Compost, oganic matter


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Fruit and Vegetable Science
K. Jerome

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  • I have approx 5/6 kg of horse manure which I collected from a nearby bridle path. I want make some liquid manure for my tomato's, peppers etc. How much water do I need to add to this quantity of manure to make a good feed?
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Compost, oganic matter

  1. 1. Composting, Organic Matter
  2. 2. Waste facts <ul><li>Organic materials comprise </li></ul><ul><li>more than 25% of residential waste </li></ul><ul><li>most of this is compostable </li></ul>
  3. 3. Organic Matter <ul><li>Any material that was once living, has died, has decomposed to one degree or another </li></ul>
  4. 4. Organic Matter <ul><li>horse, cow, duck, sheep manures </li></ul><ul><li>straw and hay </li></ul><ul><li>grass clippings, shredded leaves </li></ul><ul><li>vegetable waste </li></ul><ul><li>shredded bark, wood chips, sawdust </li></ul><ul><li>garden debris – compost </li></ul><ul><li>oil particle size or type, but can control organic matter </li></ul>
  5. 5. Organic Matter <ul><li>Influences physical, chemical properties of soils and way soil behaves </li></ul>
  6. 6. Organic Matter <ul><li>improves heavy clay – better drainage </li></ul><ul><li>improves sandy soils - increases water-holding capacity </li></ul>
  7. 7. Organic Matter <ul><li>organic matter affects soil - </li></ul><ul><li>better able to store nutrients, water </li></ul><ul><li>improved structure </li></ul>
  8. 8. Organic Matter <ul><li>Compost adds organic matter, recycles plants </li></ul>
  9. 9. Organic Matter <ul><li>Animal manures - should be well rotted, usually applied in fall, may have weed seeds </li></ul><ul><li>Horse </li></ul><ul><li>Cow </li></ul><ul><li>Poultry </li></ul><ul><li>Rabbit </li></ul><ul><li>Sheep, goat </li></ul>
  10. 10. Liquid manure
  11. 11. What is compost? <ul><li>Product of decomposition of organic materials by decomposers </li></ul>
  12. 12. What is compost? <ul><li>Valuable soil </li></ul><ul><li>amendment </li></ul><ul><li>Dark, crumbly, </li></ul><ul><li>earthy odor </li></ul><ul><li>Can be utilized in </li></ul><ul><li>home yards, </li></ul><ul><li>commercial landscapes </li></ul>
  13. 13. Benefits of composting <ul><li>Valuable soil amendment </li></ul><ul><li>Effective mulch </li></ul><ul><li>Reduction in waste </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Improves soil structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increases aeration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Holds moisture </li></ul></ul>Soil amendment
  15. 15. Soil amendment <ul><li>Promotes plant growth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stores nutrients </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contains essential </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>micronutrients </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prevents disease </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Soil amendment <ul><li>Flower and vegetable gardens: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dig or till 8 to 10 inch deep </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mix 3 to 4 inches of compost </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Mulch <ul><li>Suppress weeds </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain moisture levels </li></ul><ul><li>Control temperature </li></ul><ul><li>Prevent soil erosion </li></ul>
  18. 18. Reduce waste <ul><li>Reduces amount of waste </li></ul><ul><li>sent to landfills </li></ul><ul><li>Often illegal to dispose </li></ul><ul><li>of yard waste with </li></ul><ul><li>other municipal solid </li></ul><ul><li>waste </li></ul>
  19. 19. How does compost happen? <ul><li>Organic material processed by decomposers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bacteria </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fungi </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Worms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invertebrates </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Need food, air and water </li></ul><ul><li>(we supply) </li></ul><ul><li>Need heat </li></ul><ul><li>(they supply their own) </li></ul>
  20. 20. Decomposers – microorganisms and soil animals
