Compost mg notes for class 2011 jan 26 part 1


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  • This presentation is complements of Oregon State University and Benton Soil and Water Conservation District.
  • Please note that this slide is from the Seattle Tilth presentation. Seattle has many bodies of water, high population density, and a huge rat problem. That is why this slide says NO food scraps in the backyard compost pile.
  • Another good use for chipped wood waste is on pathways...
  • You can also use chipped wood waste as a mulch around woody plants.
  • Several following slides will discuss these five parameters in more depth.
  • Turn the compost to rotate all the materials to the HOT center of the pile. She is happy turning her compost.
  • Turning compost is hard work. Instead of turning, you can position drain field pipe (4” PVC with holes) at the angel of repose (45 degrees). This will allow the hot air in the pile to rise and create convection currents in the pile.
  • Covering a compost pile will allow you to control the moisture content. It will keep evaporating moisture in and excess moisture from rain and snow out. In the winter, it may also help hold the heat of the pile.
  • Smaller particles decompose faster. Chop materials, chip or shred, or mow the lawn when the leaves are there and they will be chopped up together.
  • The minimum size of 1 cubic yard is required to hold the heat and provide ample materials for the composting organisms.
  • Black gold!
  • You do not need a bin to make compost.
  • Scott McGuire, the cosmic compost cowboy, make the Loaf-of-Bread pile by keeping the corners square and firm.
  • Pallet bins are cheap (often free) and easy to construct and move. Simply wire the corners together.
  • Use materials that you have to make the compost bin, like cinder blocks. Turn the block on the side to improve ventilation.
  • I love this bin. It is made of 12 to 15 feet of hardware cloth (1/2” mesh) like that used on a rabbit hutch. Notice the drainfield pipe that has been added to improve ventilation.
  • The wood and wire bin has hinges on each corner. It opens up for easy turning. Small capacity.
  • Bin made from extra construction materials. Looks cool.
  • Direct deposit
  • Various turning bins that rotate. Small capacity.
  • Beautiful!
  • This digester is recommended in Seattle, due to high rat population. The digester is placed over a small hole. Leaves or soil can be added on top of the food waste. Only use fruit and vegetable waste in the compost. Never include meat or dairy. They will compost, but they will also create vermin problems.
  • Compost mg notes for class 2011 jan 26 part 1

    1. 1. Compost 101 Linn Benton Master Gardeners Lecture notes Part 1 Teresa Matteson January 26, 2011
    2. 3. Woody paths
    3. 4. Woody mulch around woody plants
    4. 5. Compost turf with high Nitrogen amendment Cover One year (be careful with cotton seed meal)
    5. 6. Rate of decomposition depends on: <ul><li>Carbon to Nitrogen Ratio </li></ul><ul><li>Air </li></ul><ul><li>Water </li></ul><ul><li>Size </li></ul><ul><li>Time </li></ul>
    6. 7. C:N Ratio <ul><li>Ratio of carbon to nitrogen </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Analogous to carbohydrates (carbon) and protein (nitrogen) in our food </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High carbon materials are BROWN </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High nitrogen materials are GREEN </li></ul></ul>
    7. 8. C:N ratios <ul><li>C always listed first , </li></ul><ul><li>grams C per gram N </li></ul><ul><ul><li>25:1 or 25 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lower C:N means </li></ul><ul><li>microbes need less N from soil </li></ul>
    8. 9. Critical Values of C:N <ul><li>C:N < 25:1, N release to plants </li></ul><ul><li>C:N > 25:1, N taken from soil </li></ul><ul><ul><li>microbes out compete higher plants every time </li></ul></ul>
    9. 10. C:N ratio of different materials Organic material C/N soil organic matter 10 soil microbes 5-10 alfalfa 13 manure 20 corn stover 57 wheat straw 80 sawdust 600
    10. 11. Manure Comparison Manure C:N Moisture Chicken 10 37 - 69 Cattle 16 81 Horse 30 72 (seeds) Sheep 16 69 Pig 14 80 (parasites) C:N
    11. 12. Turn materials Turn outside of pile to the center so that all feedstocks heat up and smile! AIR
    12. 13. Alternative to turning - Aeration pipes AIR
    13. 14. <ul><li>Rule of thumb: 50% moisture </li></ul><ul><li>Feels damp like a wrung-out sponge </li></ul><ul><li>Should not drip when squeezed </li></ul>WATER
    14. 15. COVER the pile to control moisture WATER
    15. 16. Reduce size Chop Mow Grind Chip Increase surface area SIZE
    16. 17. Minimum: 1 cubic yard - 3’ x 3’ x 3’ Maximum: <4 ft wide by <9 ft tall As long as you want Pile size matters SIZE
    17. 18. <ul><li>It smells good, like the forest floor </li></ul><ul><li>It is brown and crumbly </li></ul><ul><li>The original materials cannot be identified </li></ul><ul><li>It will pass through a ½” sieve </li></ul><ul><li> toss overs back in the pile </li></ul>When is your compost finished? 4 criteria TIME
    18. 19. <ul><li>It is brown and crumbly </li></ul><ul><li>The original materials cannot be identified </li></ul>TIME
    19. 20. Make a ½ inch sieve that sits on your wheelbarrow Overs go back into the pile or inoculate a new pile
    20. 21. Free-form pile
    21. 26. Build a hot pile
    22. 27. Build a hot pile 6 “ coarse brown
    23. 28. Build a hot pile 3” green 6” brown
    24. 29. Build a hot pile 6” brown 3” green Add soil, amendments & MIX
    25. 33. Expensive Holds moisture Turning?