Everyone knows that composting is great for your garden. Not only does it help to improve the quality of your soil (improved drainage, increased fertility, and better soil structure), but it also helps reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills.
While you can make your own compost, it can be time-consuming and difficult to achieve the right balance of ingredients. One of the simplest and most effective ways is to use bagged compost. Bagged compost is simply compost that has been collected and placed in a bag.
There are a lot of different brands of bagged compost, but not all of them are created equal in terms of ingredients. To help you find the best bagged compost for your needs, we’ve gathered information on various products, including their key features and customer reviews.
- Different Types of Compost Available
- 6 Best Bagged Compost for Gardens
- 1. Wiggle Worm Soil Builder
- 2. Bu's Blend Biodynamic Compost
- 3. Sustane Compost Tea Bags
- 4. Jobe's Organics Compost Starter
- 5. Down to Earth Organic Bio-Fish Fertilizer
- 6. Organic Brands Mushroom Growing Mix Compost
- 7. BONUS! Fishnure Compost Fertilizer
- How to Choose the Best Bagged Compost for Vegetable Garden
- Composting Tips for Your Garden
- Final Thoughts on the Best Bagged Compost
Different Types of Compost Available
Before we provide our bagged compost reviews, we want to discuss the many different types of bagged compost available on the market today. We can divide them into two broad categories: general-purpose compost and commercial bagged compost.
1. General-Purpose Compost
The first type is general-purpose compost, the most basic of all. This is a perfectly fine option if you just want to dump some leaves or seeds into the ground and let nature do its thing.
It’s also great for beginners because it contains no special ingredients like worm castings. You can prepare these composts yourself with:
- Fruit and vegetable scraps
- Coffee grounds
- Tea leaves
- Grass clippings
- Wood chips etc.
However, if you’re looking for something that will help your plants grow faster and better, this isn’t going to cut it for you.
Recommended General Purpose Compost Bins
|Tiyafuro 2.4 Gallon Kitchen Compost Bin for Counter Top or Under Sink, Hanging Small Trash Can with Lid for Cupboard/Bathroom/Bedroom/Office/Camping, Mountable Indoor Compost Bucket, Gray||Check My Price on Amazon|
|Top||VIVOSUN Outdoor Tumbling Composter Dual Rotating Batch Compost Bin, 43 Gallon Black Door||Check My Price on Amazon|
|Compost Bin by GEOBIN - 216 Gallon, Expandable, Easy Assembly||Check My Price on Amazon|
|F2C Garden Compost Bin from BPA Free Material -80 Gallon(300 L) Large Compost Bin Aerating Outdoor Compost Box Easy Assembling, Lightweight, Fast Creation of Fertile Soil, Black||Check My Price on Amazon|
|Utopia Kitchen Compost Bin for Kitchen Countertop - 1.3 Gallon Compost Bucket for Kitchen with Lid - Includes 1 Spare Charcoal Filter ( (Silver)||Check My Price on Amazon|
|OXO Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin - Charcoal - 0.75 Gal/2.83 L||Check My Price on Amazon|
|Exaco ECO 2000-NP Kitchen Compost Pail, 2.4 Gallon, Green||Check My Price on Amazon|
2. Commercial Products
We’ll mainly talk about commercial bagged composts in this blog post. These products are usually made from plant material (like sawdust from wood or tree bark) or animal manure and can be purchased at most garden centers or local nurseries.
Soil-Based Organic Bagged Compost
This type of bagged compost is made from soil and other organic matter like peat moss, so it is ideal for gardening or landscaping applications because it contains healthy nutrients. It may also contain garden waste like grass clippings, weeds, and vegetable peelings.
It tends to be more expensive than some other types, but it also lasts longer and has no odor, which makes it a great option for flower beds or other areas where you may want to keep plants away from odors.
Sawdust-Based Bagged Compost
Sawdust-based bagged compost is made mainly of sawdust, which can be collected from woodworking projects in your area. This type of compost usually smells like tree bark or leaves when fresh, but odorless once dried.
Sawdust-based bagged compost works well for lawns or gardens because it naturally feeds plants with minerals and trace elements that help them grow strong roots and healthy leaves.
Manure-Based Bagged Compost
Manure is animal waste rich in nutrients, making it an ideal material for compost. These are typically made from cow manure but can also be made from other types of manure, such as horses, chickens, or fish.