  21. 21. Decomposers - bacteria <ul><li>Most numerous organisms in </li></ul><ul><li>compost pile </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t need to be added – </li></ul><ul><li>present everywhere </li></ul><ul><li>Generate heat associated </li></ul><ul><li>with composting </li></ul><ul><li>Perform primary breakdown of organic materials </li></ul>
  22. 22. Decomposers - fungi <ul><li>Perform primary decomposition </li></ul><ul><li>Identified by hyphae or </li></ul><ul><li>presence of mushrooms </li></ul>Not as efficient as bacteria Less temperature tolerant than bacteria
  23. 23. Decomposers - nematodes <ul><li>Most abundant invertebrate in soil </li></ul><ul><li>Usually less then 1 millimeter in length </li></ul><ul><li>Prey on bacteria, protozoa, fungal </li></ul><ul><li>spores and each other </li></ul>
  24. 24. Decomposers - mites <ul><li>Called fermentation mites or mold mites </li></ul><ul><li>Transparent </li></ul><ul><li>Feed on yeast </li></ul><ul><li>Masses often develop over </li></ul><ul><li>fermenting surfaces </li></ul>
  25. 25. Decomposers - collembula <ul><li>springtails </li></ul><ul><li>Feed mainly on fungi but </li></ul><ul><li>also eat organic detritus </li></ul>
  26. 26. Decomposers - sow bug <ul><li>Feed on rotting woody </li></ul><ul><li>Material, leaf tissue </li></ul><ul><li>pill bugs </li></ul>
  27. 27. Decomposers - ground beetle <ul><li>Many different types found in, around compost piles </li></ul><ul><li>Feed on other organisms, </li></ul><ul><li>seeds vegetable matter </li></ul>
  28. 28. Decomposers - earthworms <ul><li>Coat processed organic material with mucus films that binds small particles together </li></ul><ul><li>Aerate soil, compost pile </li></ul>
  29. 29. Other compost residents - pests <ul><li>House flies </li></ul><ul><li>Fruit flies </li></ul><ul><li>Rodents </li></ul><ul><li>Raccoons </li></ul><ul><li>Proper bin maintenance, </li></ul><ul><li>selective material usage </li></ul><ul><li>will reduce pest problems </li></ul>
  30. 30. Pest control <ul><li>Avoid </li></ul><ul><li>meat </li></ul><ul><li>dairy </li></ul><ul><li>fats </li></ul><ul><li>pet food </li></ul><ul><li>pet feces </li></ul><ul><li>Cover food waste with layer </li></ul><ul><li>of grass, straw, leaves, </li></ul><ul><li>soil or finished compost </li></ul>
  31. 31. Key ingredients <ul><li>Green and brown materials </li></ul><ul><li>Moisture </li></ul><ul><li>Air movement </li></ul><ul><li>Temperature </li></ul>
  32. 32. Carbon:Nitrogen Ratio <ul><li>Microorganisms in compost use: </li></ul><ul><li>carbon for energy </li></ul><ul><li>nitrogen for protein synthesis </li></ul>
  33. 33. C:N Ratio Green materials = nitrogen green grass clippings Brown materials = carbon autumn leaves, straw
  34. 34. Average Carbon:Nitrogen Ratios Food Scraps 15:1 GREENS Grass Clippings 19:1 Rotted Manure 25:1 30:1 Ideal for Composting Corn Stalks 60:1 Leaves 40-80:1 Straw 80:1 BROWNS Paper 170:1 Sawdust, woodchips 500:1
  35. 35. Moisture <ul><li>Strive for moisture content around 50% </li></ul><ul><li>lower - bacteria slow down </li></ul><ul><li>higher - anaerobic decomposition begins </li></ul>
  36. 36. Moisture <ul><li>Optimal moisture levels: </li></ul><ul><li>moist as wrung out sponge </li></ul><ul><li>Mix when watering to avoid shedding </li></ul>
  37. 37. Aeration <ul><li>Mixing monthly </li></ul><ul><li>increases rate of decomposition </li></ul><ul><li>by increasing air spaces </li></ul><ul><li>Takes 3–6 times longer </li></ul><ul><li>if not turned </li></ul>
  38. 38. <ul><li>Reduce particle size by shredding </li></ul><ul><li>increases surface area for decomposers </li></ul><ul><li>If too small, may compact </li></ul><ul><li>Mixture of small and large particles ideal </li></ul>Particle size
  39. 39. Temperature <ul><li>High temperature = </li></ul><ul><li>Faster decomposition </li></ul><ul><li>High temperature kills weeds and pathogens </li></ul>
  40. 40. What can be composted? <ul><li>Grass, yard trimmings/clippings </li></ul><ul><li>Leaves </li></ul><ul><li>Coffee grounds/filters </li></ul><ul><li>Tea leaves/bags </li></ul><ul><li>Fruit, vegetable trimmings </li></ul><ul><li>Wood chips </li></ul><ul><li>Sawdust </li></ul><ul><li>Egg shells </li></ul><ul><li>Livestock manure </li></ul>
  41. 41. What should not be composted? <ul><li>Diseased, insect infested plants </li></ul><ul><li>Cat, dog manure </li></ul><ul><li>Evergreen needles </li></ul><ul><li>Poison ivy, other poisonous plants </li></ul><ul><li>Weeds that contain seeds </li></ul><ul><li>Meat, animal products </li></ul><ul><li>Dairy products </li></ul>
