10 Best Compost for Garden to Buy in 2024

Gardening aficionados, take note! The ultimate garden compost for peak plant performance will become available in 2024, offering an array of choices to improve your outdoor space.

My experience has led me to the crème de la crème of compost mixes, each with the power to transform your garden into a lush haven.

This year’s top picks include everything from worm castings, the ultimate natural fertilizer, to cutting-edge plant blends designed for various growth stages.

Stay with me as I unveil these top 10 compost mixes, and let’s discover together how they can elevate your garden to new heights of health and beauty.

Key Takeaways Best Compost for Garden

Ribbon Organics OMRI Certified Organic Bagged Compost (7.9 Gallons/32-35 lbs Bag)

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Ribbon Organics OMRI Certified Organic Compost Size: 7.9 Gallons, 32-35 Pound Bag
Product Description

Best For: Gardeners and eco-conscious individuals looking to enrich their soil naturally and support organic gardening practices.

Pros:

  • OMRI certified, ensuring compliance with organic standards.
  • Enhances soil structure, aeration, and water retention for healthier plants.
  • Versatile use for vegetables, flowers, trees, shrubs, and lawns.

Cons:

  • Some users have reported variations in bag weight.

For gardeners seeking an eco-friendly solution to enhance soil vitality, the Ribbon Organics OMRI Certified Organic Compost offers an optimal blend of nutrients and organic matter, ensuring a robust foundation for plant growth. Available in a substantial 7.9-gallon bag, this compost is renowned for its ability to improve soil structure and aeration, which are critical for healthy root systems. Its high-quality composition promotes water retention, allowing plants to thrive even in drier conditions. Garden enthusiasts will appreciate the safety of using this product at any concentration, eliminating the worry of over-application.

The compost pairs seamlessly with worm castings and other soil builders, making it a versatile choice for a variety of gardening needs. As a product certified by the US Composting Council and OMRI, it meets stringent standards for organic production, providing peace of mind for those dedicated to sustainable practices.

Michigan Peat Garden Magic Compost and Manure

Michigan Peat 40 Pound Garden Magic Compost and Manure with Odor Free Blend and Naturally Moist and Fibrous for Lawn and Garden
Product Description

Best For: Garden enthusiasts looking for an organic, nutrient-rich soil amendment that’s odor-free and suitable for a variety of plants.

Pros:

  • Odor-free and nutrient-rich, ideal for both indoor and outdoor gardening.
  • Fine texture without unwanted debris, ensuring a clean and easy-to-use product.
  • Positive feedback on its effectiveness in promoting healthy soil and plant growth.

Cons:

  • Packaging may be excessive and not durable enough to contain the bags during shipping.

Garden enthusiasts seeking an odor-free, nutrient-rich soil amendment will find the Michigan Peat Garden Magic Compost and Manure to be an excellent choice for enhancing their garden’s vitality. This product combines natural organic reed sedge peat with composted animal manure to create a superior blend that provides an array of essential nutrients to the soil.

Ideal for a variety of planting contexts, its fine texture and rich dark color are indicative of its quality, as confirmed by glowing customer testimonials. Users praise the compost’s consistency, noting its lack of wood chunks or other unwanted debris. It comes in conveniently sized 40-pound bags, making it suitable for both small-scale indoor gardens and larger outdoor applications.

The overwhelmingly positive feedback underscores its effectiveness in promoting healthy soil and vibrant plant growth, with reports of impressive results in both flower beds and vegetable plots. Despite some critiques of its packaging, the product itself receives high marks for its contributions to garden health and aesthetics.

Organic Red Worm Castings Soil Amendment

Earth Worm Castings – Organic Red Worm Compost Soil Amendment – .13 Cubic Foot ~6 Lbs – Approximately 1 Gallon – Organic Red Worm Vermiculture and Compost Home, Garden, Greenhouse, and Farm
Product Description

Best For: Gardeners seeking an organic, convenient, and odor-free alternative to traditional manures for both indoor and outdoor plants.

Pros:

  • OMRI certified organic and composed of refined earthworm digested cow manure, ensuring a high-quality product.
  • Supports water retention and supplies essential nutrients, making it ideal for indoor plants.
  • Has a proven track record of promoting plant growth and health, and can even deter garden ants.

Cons:

  • Some customers may find the product to be overpriced, especially if demand drives up the cost.

Enthusiasts of sustainable gardening will find Organic Red Worm Castings Soil Amendment to be an indispensable component for nurturing a vibrant and healthy garden. This premium, OMRI certified organic product is the result of red earthworms and wigglers transforming certified organic cow manure into a fine, nutrient-rich compost. As an all-natural by-product, it has underpinned plant life for eons due to its abundant microbial content.

