Unlike mulch, which can be anything from raw bark to ground up tires, compost is organic matter that has been partially decomposed as the result of the activity of certain soil organisms. Fully decomposed organic matter is true humus, which bears little or no resemblance to what is offered commercially as humus. Some commercial humus products are nothing more than dark topsoil with a small amount of peat moss added. Commercial composts can be made from wood and wood by-products, food waste and sewer sludge. In other words, if it’s organic, somebody will probably figure out a way to make compost with it. Back to Nature products have been produced since 1979. It takes a lot of time, land, equipment, and effort to produce our Cotton Burr and Manure Composts and Blends, but when it comes to compost, nothing beats the Back to Nature brand. Cotton burrs have been prized as a soil conditioner in the Southern U.S. for over 150 years. Cotton is a heavy feeder that drains the soil of nutrients as it grows. The nutrients eventually wind up in the fleshy seedpod, the “boil” or “burr” of the cotton plant. When properly composted to eliminate weeds, insects, and pathogens, cotton burr compost is truly “nature’s perfect soil conditioner”.
Four inches of mulch is needed to control weeds if weed barrier is not used. Pull the mulch back from the base of plants so that only about two inches of mulch are in contact with the stem. When rock mulches are in use, use large enough rocks so that they cannot be easily moved by foot traffic, pets or children. If they are used for paths, they must be big enough so that they will not stick to shoes. A cubic yard of mulch contains 27 cubic feet. There are 22 bushels in a cubic yard. A Standard sized pick-up will hold about 2½ cubic yards. Five standard sized wheelbarrow (5½ Cubic feet) loads equal a yard. A ton of rock mulch is approximately 2/3 yard. When using a weed barrier, overlap pieces at least 2 inches. On a slope, the uphill section should lap over the downhill portion. Apply mulch in the same direction as the overlap (top section toward lower section). A Garden hose makes a convenient guide to obtain an even edge when laying out curved mulch beds. To calculate the amount of mulch needed to cover an area, first determine the number of square feet contained in the area. Next, divide by 12 by the desired depth in inches. Divide the number of square feet by the result. This converts square feet to cubic feet. To convert to yards, divide cubic feet by 27.