We all want to grow vegetables for healthy subsistence consumption. But, doing this successfully takes time, dedication, and resources. When you think of resources, the list can be overwhelming, to say the least. But it starts with seeds, water, soil, tools, and, very importantly, compost. Today, we will discuss the best organic compost for vegetable garden care.
What Is an Organic Compost?
Image Credits: stonepierpress.org
If you have been looking, you must have noticed there are many types of compost for vegetable gardens. So, if you want to practice sustainable vegetable farming, the best option will be to use organic compost. You can get it by using organic materials like dried leaves, food scraps, lawn clippings, coffee grounds, and more. Unlike non-organic compost, the organic variety does not contain artificial additives like heated volcanic glass or peat moss.
You can buy it bagged or make your own compost from home. If the former is your option, we will tell you more about the options we have tried on our vegetable gardens. We compared over 10 options to find the best-bagged compost you can try today.
In our comparison, we considered how easy to apply the compost was. In addition, we also looked for the OMRI ( Organic Materials Review Institute) organic label, value for money, and good results after use. So, jump right in to find your best option.
1. Jobe's Organics 09926 Fast Acting Fertilizer Compost Starter
- Organic compost starter with Biozome; Speeds up the composting process; Ideal for compost piles
- OMRI listed for organic gardening by USDA;
- Jobe’s Biozome.the proprietary microorganism archaea that aggressively breaks down organic material for faster...
- Jobe’s Biozome improves soil conditions, and drought during the growing season
- Easy pour bag; Guaranteed fertilizer analysis: (4-4-2) 4 pound bag; Apply every 4 to 6 weeks
Last update on 2023-08-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Do you have a compost pile to transfer to your garden in a few weeks? If so, we recommend getting this compost starter from Jobe's Organics. We used this bagged compost on our compost pile, which consisted of organic material, including kitchen scraps, grass clippings, and horse manure.
Image Credits: jobescompany.com
After watering and rotating the pile several times each week, our compost starter had worked its magic, and we could transfer it to our vegetable garden. Because it is made with organic materials and enriched with Biozome, a formula with bacteria, mycorrhizal fungi, plus the unique species of Archaea, we found that the pack hastened the composting process significantly to prepare it in three weeks.
As mentioned above, we look for the best ingredients when buying compost. In this case, we were pleased to find this compost starter to be OMRI-certified and recognized by the USDA. In addition, it is nicely packaged, so it is easy to pour into a compost bin. It is also affordable, but we found it works slower than advertised in cold climates.
2. Mountain Valley Earth Worm Castings
- WORM COMPOST FOR PLANTS & GARDENS - Organic worm castings are the microbial-rich waste by-product of the red...
- OMRI CERTIFIED ORGANIC WORM COMPOST - Our earthworm casting is composed of certified organic cow manure that has...
- ORGANIC WORM CASTINGS FOR GARDENING - Easy to use and odorless organic soil amendment substitute for messy and...
- WORM CASTINGS ORGANIC FOR INDOOR PLANTS - Whether gardening a large outdoor crop or making the most of your...
- CLEAN & SAFE VERMICOMPOST FOR PLANTS - Organic earthworm soil amendment for organic fruit and vegetable gardening....
Last update on 2023-09-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Suppose you need to provide extra nutrients to your vegetable garden, so you can't wait for your compost pile to break down into said nutrients. If so, we recommend getting this organic compost from Mountain Valley. It is made from redworm and red wiggler castings and cow manure. Unlike our first recommendation, we love that this bagged compost is ready to use, so you won't have to deal with smelly compost bins.
Image Credits: walmart.com
We were pleasantly surprised by how well-packaged the compost was, and with the nice packaging, it was also easy to pour out. We found it easy to add to planters, and you can even make worm-casting tea for smaller vegetable gardening projects. We got value for money from this 1-gallon bag, especially since we could treat 15 gallons of soil with its recipe.
It is a certified organic compost with OMRI certification, and it will improve even acidic garden soil because it is fortified with natural ingredients. Hence, it maintains a neutral pH of 7. The only dealbreaker we found was in the advertising. While we expected to find pure worm castings, we found they were mixed with soil, so it works more like a soil amendment product than pure compost. However, it still worked wonders on our garden soil, thanks to the organic ingredients.
3. Unco Industries Worm Castings Organic Fertilizer
- Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Worm Castings Fertilizer is organic and OMRI certificated. It can be used as a soil...
- Naturally Organic & Odor Free. OMRI listed. No perfumes or scents added or chemically removed. Will not burn, at...
- Improves soil structure & aeration. High availability of nutrients. Compost organically for your soil.
- Worm castings are an odorless means to condition your soil in an organic and natural way to provide your plants...
- Excellent for indoor or outdoor plants - houseplants, vegetables, flowers, hydroponics, raised bed or traditional...
Last update on 2023-09-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
If you are looking for the best organic compost for a vegetable garden, you should try organic worm castings. Products such as this bagged compost from Unco Industries are easy to use and work wonders to improve your garden soil structure and aeration.