This easy-to-use soil amendment is nearly odorless, offering a clean and convenient alternative to traditional, smellier manures. With an ability to retain water, it’s particularly beneficial for indoor plants, helping to minimize disease while supplying essential nutrients. For organic fruit and vegetable gardening, this vermicompost enriches the soil, promoting vigorous plant growth. Customer reviews consistently praise its effectiveness and ease of use, though some note a higher price point. Nonetheless, its quality and results, including its capacity to deter garden ants, make it a valued addition to any garden’s soil management strategy.

Wakefield Premium Organic Compost (OMRI Listed & FSC-Certified, 1 cu/ft)

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Wakefield Premium Compost – OMRI Listed, FSC-Certified – 100% Organic Compost for Healthy Lawn and Garden Soil – Aged Compost Soil Amendment for Vegetable Gardens, Flowers and Plants – 1 cu/ft
Product Description

Best For: Gardeners and farmers seeking an organic, fungal-dominant soil amendment for a diverse range of plants and garden types.

Pros:

  • OMRI-listed and made from 100% organic, untreated wood feedstock, ensuring safety for organic gardening.
  • Contains active fungi and bacteria to promote a healthy soil ecosystem and plant growth.
  • Versatile and ready to use, suitable for a variety of gardening applications including as a top dressing or soil conditioner.

Cons:

  • May be more expensive than non-organic or non-OMRI listed compost options.

Those committed to organic practices will find Wakefield Premium Organic Compost an exceptional choice. It’s OMRI-listed and crafted from 100% organic, untreated wood feedstock. This premium compost, made in the USA, encompasses naturally occurring fungi and bacteria, fostering a healthy ecosystem for all plant types. Ideal for diverse gardening needs, it serves as an excellent soil conditioner integrated into the soil’s top layer, be it for new seeding or established gardens.

Garden enthusiasts can apply it as a top dressing to enhance beauty and productivity with minimal effort. The compost’s ready-to-use nature, coupled with its earthy, odorless qualities, earns accolades from users who report significant growth in vegetables such as cucumbers and peppers. Comparatively, Wakefield’s fungal dominance may complement bacterial-based composts for a balanced soil biome, suggesting a symbiotic usage for gardeners seeking optimal soil health.

Black Kow Composted Cow Manure Fertilizer (4 Pounds)

Black Kow Nitrogen Phosphate Composted Cow Manure Fertilizer for Soil, Flowers, Potted Plants, Raised Beds, and Compost Tea, 4 Pounds
Product Description

Best For: Small-scale gardeners and eco-conscious individuals looking to enrich their soil organically without risking damage to tender plant roots.

Pros:

  • Gradually releases nutrients, which is beneficial for plant health and growth.
  • Organic composition makes it safe for the environment and plants.
  • Enhances moisture retention and soil structure, particularly in sandy soils.

Cons:

  • Not cost-effective for larger garden areas due to the small bag size.

For the eco-conscious gardener seeking an organic solution to soil enrichment, Black Kow Nitrogen Phosphate Composted Cow Manure Fertilizer offers a nutrient-rich option that promotes healthy plant growth without harming delicate root systems. At a manageable weight of 4 pounds, this composted cow manure is an organic fertilizer that gradually releases nutrients, ensuring that plants receive a steady supply of what they need to thrive.

It’s particularly effective in improving growth in both flower and vegetable garden beds, while also enhancing the moisture-holding properties of sandy soils.

Gardeners often find the size of the bags convenient for small applications, and the product has garnered positive reviews for its ease of use and effectiveness. However, some users note that the bag’s size may not be suitable for larger gardens and can be perceived as expensive for the amount provided. Despite this, its ability to break up soil to improve water and nutrient availability makes it a valued addition to a gardener’s arsenal, especially for those starting with smaller projects or as a supplement in larger ones.

Jobes Organics 09926 Fast Acting Fertilizer Compost Starter, 4 Pound

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Jobe’s Organics Fast Acting Granular Fertilizer Compost Starter, Easy Plant Care Compost Accelerator, 4 lbs Bag
Product Description

Best For: Gardeners looking to enhance their composting process with an organic solution that speeds up decomposition and enriches the soil.

Pros:

  • Increases the speed of composting with a unique blend of microorganisms.
  • Easy to use with clear instructions for application.
  • Organic composition makes it safe for gardening without the use of chemicals.

Cons:

  • Some users may find the odor of the product unpleasant.

