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Compost who-what-when-where-why-how

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5 Ws and an H -- For those new to compost use, we lay down the basics to help make your next farm, turfgrass, or garden effort a big success. It all starts with good soil.

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Compost who-what-when-where-why-how

  1. 1. Compost basics The who, what, when, where, why, and how of compost use
  2. 2. WHO uses compost? Farmers Gardeners Landscapers & turf managers Construction industry Public utilities
  3. 3. WHO uses compost? Farmers Gardeners Landscapers & turf managers Construction industry Public utilities From lot-size urban farms to vast rural acreage, growing operations large and small rely on the proven power of compost to feed the soil and boost profits.
  4. 4. WHO uses compost? Farmers Gardeners Landscapers & turf managers Construction industry Public utilities Whether the home garden is a window sill or 5-acre tract, the resident green thumb knows the addition of compost makes those plants grow, grow, grow.
  5. 5. WHO uses compost? Farmers Gardeners Landscapers & turf managers Construction industry Public utilities Professional lawn- care companies, landscapers and turfgrass managers trust compost for faster green-up, extended seasons, reduced irrigation, and good root development.
  6. 6. WHO uses compost? Farmers Gardeners Landscapers & turf managers Construction industry Public utilities For commercial, residential, and highway construction, compost provides economical reliability for controlling erosion and establishing vegetation.
  7. 7. WHO uses compost? Farmers Gardeners Landscapers & turf managers Construction industry Public utilities When the control of stormwater is a priority, public utilities turn to compost to absorb, filter, reduce, and degrade polluted flow before it reaches surface waters.
  8. 8. WHAT is compost? Recycled organics Soil food Soil inoculant Water retainer Pollution preventer
  9. 9. WHAT is compost? Recycled organics Soil food Soil inoculant Water retainer Pollution preventer Compost is a soil amendment manufactured from the organic waste generated by cities, farms, institutions, and industries. It is considered a sustainably- resourced product.
  10. 10. WHAT is compost? Recycled organics Soil food Soil inoculant Water retainer Pollution preventer Compost feeds the soil so the soil can function as it was intended, providing nutrients, water retention, space for roots to grow, and so much more.
  11. 11. WHAT is compost? Recycled organics Soil food Soil inoculant Water retainer Pollution preventer As a biologically- active product, compost replenishes the depleted soil micro-organisms responsible for nutrient uptake and disease resistance.
  12. 12. WHAT is compost? Recycled organics Soil food Soil inoculant Water retainer Pollution preventer Compost’s organic matter acts as a sponge, the key to a healthy soil’s ability to retain high volumes of water, helping to reduce irrigation needs, stormwater flows, and erosion.
  13. 13. WHAT is compost? Recycled organics Soil food Soil inoculant Water retainer Pollution preventer Reduced stormwater flows and microbial degradation of pollutants cut sedimentation and contamination of rivers, streams, and other surface waters.
  14. 14. WHEN is compost used? Pre-plant Mid-season Post-season During construction Spill clean-up
  15. 15. WHEN is compost used? Pre-plant Mid-season Post-season During construction Spill clean-up Before seeding, transplanting, or planting trees and shrubs, add compost to the soil or media mix to provide an ideal environment and give new growth a natural boost.
  16. 16. WHEN is compost used? Pre-plant Mid-season Post-season During construction Spill clean-up Broadcast over sports fields, side- dress banded rows, or sprinkle a little around the tops of containers and bedding plants for a mid-season pick- me-up.
  17. 17. WHEN is compost used? Pre-plant Mid-season Post-season During construction Spill clean-up When the harvest is over, put fields and beds to sleep for the winter with a nourishing compost blanket. Earthworms will work their magic to condition the soil for spring planting.
  18. 18. WHEN is compost used? Pre-plant Mid-season Post-season During construction Spill clean-up Compost blankets, socks, and berms are used during construction to manage stormwater and post-construction to establish new turf and ornamentals.
  19. 19. WHEN is compost used? Pre-plant Mid-season Post-season During construction Spill clean-up Compost’s ability to absorb and degrade make it an ideal product for both spill clean-up and on-site/in-situ bioremediation for many types of contaminants.