  42. 42. Building compost pile <ul><li>Build in layers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>8 to 10 inches of </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘brown’ material </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Several inches of </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘green’ material </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One inch of soil </li></ul></ul>
  43. 43. Compost bins <ul><li>At least 3 x 3 x 3 </li></ul><ul><li>No larger than 5 x 5 (any length) </li></ul><ul><li>Large enough to hold heat, moisture </li></ul><ul><li>Small enough for air to reach middle </li></ul>
  44. 44. Compost bin types <ul><li>Variety in cost, labor, </li></ul><ul><li>volume, time required for </li></ul><ul><li>finished compost </li></ul>
  45. 46. Open piles <ul><li>Slowest rate of decomposition </li></ul><ul><li>Least expensive method </li></ul><ul><li>Minimal pest control, containment </li></ul>
  46. 47. Holding units <ul><li>Helps keep decomposing materials organized </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces pest problems </li></ul><ul><li>Requires no turning </li></ul><ul><li>Relatively slow rate of decomposition (6 months to 2 years) </li></ul>
  47. 48. Turning units Three-chambered bin Barrel or drum composter Allow easier mixing of materials hotter pile, reduced composting time (as soon as 2-3 weeks) more expensive, more labor intensive
  48. 50. Location <ul><li>Avoid areas with drying wind </li></ul><ul><li>Partial sun will help heat pile </li></ul><ul><li>easily accessible yet not interfere with yard activities </li></ul><ul><li>not be offensive to neighbors </li></ul>
  49. 51. Finished Compost <ul><li>Avoid using unfinished compost </li></ul><ul><li>Organic acids may harm plant roots </li></ul><ul><li>Do not use if: </li></ul><ul><li>still hot </li></ul><ul><li>smells like ammonia </li></ul><ul><li>plant parts are still identifiable </li></ul>
  50. 52. <ul><li>Use if: </li></ul><ul><li>Pile stays at or near ambient temperature </li></ul><ul><li>Compost is dark, crumbly, and has earthy smell </li></ul><ul><li>Volume of has been reduced by 30 to 50 percent </li></ul>Finished Compost
  51. 53. Problem solving <ul><li>Smells like rotten eggs: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not enough air/too much water </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add coarse material like dry leaves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pile should be wet like a wrung out sponge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Smells like ammonia: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Too much nitrogen, not enough carbon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add dry leaves, sawdust or straw </li></ul></ul>
  52. 54. Problem solving <ul><li>Pile not heating up: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>bin too small </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Too dry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Too little air flow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>material ratios (C:N) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pile attracting pests: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eliminate meat, dairy products, fats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bury food waste under leaves, grass </li></ul></ul>
  53. 55. <ul><ul><li>Available though many cities, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>villages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often take larger yard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>trimmings for chipping </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually offered as </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>free service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Finished compost often </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>available for free </li></ul></ul>Municipal Composting
  54. 56. Vermicomposting <ul><li>Method of composting kitchen scraps and other organic material indoors </li></ul><ul><li>Materials placed in aerated </li></ul><ul><li>container with redworms </li></ul><ul><li>Redworms able to digest </li></ul><ul><li>2/3 their body weight in a day </li></ul>