Gardeners seeking to accelerate the composting process will find Jobe’s Organics 09926 Fast Acting Fertilizer Compost Starter to be an invaluable addition to their gardening regimen, thanks to its unique formulation that promotes rapid decomposition of organic materials.

This granular compost starter, with a balanced N-P-K analysis of 4-4-2, is designed to increase microbial activity and break down organic matter efficiently. The power behind this product lies in Jobe’s Biozome, a consortium of three microorganisms, including bacteria, mycorrhizal fungi, and a unique species of Archaea. Together, these microorganisms expedite the transformation of complex components into essential nutrients that plants can easily absorb.

Made in the USA, Jobe’s Organics ensures visible results in just 2-3 weeks when used as directed, making it a top choice for gardeners aiming to create nutrient-rich compost effectively.

Wakefield Compost + Biochar with Mycorrhizal Fungi (1 Gallon Organic Blend)

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Wakefield Compost + Biochar with Mycorrhizal Fungi – Premium Aged Organic Compost with Mycorrhizal Fungi, Blended with 100% Biochar – 1 gallon
Product Description

Best For: Organic gardening enthusiasts looking for an all-in-one soil amendment to enhance plant health and soil structure.

Pros:

  • Premium blend of aged organic compost and 100% biochar promotes healthy plant growth.
  • Mycorrhizal fungi included in the mix improve nutrient and water uptake of plants.
  • Environmentally friendly product made in the USA that reduces the need for additional water and fertilizers.

Cons:

  • The 4-pound bag may be insufficient for larger gardening projects, requiring multiple purchases.

Ideal for organic gardening enthusiasts, the Wakefield Compost + Biochar with Mycorrhizal Fungi offers a nutrient-rich, organic blend that supports plant health and soil vitality. This product combines the benefits of aged organic compost with 100% biochar, a highly porous carbon that improves soil structure and water retention. The inclusion of mycorrhizal fungi fosters a symbiotic relationship with plant roots, expanding their nutrient uptake capabilities.

Crafted in the USA, this blend not only bolsters plant growth but also contributes to sustainable practices by reducing the need for water and fertilizers and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. With a sizeable customer approval rating, this compost mix stands out in the market, demonstrating its effectiveness in a range of gardening applications. However, prospective buyers should consider their garden size, as the 4-pound bag may not suffice for larger projects.

Espoma Organic Land and Sea Gourmet Compost with Lobster & Crab Meal (1 Cubic Foot Bag)

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Espoma Organic Land and Sea Gourmet Compost with Lobster & Crab Meal; the Best of Both Worlds! Gourmet Planting Mix for Vegetables, Flowers, Trees & Shrubs. 1 Cubic Foot Bag
Product Description

Best For: Gardeners looking to enrich their soil with a high-quality, organic compost that boosts plant growth and root development.

Pros:

  • Contains a nutrient-rich organic blend with lobster and crab meal beneficial for plant health.
  • Includes Myco-Tone, a proprietary blend of mycorrhizae, to promote strong root systems and improve nutrient and water uptake.
  • Highly rated by customers for its effectiveness in improving soil and plant vitality.

Cons:

  • Priced at a premium, which may not be suitable for gardeners on a tight budget.

Espoma Organic Land and Sea Gourmet Compost offers an exceptional choice for those seeking to nourish their garden soil with a rich, organic mix. Enriched with lobster and crab meal and a proprietary Myco-Tone blend of mycorrhizae, this premium compost is designed to improve native soil and invigorate container mixes, providing a balanced supply of nutrients essential for plant growth. The addition of a specialized blend of endo and ecto mycorrhizae ensures that plants establish a robust root system, enhancing water and nutrient uptake.

Gardeners appreciate the compost’s effectiveness, as reflected in its high customer ratings. While some note the product’s premium cost, the consensus is that the benefits justify the investment. Usage instructions are clear, guiding users on how to best utilize the compost for optimal plant health. By choosing Espoma Organic Land and Sea Gourmet Compost, gardeners can trust in a product free of synthetic chemicals, supporting organic gardening practices.

Purple Cow Organics Plant Based Compost for Outdoor Gardens

Purple Cow Organics Plant Based Compost .75 CF for Outdoor Gardens of All Types, Naturally-Occuring Nutrient-Rich Soil Biology for Growing Stronger & Healthier Roots and Organic Matter
Product Description

Best For: Gardeners looking for an organic, plant-based soil amendment that’s easy to use and promotes healthy plant growth.