Manure-based bagged compost is an excellent option for those who want to add nutrients to their soil without dealing with the smell of manure. The manure is mixed with other materials, such as wood chips or leaves followed by being placed in bags. The bags are then placed in a compost bin, where they will decompose over time.
Once the manure-based bagged compost has decomposed, it can be used as a soil amendment or fertilizer. It is a great way to fertilize your garden or lawn without using chemical fertilizers.
Worm Castings Compost
Worm castings compost, or vermicompost, comprises worms as they eat their way through organic matter. As the worms consume the organic matter, they excrete it in the form of castings. It’s filled with nutrients and beneficial microbes, making them an excellent soil amendment.
Worm castings compost can be used in a variety of ways. It can be used as a garden top dressing or mixed into the soil, or it can also be used as a fertilizer for potted plants. Read our review on the best worm composters you can buy.
- How to compost wood chips fast
- Best compost bins
- How to make organic living soil
- Ecoscraps vs. Milorganite: Which One Should You Choose?
6 Best Bagged Compost for Gardens
Amazon is the best place to get top-quality and reasonably priced compost for your vegetable garden. We saved you the brainwork by doing the research for you. Here are the six best store-bought compost products we recommend:
Right off the bat, we’re giving you what we think is the best bagged compost on the market. It has got 4.8 out of 5 stars from 6,350 ratings on Amazon.
This product is made from worm castings, which are basically worm poop! They are a rich source of nitrogen, which helps plants proliferate and gives them bright colors.
It’s important to note that many other fertilizers can use worm castings as an ingredient, but this one is organic and biodynamic—which means it’s made from beneficial bacteria instead of chemical additives.
This all-purpose natural fertilizer is obtained directly from the earthworms without any modifications. The nightcrawlers are given an exceptionally rich organic diet rich in several minerals and trace elements. The finished product is an exceptionally fertile organic fertilizer in water-soluble form.
Ideal for all types of beds, worm castings can be added to your garden anytime during the year—even if you’re not growing anything!
Things We Like
- Can be used both indoors and outdoors
- Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) listed for organic use
- Lasts longer than usual (slowly feeds)
- 100% pure worm castings, which seem rare
- Usable on vegetables, houseplants, flowers, and every other plants
Things We Don’t Like
Some users have reported pest issues and bug infestation problems after applying this compost, so that’s something to consider. However, you can use neem oil or a pyrethrum-based spray if such a problem arises.
This manure-based compost from Malibu is a crucial step in advancing biodynamic gardening, which is now as well-known in the US as in Europe. It is the finest, cleanest, and richest compost available.
These are made from 100% biodegradable materials, so they’re safe to use around children and pets (as long as they don’t ingest any). It’s an excellent choice if you want an all-natural fertilizer that will provide nutrients for your plants and enrich their soil simultaneously.
This compost restores your soil’s ecology, conserves water, and provides humus for plants because it contains cow manure, Rudolf Steiner’s biodynamic herbal medicines, and other dry material (grape vine pruning).
It produces excellent compost tea; the best thing is that the manure is composted and won’t smell like other manure-based products.
Things We Like
- This product is made in the USA
- The manure is from organic dairy cows
- Safe for the environment
- No risk of pest issues
Things We Don’t Like
It’s a bit expensive, but this gets your container garden going. Also, one user reported that it could sometimes be a bit muddy.
Let’s face it – composting is hard; it takes time, so you probably don’t want to do it in the middle of the day. You need a lot of space to keep your trash and yard waste out of sight, and even then, you’re limited by how much you can give away or toss in garbage cans.
But there are some ways to make composting easier—one of those ways is to use these Sustane Compost Tea Bags. These products are made with materials that break down quickly and efficiently, so you can use them immediately without having to wait a week or two before they’ll be ready to use.
The tea bags are filled with nitrogen-rich organic composting material, which delivers all necessary nutrients in a regulated dosage and helps to grow healthy crops. It also aids in the development of soil microbial communities. They’re easy to use and very effective in helping your plants thrive!
Over the years, many scientific studies have shown that these compost tea bags generate more fruits and flowers than other fertilizers.
Allow a bag to soak overnight in a watering can to produce compost tea. Then, spray it on all plants, including flowers, vegetables, trees, and shrubs, as plant nourishment.
Things We Like
- Very convenient to apply
- Works faster than other composts (starts showing results after 2 or 3 sprays)
- Works equally well for both indoor succulents and outdoor plants
- Lasts long; you can actually get two good uses out of one pouch, depending on your garden size
Things We Don’t Like
There is a noticeable scent; it may make your pet (dog) go crazy. But it’s not overbearing for humans.