  20. 20. WHERE is compost used? Crop fields & pastures Lawns, parks & sports fields Containers & planting beds Building sites Streets & highways
  21. 21. WHERE is compost used? Field crops & pastures Lawns, parks & sports fields Containers & planting beds Building sites Streets & highways Field crops Banded row Plasticulture Horse pastures Viticulture Horticulture Silviculture Sod farms
  22. 22. WHERE is compost used? Field crops & pastures Lawns, parks & sports fields Containers & planting beds Building sites Streets & highways Athletic fields Parks and lawns Recreation areas Golf courses
  23. 23. WHERE is compost used? Field crops & pastures Lawns, parks & sports fields Containers & planting beds Building sites Streets & highways Nurseries Raised bed gardens Greenhouses
  24. 24. WHERE is compost used? Field crops & pastures Lawns, parks & sports fields Containers & planting beds Building sites Streets & highways Slopes and hillsides Site perimeter Berms and swales Runoff channels Catchment basins Landscaped areas
  25. 25. WHERE is compost used? Field crops & pastures Lawns, parks & sports fields Containers & planting beds Building sites Streets & highways Berms Culverts Runoff channels Slopes and hillsides Medians Roadside
  26. 26. WHY is compost used? Restore soil organic matter Improve nutrient uptake Manage stormwater Fight soil- borne plant disease Replenish microbial populations
  27. 27. WHY is compost used? Restore soil organic matter Improve nutrient uptake Manage stormwater Fight soil- borne plant disease Replenish microbial populations Human use depletes soil organic matter. Organic matter content is a differentiating factor between good soil and plain dirt. A 5% organic matter content is recommended.
  28. 28. WHY is compost used? Restore soil organic matter Improve nutrient uptake Manage stormwater Fight soil- borne plant disease Replenish microbial populations Microbial activity in the soil converts nutrients to plant- available form and facilitates nutrient uptake, resulting in a reduced synthetic fertilizer input requirement.
  29. 29. WHY is compost used? Restore soil organic matter Improve nutrient uptake Manage stormwater Fight soil- borne plant disease Replenish microbial populations Using compost BMPs to manage stormwater is effective and brings down project costs. Its dual function -- erosion control and soil conditioning -- saves money.
  30. 30. WHY is compost used? Restore soil organic matter Improve nutrient uptake Manage stormwater Fight soil- borne plant disease Replenish microbial populations Compost can be an effective tool in the fight against fungal diseases like dollar spot and fairy rings.
  31. 31. WHY is compost used? Restore soil organic matter Improve nutrient uptake Manage stormwater Fight soil- borne plant disease Replenish microbial populations The only way to efficiently and economically replace depleted soil microbes is to use compost.
  32. 32. HOW is compost used? Incorporate Topdress Blend Blanket Capture & degrade
  33. 33. HOW is compost used? Incorporate Topdress & overseed Blend Blanket Capture & degrade Before seeding or laying sod, add 1-2 inches of compost and till, disk or core aerate to a depth of 4-8 inches.
  34. 34. HOW is compost used? Incorporate Topdress & overseed Blend Blanket Capture & degrade Apply 1/4 to 1/2- inch of compost before or after aerating. For patching bare spots or when spreading under established trees and shrubs, apply a 1/4 to 1/2- inch layer. Rake in.
  35. 35. HOW is compost used? Incorporate Topdress & overseed Blend Blanket Capture & degrade Add up to 30% compost in a blend or potting mix recipe. Compost can be substituted 1:1 for peat moss.
  36. 36. HOW is compost used? Incorporate Topdress & overseed Blend Blanket Capture & degrade Composts can be applied or blown onto the soil surface and seeded without incorporation when formulated for erosion control or other special uses.
  37. 37. HOW is compost used? Incorporate Topdress & overseed Blend Blanket Capture & degrade Compost socks and berms trap and filter stormwater to curb erosion and reduce pollution. Place socks around culverts and other stormwater system entry points.
  38. 38. One product | Many benefits | Superior results COMPOST WORKS
  39. 39. View more titles in the Talking Compost series at www.mcgillcompost.com Production costs for this title were underwritten by McGill. Its use is permitted for educational purposes if presented in its entirety and without editing or other alteration. ©McGill Environmental Systems of N.C. Inc. Questions? Call McGill HQ at 919-362-1161 or use a contact form at www.mcgillcompost.com.

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