Black Kow in Potting Soil

I was thinking of adding Black Kow compost to my peat moss/pine bark/perlite homemade mix for potting up bench grafted apples. Anyone using it in their mixes? I was thinking 25%. Mainly looking to help with water holding and get a little nutrient benefit between regular liquid feeds.


I have had good results with it, but it often depends on how it was stored.

I have half an acre of Brown and Black cow manure; now well leached. We take and pour in a slurry mix of water/manure in each hole and the mix in the soil mixture. We did 2.5 gallons per hole. Seemed to work fine.Here is one of the manufacturers:


You are not to see much benefits from 25% compost, I just use a gallon in a 10-25 gal pot for beneficial microbes found in the compost.


Yes, here building soil texture is my main issue.

I personally don’t like manure or compost in potting soil, especially for something that’s going to be in there more than a month or two. It breaks down too quickly and can hold too much water, causing anoxic conditions.

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I have been using the “black kow” brand of composted manure for many years with great results in flower beds (grow and bloom all summer and fall)… occasionally in my veggie garden or when planting fruit trees or cane fruit, berry bushes.

I make 400-500 lbs of homemade compost yearly and when I have used all that… fall back to the black kow product.

Make sure you get fresh product not something a nursery has stored improperly for a couple years. The fresh product is excellent IMO.

There is a guy on youtube that gardens in Florida and has very sandy soil… he grows abundant crops of just about everything using black kow.
I think he must be sponsored by black kow… he uses a LOT if it.

Youtube vid with a few details on how it is made.


another issue you may have to monitor with composted cow manure is salt content, I have had issues with high sodium content stunting the plants.


I wouldn’t sweat it. As long as the overall texture and nutrient profile is right it shouldn’t hurt,

I think that “don’t use compost in potting soil” thing is an oversimplification. My year-old decomposed wood chip pile decomposed with copious addition of urea is a pretty reasonable base for potting soil. I know it is based on my experience. You have to screen it some and add the other stuff of course.

The answer would be different if it were chicken manure and sawdust based.

I’m opposed in principle to paying a lot of money for bagged this or that, but the cost doesn’t sound so bad.

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Hollis and Nancy homestead. And BingBing

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@Plants … yes that is them… I watched them on youtube some before they moved to Florida and a few times after.

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Haha I figured. Yeah me too he’s helped my gardens and raised beds designs for many years. Good people

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I am passing on adding Black Kow. Went to 2 garden centers today and both had old and soggy bags of it. Sticking with my usual mix so no unfortunate surprises during the growing season.

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at 0.5-0.5-0.5 I never saw much of a boost from black Kow over any other generic compost and I can get Leaf Gro (made locally to me in MAryland) for cheaper and it has a roughly 0.7-0.2-0.3 NPK.

Each year eventually all the stores, all they have is old stock of bagged soil, and they will not get new stock until I’d lets say March or April. Not a good time of year to buy, not only can you get a lot of weed seeds in the soil out of season, more likely to find pests in the soil then too. I use composted cow manure as a soil thinner for heavy hard dense soil, even then I still add rice hulls or perlite as well. I like the brown cow brand, although I prefer “Daddy Pete’s Cow Manure”, and I also prefer Daddy Pete’s Kickin’ Chickin, which is a mix of their cow manure and chicken manure.

Daddy Pete’s makes a nursery mix but none of the local stores stock it. ProMix has a plant in Virginia that makes a bark based nursery mix but it’s only in 60 cf totes and bulk.


I have only purchased “Black Kow” once. It seemed to be mostly sand. I do not want “sand” in my garden. I live in mid-Missouri and have a very fine clay soil - no sand at all. We do not even have sand nor gravel in the creek bottoms.

I think that it depends on which location it was bagged in, usually it’s on the clayish side when we buy it here. The local soil whatever it is gets mixed in.