost. Overly damped compost is also not preferable.
If your compost produces heat when wetted or turned, it is probably not finished. It is best to stop further cultivation.
Compare store-bought bagged soils to find which one is best
Whether to choose the best bagged compost for a .vegetable garden, flower bed, or house plant, you should look for odor-less, fully finished compost with organic ingredients and a fine mixture.
We hope you are now having a good idea of the best bagged compost for your garden. If there is still any doubt, choose our top pick, Charlie’s Compost, and you will never go wrong.
Last update on 2022-08-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API