best compost

Best Compost For Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs

Much like the pH balance in your pool, your soil has a pH level. Depending on what you’re growing, you may want soil that is more or less acidic. If you’re not sure what the pH level of your soil is, there are inexpensive testers that will tell you. 

The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry has a great, 3-4 minute read on soil pH. If you’d like to learn more about soil pH and get a more in-depth synopsis of it, you can read more here. You might be asking what your soil pH has to do with adding compost to your crops. Compost itself generally has a neutral pH of around 7, but this can vary based on what you put into your compost. 

pH Soil Acidity Alkaline Scale

Additionally, when using leachate or compost tea, to further enrich your plants, it may need to be heavily diluted depending on what you’re growing. 

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with a neutral rating of 7. Almost all plants grow in the range of 4.5pH to 8.0pH. Generally speaking, if you aren’t too concerned with the pH balance, store-bought or homemade compost won’t hurt any of your plants. Your local nursery will likely have better compost than your big box store, otherwise, see our pick at the end of this article you can order online.

Homemade Compost

If you’ve followed the guide found here, or any of the other numerous guides online, simply spread your compost as you would any other fertilizer. The pH will probably be close to neutral. Even if it’s slightly off, it likely won’t be off enough to cause any issues or growth deficiencies in your plants. 

Leachate for Soil Enrichment

Also known as ‘compost tea,’ leachate is simply the liquid runoff from your compost bucket. You can use this to add nutrients to the soil of your fruits or vegetables. The tea will need to be diluted, as it’s pretty acidic coming straight from the bucket. 

For leachate coming from basic aerobic compost, use about a 1 cup of tea per gallon of water. You may need to experiment with this ratio to get the right mix since every compost makeup is different.

Measure the pH before adding the leachate, then measure again 24 hours after adding. From there, you can gauge how much it affected the soil pH. If the soil became too acidic (lower pH number), dilute the leachate. Otherwise, if it didn’t change too much from its original acidity, try adding another half cup per gallon.

Bokashi Compost Tea for Fertilizing

bokashi compost tea from bin

Bokashi leachate is a little bit different from regular compost tea. Because of the bokashi process, the leachate comes out significantly more acidic than regular compost. This can be a good thing if you’re trying to kill weeds. 

On the other hand, your fruits and veggies could die because of the high acidity of the bokashi tea. Start by diluting half a cup of this tea in 3 gallons of water. Bokashi tea is usually better when covering large areas since you have to make a larger batch of it. A sprayer is typically used for this.

Best Compost for Fruits & Vegetables

Blue Ribbon Organics OMRI Certified Organic Compost

Check the table at the bottom of this page for more info about what soil pH your plants will thrive in. The windows are relatively generous and allow for some variation in soil pH. Blue Ribbon Organics OMRI Certified Organic Compost is our pick as the best compost for apple trees, autoflower, bay trees, carrots, fuchsias, grapes, hibiscus, roses, sunflowers, tomatoes, and more! 

There isn’t anything fancy about this compost, or its packaging. It’s merely good, old-fashioned compost that is even OMRI Certified Organic. OMRI is the Organic Materials Review Institute, a nonprofit organization. This organization determines the input products that are allowed for use in organic farming and provides certifications for products like this one.

A download link of the list below in an excel file is available here. The excel file is organized as a table so you can easily sort and filter as needed.

Asparagus6.08.0Moderately Alkaline
Leek6.08.0Moderately Alkaline
Marjoram6.08.0Moderately Alkaline
Alpine Strawberry5.07.5Moderately Alkaline
Peanut5.07.5Moderately Alkaline
Cauliflower5.57.5Moderately Alkaline
Corn5.57.5Moderately Alkaline
Garlic5.57.5Moderately Alkaline
Parsnip5.57.5Moderately Alkaline
Tomato5.57.5Moderately Alkaline
Pole Bean6.07.5Moderately Alkaline
Beet6.07.5Moderately Alkaline
Brussels sprouts6.07.5Moderately Alkaline
Cabbage6.07.5Moderately Alkaline
Cantaloupe6.07.5Moderately Alkaline
Chinese cabbage6.07.5Moderately Alkaline
Kale6.07.5Moderately Alkaline
Kohlrabi6.07.5Moderately Alkaline
Mustard6.07.5Moderately Alkaline
Okra6.07.5Moderately Alkaline
Pea6.07.5Moderately Alkaline
Salsify6.07.5Moderately Alkaline
Spinach6.07.5Moderately Alkaline
Sunflower6.07.5Moderately Alkaline
Swiss chard6.07.5Moderately Alkaline
Tarragon6.07.5Moderately Alkaline
Artichoke6.57.5Moderately Alkaline
Arugula6.57.5Moderately Alkaline
Broccoli rabe6.57.5Moderately Alkaline
Collard6.57.5Moderately Alkaline
Gourd6.57.5Moderately Alkaline
Tomatillo6.77.3Moderately Alkaline
Parsley5.07.0Moderately Acidic
Carrot5.57.0Moderately Acidic
Cucumber5.57.0Moderately Acidic
Pepper5.57.0Moderately Acidic
Rhubarb5.57.0Moderately Acidic
Rutabaga5.57.0Moderately Acidic
Squash, winter5.57.0Moderately Acidic
Turnip5.57.0Moderately Acidic
Endive/Escarole5.87.0Moderately Acidic
Lima Bean6.07.0Moderately Acidic
Broccoli6.07.0Moderately Acidic
Celeriac6.07.0Moderately Acidic
Celery6.07.0Moderately Acidic
Chive6.07.0Moderately Acidic
Cress6.07.0Moderately Acidic
Horseradish6.07.0Moderately Acidic
Lettuce6.07.0Moderately Acidic
Onion6.07.0Moderately Acidic
Oregano6.07.0Moderately Acidic
Radish6.07.0Moderately Acidic
Squash, summer6.07.0Moderately Acidic
Watermelon6.07.0Moderately Acidic
Claytonia6.57.0Moderately Acidic
Mizuna6.57.0Moderately Acidic
Pak choi6.57.0Moderately Acidic
Jerusalem Artichoke/Sunchoke6.77.0Moderately Acidic
Chervil6.06.7Moderately Acidic
Cilantro6.06.7Moderately Acidic
Fennel6.06.7Moderately Acidic
Radicchio6.06.7Moderately Acidic
Sage6.06.7Moderately Acidic
Apple5.06.5Moderately Acidic
Basil5.56.5Moderately Acidic
Dill5.56.5Moderately Acidic
Eggplant5.56.5Moderately Acidic
Melon5.56.5Moderately Acidic
Raspberry5.56.5Moderately Acidic
Pumpkin6.06.5Moderately Acidic
Blackberry5.06.0Moderately Acidic
Sorrel5.56.0Moderately Acidic
Sweet potato5.56.0Moderately Acidic

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