Image Credits: ebay.com
We bought this product to add it to our vegetable garden beds, and we found the packaging was excellent for allowing us to open and use the compost easily. In addition, the fact that it is an OMRI-certified organic compost gave us the confidence to use it on our new garden beds since we were sure it would not harm the vegetables.
The castings are harvested from red wigglers, and the organic fertilizer is odorless so you can use them in your indoor garden. As the best bonus, our package was bundled with Pearson's protective gloves, which made adding the compost much easier. While it was good for our garden soil and plants, we found it a bit expensive, but the gloves made the purchase a better deal.
4. R&M Organics Premium Organic Compost
- All-Purpose Fertilizer
- 100% Organic
- No Bad Odor
- Moisture Retaining
Last update on 2023-09-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
We used this bagged compost in our onion garden, which helped our garden look healthier. We recommend using it on vegetable gardens you water less often because the compost is designed for moisture retention. The compost is made from cow manure that has been dried for weeks, so it loses the nasty smell to keep your garden smelling fresh.
Image Credits: rmfarmsservice.com
This organic compost is nicely-packaged with organic material, and besides the ease of opening and use, we had one more incentive to buy the package. According to the company, each package sold enables the planting of a new tree. So we loved that buying it enables a greener planet!
If you are looking for an OMRI-certified and affordable bag of compost for vegetable gardens, this R&M Organics option is a good bet. The only dealbreaker we found is it stained our deck when we watered our hanging garden.
5. Blue Ribbon Organics OMRI Certified Organic Compost
- Improves soil structure & aeration
- Promotes water retention
- OMRI Certified for Organic Use
- Safe for use at any concentration
- Pairs wonderfully with worm castings & other soil builders
Last update on 2023-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
This Blue Ribbon Organics compost is designed for organic gardening, whether indoors or outdoors. We used it on our vegetable beds as a top dressing and saw a difference in a few days. Generally, our soil seemed healthier, and our plants were greener and bushier.
Image Credits: blueribbonorganics.com
The 35-pound bag comes with enough powder compost to cover a large garden. It is OMRI-certified to improve soil quality and is safe to use with any concentration. This compost is made with organic materials to retain water while improving soil aeration. While it is enriched with nutrients like potassium and magnesium, the compost does not contain any trace metals or unwanted pathogens.
The package is affordable and a great option if you want to use warm castings in your gardening soil.
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Organic Compost for Your Vegetable Garden
Image Credits: backyardboss.net
There are but too many organic compost packages you can buy for your vegetable garden. However, if our list above does not help you settle down on one, we recommend using the best parameters to decide. So, here are some factors to consider before buying.
As the name suggests, organic compost should be made with organic matter. The best organic compost ingredients are cut flowers, food scraps, grass or plant clippings, green-fed earthworm castings, shrubs, valley-grown alfalfa meal, and manure, among other natural or organic matter.
As such, you want to avoid ingredients like peat moss, herbicides, and chemical pollutants like plastic and metal. As we have learned, it is always best to test your compost before gardening. To do so, plant a few plants, such as tomatoes, in the compost you just bought and a few others in compost you have made at home or used before. Within a week or two, you will notice signs of poor health from the set of plants on herbicide-rich compost.
The packaging should help you make an informed choice when buying bagged compost. In short, look for a bag that will not leak, and also ensure the bag will be easy to open and pour from as you lay the compost on your seedline.
c) Organic Certification
Since you will be buying compost, it is always best to ensure the best compost is made from organic matter. If you do not have the time to complete the organic test above, the other way to test the compost is by looking for an OMRI certification. Normally, OMRI or USDA-approved compost will be labeled on the packaging, and you can even look for the dates when the product was certified to ensure legality.
The texture is another parameter you can use to buy the best-bagged compost for your garden. An ideal one will have a loose and fluffy texture, indicating it is well-treated and dried and, thus, ready for your garden. On the other hand, if the texture is sticky and damp, the first indication will be that the compost is either contaminated or not well-treated.
e) The Smell
Unlike your homemade compost, bagged compost should be odorless, another indication of it being well-treated and dried. If there is a smell, it should be an earthy fragrance and not a rotting ammonia smell.
As with all products, you should keep your budget in mind when buying organic compost. After all, you do not have to break the bank to find high-quality compost that can cover the entirety of your garden.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Organic Compost for Vegetable Gardens
a) What is Organic Compost for Vegetables?
Organic compost is made of organic matter and is treated with natural materials without the aid of chemicals. When buying organic compost for your garden, look that it is made with ingredients like food waste, garden waste, worm castings, and manure.
b) Can I plant vegetables straight in organic compost?
Yes, you can plant vegetables straight in organic compost, but you should ensure the compost is well-treated and dried. For instance, ensure the compost you buy is loose and fluffy for water retention and nutrient transfer.
However, you might enjoy better results by improving your garden soil with compost. Doing so will allow you to add other soil additives that will help your plants grow better while also controlling the amount of compost you use to avoid killing your plants.
c) Is organic compost better than plant fertilizer?
While you can use organic compost instead of fertilizer, it is always better to use both in your garden. While organic compost will contain the best microbes to help your soil and vegetable plants, fertilizer can add specific nutrients missing in your soil.