Compost purchase


Made a trip with my little utility trailer to the municipal compost facility. They charge $26/yard nominal but their bucket loader holds about 4 yards, and they’ll keep emptying it until you signal them to stop! I probably got 2 yards in the trailer and it was sitting down on the axle, but I shovelled the load to the front of the trailer and drove gently and all went well. I’m not good enough at backing the dern thing to park it where I wanted so I pulled into the garage and unhooked it outside -so now I have to lighten the load on it enough to move it by hand before I can drive that car again …


So, you got almost enough?


Our municipal compost is free, but you have to shovel it yourself. It also contains so much junk even sifted, that I hesitate to use it on anything but flowers.


Never! But I got all I can handle for now. Seems like I’m up to my … elbows … in things to do right now, and now that I have more time I’m much worse at using it. Go figure.

Ours seems pretty good and is tested a lot; I raised the question with out local extension service and they think it’s good. I was encouraged to see that what they loaded for me was still steaming.


Too bad we don’t live close by other ways I would be glad to help you park the trailer anywhere you needed and also to get some compost for myself. There is nothing like that where I live.

Good luck unloading your trailer!


That’s almost the same price here in San Jose, CA!

These days I get horse manure delivered for free from an old lady with an old horse. Only thing is I need to compost it myself and wait a month or two before using it.


Same. I think its mostly broken down leaves and maybe they mix in sand. Lots of plastic, but overall it seems like good stuff (nice smell).


Ours is similar to Galina’s in that it is free. It is entirely composted leaves, with the occasional piece of plastic that they pick up with the vacuum trucks. It looks like fine black soil. They have it in big piles, so I just put the bucket against it and knock some loose until the bucket is full (trying to spot plastic as it fills).

It is only offered until November 15th, at which point they stop until spring. I know I have some planting to do during that period, so I’ve been stocking up now. I’ve got a few 44 gal buckets (maybe half a cubic yard) full sitting under an overhang waiting and will probably get a bit more.


I wish my city would make the compost available. I’ve asked, and they claim they use it all at the landfill. For what, I don’t know. My kitchen scraps with dried leaves mixed in only make enough compost for about 10-15 sq ft. I should be able to produce more as I get more space into managed gardens that will produce compost fodder, but too much is never enough.


Be careful overloading a trailer. I’ve seen a trailer loaded with compost collapse at a garden center. Also saw one collapsed with with firewood. Even saw a small pickup collapsed from firewood weight.


Good advice! My trailer itself is pretty substantial with huge wheels and a solid frame, but the springs probably wouldn’t even be 1/2 ton rated. So once I get it loaded like that it’s essentially resting on the frame. I pull everything as far forward as possible to weight the tongue, and then drive carefully enough to avoid any serious bumps. So far, so good. But you’re right. A person can get carried away.


One big problem that i see with folks when they overload a trailer, is braking ability of their vehicle. Here in NY, any trailer with a weight rating of over 1000 pounds needs to have brakes on the trailer and a brake controller on the towing vehicle. People that over estimate the abilities of their trailer/vehicle combo could find themselves in an issue if they need to stop quickly but dont have the braking power available.


And that’s an excellent point. No doubt my trailer/load combination was well over 1000 lbs. and sudden, hard breaking would surely have caused an issue. So I drove very, very carefully, and for a short distance over paved roads -top speed about 30 mph. I did notice one car following stayed well back!

Maybe I ought to get one of those orange triangles to hang off the back, and concentrate on quieter times of day. But a load this big is actually a once-a-year thing.


Yes. I have pulled lots of boats/trailers with small cars over the years (i still have my hitch on my Focus). The going is always fine, it’s the stopping/going down hills. Boat landings are always fun. My Ford Ranger i had in high school had a parking brake that would not hold even the truck, so i would put it in gear (5sp) and put a block behind the rear tire at the boat landing. The transmission would hold it, but it was so iffy. I’m surprised the whole thing didn’t end up in the drink. I ahad to use 4 wheel drive a few times because of the slime/steepness. Engaging the clutch on a steep landing with a boat on the back was like a work of art :wink: If you didn’t hit it right you could stall it and that usually meant you were going backwards a bit…too many times and you are swimming.

Very old story from the 80s…but i knew of a guy who didn’t have his bass boat properly hooked up to the trailer…going down some gravel country road (knowing the guy i can imagine speed was a factor) and the boat came off and it was next to him at some point on the road–he looked over and his boat was right there! (the trailer was still attached).


Got it emptied and have lovely piles of compost on my garden beds. I turned the soil in the beds first, got the weeds out , and then dumped on the “gardeners’ black gold”. It’s so pretty! and the tidiest my garden will look for another year …

Also planted my garlic just ahead of a week of anticipated rain. Turned in 2" of compost and then piled 4" on top of the sets.

It’s nice to get the garden ready in the fall and be ready to plant come spring. When I was working I’d often end up leaving it until spring, and then do a half-baked job on it. It’s hard to get spinach seed in early enough as it is.


How many garlic do you plant? I pre sprout mine some before planting but i have no idea if that is necessary (they push roots super fast inside). I did about a 100 cloves but i always seem to lose some over winter.


I think about the same as you; I allot a certain amount of space and then fill it up on a 5x6 inch grid. Most of it is stiff neck and then a couple of rows of soft neck, which seems to me to keep a bit better.

I’m no connoisseur of garlic: my criteria are whether it’ll grow well and keep well, and if there will be enough!



Mark You can plant spinach now, and it will sprout, overwinter, and take off early in the spring. Cilantro too.


Yes you can, if you have enough mulch. Otherwise it’ll heave out like crazy. We have an ongoing dispute in this household about whether it’s worth it to have straw or leaves blowing about in the garden … I seem to be losing this one. But I have a few plants that are established, and I might sneak a little cover on them for spring!


Do you think that if I had established spinach/lettuce going, and just covered them with three or four inches of compost after we get a few good freezes, that they would take off in the spring if I unburied them?