Jobe’s Organics Fast Acting Fertilizer Compost Starter is an all-natural compost starter (4-4-2) that works great for adding nitrogen to your soil. It’s a good starter for any garden and ideal for larger plants that need a lot of nutrients.
The key ingredient of this product is a combination of three microorganisms: bacteria, mycorrhizal fungi, and a particular species of Archaea. This aggressive microorganism quickly converts complex materials and minerals into essential nutrients and trace elements that plants can readily absorb.
With this compost, you should start to receive benefits in just two to three weeks. Just place the compostable materials in a bin. Add several layers of Jobe’s Organics Compost Starter. And use the compost in flower and garden beds! It is that simple.
This product is ideal for growing plants in containers or on balconies. It is easy to use, making it suitable for beginners who want to start their own vegetable gardens. It’s also the best bagged compost for raised beds.
Things We Like
- Works very well in cold weather
- Helps to speed up your composting; it works faster than any other compost
- OMRI listed for organic use by USDA
- Very easy to use
- Provides the best value for money
Things We Don’t Like
The stuff smells absolutely terrible, which can be unbearable sometimes. However, it’s completely normal, like many other composts. You may not also find it locally, as it’s not available in stores everywhere, mostly sold online.
If you’re looking for a bagged compost that is easy to use, works well in your garden, and is made from organic materials, Down to Earth Organic Bio-Fish Fertilizer Mix 7-7-2 may be the perfect choice for you.
This bagged compost has been specially formulated to be used as a fertilizer in the garden. It contains fish meal, fish emulsion (nitrogen), kelp meal, bone meal (phosphorous), and other organic ingredients. This bio-fish compost will provide nutrients directly to your plants without any added salt or other additives.
It also contains an organic nitrogen source in the form of fish hydrolysate with a high potassium content.
It’s ideal for both indoor and outdoor use, so you can use it on everything from tomatoes and peppers to roses and strawberries. It has an earthy scent that smells slightly sweet but not overpowering—perfect for anyone who wants their plants’ flowers to smell sweet but not overpowering too!
This product is safe for use on most types of plants and can be applied directly onto the soil surface.
Things We Like
- It comes in 100% recycled, unbleached paperboard boxes printed with plant-based inks
- Boost bud growth quickly
- It’s OMRI listed for organic use
- Excellent source of nitrogen and phosphorus
Things We Don’t Like
It can be hard to use indoors. This fertilizer doesn’t function well with potted plants since it contains a lot of bigger particles. It’s not fine powder like other composts and can be hard to mix with water. Also, it has a mild fishy odor.
This bag of composted cow dung is here to help if you’re having trouble getting your garden started. This compost can be used in flower and vegetable garden beds to promote stronger, healthier plants.
It is an all-natural fertilizer used in any type of landscape. The product is made with composted mushroom soil; the dirt is only used once to grow mushrooms before being bagged for local home gardeners and composted.
It helps improve soil quality by providing nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which are essential for plant growth.
You may also use this compost as a top dressing on potted plants, so you can relax knowing that your flourishing garden is being taken care of. To use this mushroom compost as fertilizer to promote plant development, combine it with native or planting soil. And then follow the standard procedure.
Things We Like
- Available in big bags of 40 pounds; so, you need not buy often
- Does not smell
- Easy to apply, just mix with the soil of your garden
Things We Don’t Like
A little expensive, but your garden will love this stuff!
7. BONUS! Fishnure Compost Fertilizer
Looking for an organic way to fertilize and condition your soil? Look no further than Fishnure! This unique product is made from fish manure, clay, and other organic matter, broken down by microbes and then polymerized into humus. The clay provides the necessary structure for the polymers to form, while the fish manure adds essential nutrients to your soil.
How to Choose the Best Bagged Compost for Vegetable Garden
When it comes to your vegetable garden, you want to ensure that you use the best possible soil. But with so many different brands and types of compost on the market, how do you choose the best one for your garden?
Though we’ve provided a detailed bagged compost reviews on our favorites, you may not find one of these in your nearby shops, and you also may not be comfortable with online shopping for your plants.
That’s why we came up with a few tips to help you find the best bagged compost for your vegetable garden:
1. Read the Labels Carefully
When you are shopping for compost, take the time to read the labels carefully. This will help you compare the different products and choose the one that best suits your needs. You want to avoid any compost containing synthetic chemicals, as these can harm your plants.