Pros:

  • OMRI listed and made from local plant materials, ensuring organic integrity.
  • Fine texture and lack of odor make it user-friendly and suitable for a variety of gardening applications.
  • Enhances soil’s nutrient holding capacity and water retention, leading to healthier plants.

Cons:

  • Higher price point may be a concern for some compared to local store options.

For those seeking an organic solution to enrich their outdoor garden soils, Purple Cow Organics Plant Based garden Compost offers a nutrient-rich amendment made entirely from local plant materials. This .75 CF compost is specifically designed for gardens of all types and is OMRI listed for organic use, affirming its compliance with organic standards. It’s packed with micro-nutrients essential for optimal plant growth and contains ample organic matter to enhance nutrient holding capacity and water retention.

Users appreciate the compost’s fine texture, which is ideal for seed starting and top dressing flower beds, and its ability to improve workability and nutrient distribution in the soil. Its odorless nature, compared to animal-based composts, and the uniform, crumbly texture without sticks or twigs, make it an appealing choice for gardeners. It’s particularly noted for its effectiveness in amending sandy soils and enriching potted plants, while also being cost-effective despite its higher price point compared to some local options.

R&M Organics Premium Organic Compost

R&M Organics Premium Organic Compost
Product Description

Best For: Gardeners looking for an environmentally friendly, nutrient-rich compost that enhances soil quality and plant growth with minimal odor.

Pros:

  • High nutrient content derived from 100% dairy cow manure improves plant health and productivity.
  • Low odor and fine-grained texture ensure a pleasant user experience and easy soil integration.
  • Convenient packaging and moisture retention properties offer ease of use and water conservation benefits.

Cons:

  • Some customers reported mold infestation and reduced plant vigor, suggesting inconsistency in compost quality.

Gardeners seeking an all-purpose fertilizer to enhance the growth of a wide array of plants will find R&M Organics Premium Organic Compost to be a nutrient-rich solution, frequently noted for its high efficacy and fine texture. This premium compost is derived from 100% dairy cow manure, meticulously processed to eradicate any unpleasant odors while retaining its robust nutrient profile.

It stands out for its ability to improve garden soil quality by supplying vital nutrients conducive to the robust growth of fruits, vegetables, flowers, lawns, and trees.

With its fine-grained consistency, akin to used coffee grounds, R&M Organics compost integrates seamlessly into the soil, promoting moisture retention and reducing the need for frequent watering—a boon for conservation-conscious gardeners. The convenience of a 10lb bag that can cover about 15 sq. ft. and the recommendation of a 5:1 soil-to-compost ratio underscore its user-friendly appeal, making it an excellent choice for both novice and experienced gardeners aiming to achieve a flourishing garden.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Compost for Garden

When I’m picking out compost for my garden, I consider several key factors to ensure my plants will flourish.

It’s crucial to check if it has an organic certification and to assess the quality of its ingredients for optimal soil improvement.

Additionally, I weigh the convenience of the packaging against the price, aiming for the best value without compromising on the compost’s effectiveness.

Organic Certification Status

Ensuring your compost is certified organic guarantees adherence to strict standards for safety and quality, making it a superior choice for nurturing your garden.

When I opt for compost with an organic certification, like those vetted by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) or bearing the US Composting Council‘s Seal of Approval, I’m confident that it’s free from harmful trace metals, pathogens, and immature organic matter.

This assurance of meticulous monitoring means I’m providing my garden with the safest, most beneficial soil amendment available.

Certified organic compost is derived from all-natural sources and is void of weed seeds, a key consideration for my diverse gardening needs.

It’s vital for me to choose a compost that not only meets but exceeds the requirements for organic production and use.

Compost Ingredients Quality

Having established the importance of organic certification, let’s now focus on the quality of compost ingredients, which is crucial for selecting the most effective blend for my garden. I always consider the source of organic materials, ensuring they meet my specific gardening needs. It’s vital to check for unwanted pathogens, weed seeds, or foreign objects that could cause trouble.

The texture and odor are tell-tale signs of good compost – it should smell earthy, not sour or putrid, and have a crumbly texture that retains moisture while providing essential nutrients.

I also make a point to read customer reviews. They offer invaluable insight into how well the compost performs in terms of improving soil quality and fostering plant health. With careful consideration, I can provide my garden with the best possible foundation for growth.

Soil Improvement Attributes

To cultivate a flourishing garden, it’s essential to choose a compost mix that enhances soil structure, boosts nutrient content, and optimizes water management.

I’ve learned that good compost shouldn’t only support strong root development and efficient water infiltration but also improve water retention. This means plants can better withstand dry spells with less frequent watering.

