Charlie Perlo is a five year Black Earth Customer and two time winner of the Friendly Garden Club of Beverly's Best of Beverly Contest for Medium Size Vegetable Garden.
100% Black Earth Compost
Our mission is to be a source of fertility to grow food in Massachusetts. More than 10 cents of every bag of compost sold puts our compost to work on small MA vegetable farms.
Our compost is made without herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers so you do not have to worry about any chemicals being in your soil. We only work with organic lawn care partners so we never collect any leaf clippings that are not 100% clean.
Our compost is made in small batches with integrity and commitment to community and nutrient balance. The final product is rich in humus, nurtures beneficial micro-organisms, is free of any viable weed seeds, and contains an abundance of immediate and slow release nutrients.
- A Broad Range of Ingredients to support a uniquely bio-diverse compost
- No Grass Clippings that contain herbicides, pesticides, and insecticides
- Free of Weed Seeds
- Lab tested for optimal composition (scroll to bottom for more details)
- Screened to 5/8ths inch so the compost works in household and commercial compost spreaders
- Made in Mass! Our compost sites serve as regional sources of fertility, making our state more resilient
HOW TO USE
Compost is an excellent soil amendment for a variety of uses.
- Vegetable or Annual Beds – Use the compost to refresh your garden’s soil. Add 2-3 inches of compost (4-5 inches for poor or new beds), then mix it with shovel or tiller until it is incorporated.
- Lawns – Top dress your lawn by hand tossing or spreading around with a rake. Apply a thin layer, approx. 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick, making sure to leave the grass blades exposed to sun and air. Apply seed if desired. Also, see section on Soil Blends.
- Potted Plants – Mix our compost 50/50 with another soil or loam. For example you can blend our compost with your potting soil from last year. You can also blend it with loam from your yard, or a retail potting soil that you purchase. Black Earth Compost will give your soil a boost to keep flowers and new growth coming into the fall.
- New Plantings – Dig a hole where you want to plant and save the excavated loam. Mix the loam 50/50 with Black Earth Compost and use this blend in the bottom of the planting hole and to pack it in.
- Compost Tea – Compost can be mixed with water to create a liquid fertilizer to feed plants. Mix equal parts compost and water and let sit for 5 days. Strain the liquid from the compost and apply immediately.
- Trees, Shrubs and Perennials – To feed established plants, put 1-2 inches of compost in ‘drip zone’ of the tree shrub or perennial. Keep compost away from the trunk or stem.
Lab Analysis - We have our compost tested at University of Maine each year for nutrients, pH, salts and C:N ratio. Additionally we test it for heavy metals (lead, nickel, cadmium, chromium, zinc, copper, and arsenic) at the University of Massachusetts. Just as important though, we do plant trials to ensure that the PLANTS approve of the compost.
Plant Trials - We believe that plants don’t lie, and we know that analytical reports from laboratories won’t tell the whole story. That’s why we grow vegetables, clover and fava beans each year in our compost. Clover and fava beans for the presence of persistent herbicides, using published bioassay protocols, and vegetables to show general vigor as they are heavy feeders.
Biology - We test the compost for communities of bacteria, fungus, protoctist and nematodes. We tend to be a bacterial dominated compost, but our long curing times allow fungal populations to establish. Our compost is great for making compost tea.
Email Compost@BlackEarthCompost.com or call 978-290-4610 ext. 3 if you have questions.
A note on pH: Compost normally shows pH 7 to 8 if it is rich in nutrients (especially for food scrap composts). This does not mean that it is going to dramatically send your soil’s pH sky high. The high pH of compost is attributed to the initial pool of 'ready to go' soluble nutrients. After that, the pH comes down to between pH 6 to 7. The compost will continue to release nutrients as the organic matter decomposes over the season.