The best bagged compost for your garden will be rich in organic matter. This means it will contain a high percentage of organic matter, such as leaves, grass, and other plant debris. You can also choose manure-based or worm castings for your garden.
2. Avoid Composts Containing Weed Seeds
You also want to avoid composts that contain weed seeds. These can germinate and grow in your garden, crowding out your other plants. This can be a big issue if you’re applying it to your full-fledged garden, in particular.
3. Choose a Compost That Is Finely Ground
It is especially important if you’re looking for the best bagged compost for raised beds. Finely ground composts will break down more efficiently and be more readily available for your plants to use.
You also want to avoid composts that are either too dry or too wet. If the compost is too dry, it will not be able to provide the moisture your plants need. If it is too wet, it can compact and suffocate your plants.
4. Avoid Composts Made from Only One Type of Material
The best compost for your garden will be made from various materials. This will provide a more balanced nutrient supply for your plants. You want to avoid composts made from only one type of material, which can lead to an imbalance in the nutrient supply.
5. Test the Compost Before Using It in Your Garden
Before using any bagged compost in your garden for the first time, it is always a good idea to test it first. You can mix a little amount of compost with water and then try it on a few plants.
However, the seller may not want to give you products for testing purposes. In that case, you can ask around your local nurseries or buy a small packet of the same product before buying the whole bag.
By following these tips, you can find the best bagged compost for your vegetable garden.
Composting Tips for Your Garden
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your bagged compost:
- Plan ahead. It’s best to apply compost before you plant, so it has time to work into the soil. If you’re adding it to an existing garden, loosen the soil first to give the compost a chance to mix in.
- Go easy at first. You don’t need to use a lot of compost to see results. In fact, using too much can actually be harmful to your plants. Start with a light application and increase the amount as needed. A general rule of thumb is to apply a 1–2-inch layer of compost.
- Incorporate it into the soil. Once you’ve added compost to your garden bed, mix it well with a shovel or rake to work the compost into the soil. Doing so will help to distribute the nutrients evenly.
- Water your plants after applying the compost. This will help the compost break down even further and help your plants absorb the nutrients.
- Repeat the process regularly. Compost will break down over time, so it’s important to reapply it every few months to keep your plants healthy and nourished. Twice a year is typically sufficient.
By following these tips, you can make the most of your compost and give your plants the nutrients they need to thrive.
Final Thoughts on the Best Bagged Compost
Overall, we found the Wiggle Worm Pure Worm Castings to be the best bagged compost for all-purpose use. It has the perfect mix of organic matter and can be used anywhere. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert gardener, this compost will serve you equally.
However, if you know a thing or two about gardening, Jobe’s Organics Compost Starter is another top pick for you. It produces the fastest result in 2 to 3 weeks rather than 60 to 90 days, like other best store-bought compost.
Also, you can utilize Down to Earth Organic Bio-Fish Fertilizer for a high concentration bagged compost produced from fish manure. The decision is ultimately yours to make. We hope the outcome will satisfy you with whatever option you choose from this selection.
We add compost to our garden if the soil is lacking in nutrients or if we want to improve the quality of the soil. You do not need to add fertilizer if you use compost.
Compost is an organic source of nutrients for plants, so adding fertilizer (which may contain synthetic material) is unnecessary. Note that some manufacturers may use these two words interchangeably!
It is possible to plant directly in compost, but it is not recommended. Compost is an excellent material for planting, but it should be used as a top dressing or amendment, not as the sole planting medium.
This is because compost can be very high in nutrients, burning plant roots. It can also be too dense for young roots to penetrate and hold too much water, leading to root rot.
If you use too much compost, the excess compost will tie up nutrients in the soil, making them unavailable to plants, leading to nutrient deficiencies and poor plant growth. In extreme cases, using too much compost can actually kill plants.
Bagged compost is a good option for gardeners who want a ready-to-use product that is relatively low in cost. However, it is important to note that not all bagged composts are created equal.
Some products may be lower in quality, while others may be too high in nitrogen for some plants. Always read the labels on bagged composts before purchasing to ensure that it matches your gardening needs well.
It is possible to bury kitchen scraps in your garden, but it is not the most effective way to compost them. If you bury kitchen scraps in your garden, they will decompose more slowly than if you compost them in a bin.
Additionally, they may attract animals that will dig them up. So, be sure to bury them deep enough that animals can’t reach them, and be sure to bury them in an area that won’t be bothered by the smell.