Adding compost enriches the soil with vital nutrients and organic matter, which is crucial for vigorous plant growth and active soil microbes. It’s also a game-changer for balancing soil pH, ensuring nutrients are readily available for plants to absorb.

I make it a point to source it from reliable providers to avoid introducing weed seeds, heavy metals, or pathogens that could harm my garden’s health.

Packaging and Convenience

While selecting the right compost mix is crucial for soil health and plant growth, we shouldn’t overlook the importance of packaging and convenience, which can greatly affect the ease of use and storage in our gardening endeavors.

It’s essential to consider the size and weight of compost bags for manageable handling and efficient storage. I look for compost in packaging that’s a breeze to open, and if it’s resealable or sturdy, even better for keeping it fresh over time. I’m also mindful of the environmental impact of excess packaging and prefer minimalistic yet functional designs.

Ease of use is another key factor. I favor compost that mixes directly with soil, eliminating extra steps. Plus, I always check customer feedback on the packaging—real-world experiences tell you a lot about what to expect when you’re ready to get your hands dirty.

Price and Value

Assessing the price of compost relative to its quality and quantity is essential to determine its true value for your garden. I make sure to evaluate the long-term benefits, like how it will impact plant growth and soil health. This isn’t just about the immediate cost; it’s about the investment in my garden’s future.

I also compare prices with similar products to gauge whether I’m getting my money’s worth. Additional features, such as odor control or moisture retention, can justify a higher price, but they’ve got to make a real difference. And I can’t forget the potential savings from reduced watering needs or better plant health.

It’s a balance, but finding the right compost at the right price can make all the difference.

Product Application Rates

Understanding the recommended application rates for compost is crucial, as it influences the effectiveness and efficiency of your garden’s nutrient uptake. I’ve learned that applying too much can overwhelm plants and disrupt soil balance, while too little mightn’t provide the benefits you’re seeking.

Generally, for new beds, I incorporate a 1 to 3-inch layer of compost into the top 6 to 8 inches of soil.

When it comes to established gardens, I apply a half to a full inch of compost as a top dressing annually or per growing season.

It’s all about the specifics of your plants and soil conditions—veggie gardens often need more, while native plants require less. Always tailor your application to your garden’s unique needs for the best results.

Eco-Friendly Practices

Having grasped the importance of proper compost application rates, it’s also vital to consider the environmental implications of the compost products we choose for our gardens. I always look into the source of the compost materials to gauge their environmental impact. It’s essential to evaluate the manufacturing process, opting for techniques that are eco-conscious and sustainable.

I’m also mindful to select products certified for organic gardening, which assures me of their eco-friendly practices. Additionally, I pay attention to the packaging and shipping methods, choosing options that minimize environmental impact.

FAQ

What is the Best Compost to Buy for Your Garden?

The best compost to buy for your garden depends on your soil type and the plants you’re growing. Generally, a well-balanced, organic compost that contains a mix of decomposed plant matter, manure, and other organic materials is ideal. Look for compost that is dark, crumbly, and has a pleasant earthy smell. Avoid compost that smells sour or rotten.

What is the Best Compost to Use for a Vegetable Garden?

For a vegetable garden, you want nutrient-rich compost that will support plant growth and improve soil health. A compost rich in organic matter, like well-rotted manure or composted vegetable scraps, is ideal. Adding composted chicken manure can provide additional nutrients, particularly nitrogen, which is essential for leafy vegetables.

Which Compost is Best for Plants?

The best compost for plants in general is one that is well-composted, balanced, and free of harmful pathogens and weed seeds. A mix of green materials (like kitchen scraps and lawn clippings) and brown materials (like dry leaves and straw) creates a nutrient-rich compost. Vermicompost, made from worm castings, is also excellent for plants, providing a range of essential nutrients and beneficial microbes.

What is the Perfect Compost?

The “perfect” compost is a myth, as compost needs vary based on soil type, climate, and specific plant needs. However, a high-quality compost typically has a good balance of green and brown materials, is well-decomposed, has a neutral pH, and is rich in beneficial microorganisms. It should be free of contaminants, like pesticides and non-compostable materials, and should be mature enough to not rob soil of nitrogen.


What do you think of our selection of the best compost for garden? Or do you prefer to make your own compost? Let me know!

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Henrik

Henrik is the author / blogger of PrettyPlantscape. His passion for gardening was rekindled when he moved in the countryside. Even as a child, he was allowed / required to help out in the garden on a regular basis.
Through his current experience in online marketing and love of writing, this blog was born.

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