Program - Jon Lowe on compost
Mr. Lowe gratiously presented a comprehensive lecture on the making and maintaining a compost bed. A good compost is a source of gardening material as well as a way to utilize the waste foliage from the garden.
Good compost smells like good clean dirt. Compost is used to imporve soil, prevent sending materials to land fill. It improves heavy clay stucture. Compost increases water holding power especially sandy soil.
Leaves -> compost -> then gone
Decomposition can be stopped by letting the compost dry.
The Time to Make Compost
2 mo to 2 years
a pile can take a couple years
compost pile should not be where there is standing water.
Types: Minimal size 3 x 3 x 3
Boards 2 x 6 make slots like slats so boards can be removed
Can fill plastic bags they will compost on their own. Process speeded by additional water
Can take year old leaves and use them as a mulch then the next year will be compost
Material - leaves, pine straw, grass, saw dust, newspaper, no meat or fats.
Grass leaves more nitrogen to carbon
Sawdust low nitrogen high carbon
Higher Nitrogen:Carbon ratio the faster metabolism.
Grass makes a good mulch - accumulate grass throughout the summer.
Fungi and bacteria and actinomyces
Nitrogen helps growth
Process can be sped up by adding nitrogen - amonium nitrate
Earth worms digest organic material
Creating compost pile
Finer particals deteriorate faster.
Shred leaves to create an 8 inch layer
Add 1 inch of compost
amonium nitrate - hand full
then wet layer of leaves just moist
add additional layers
cover it with plastic in winter
Temp can get up to 140 degrees
If it hits 160 it destroys the organisms
In two weeks, mixes the entire compost
Microorganisms in the compost pile
Aerobic - proper bacteria
Anerobic - creats odors.
If compost is not developing then there is insufficient water or nitrogen
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