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View Full Version : What plants make the highest N composted?


sedge
12-01-2010, 12:31 AM
I was just wondering if a person had to make their own N, what plant species would be best for composting? Not a plow down type, but an actual N you could apply as compost or?

fl-landscapes
12-01-2010, 08:04 AM
might want to try this over in the organics forum....maybe the mods can move it for you

ICT Bill
12-01-2010, 08:09 AM
mushroom mycelia is 9%
Soy is around 6%
alfalfa is around 4%
corn gluten meal is around 9%

sedge
12-01-2010, 07:34 PM
might want to try this over in the organics forum....maybe the mods can move it for you

Not really an organic question only, but I get your point. Thanx.

mushroom mycelia is 9%
Soy is around 6%
alfalfa is around 4%
corn gluten meal is around 9%

This is in meal form or composted form of the entire plant for the other 3?

If I am reading that correctly, corn gluten at 9% would take 11 lbs to make 1 lb of N?

Soy (meal?) would take about 16lbs. Soy meal at $400 per ton would be about $3.20 per actual lb of N, correct?

dKoester
12-01-2010, 09:40 PM
Anual rye is perfect. First cut should be before it flowers. What a great cover crop.
I also like Alfalfa cause it helps bees tremendously and makes deer huge.
http://www.ryegrasscovercrop.com/

As far as meals go, you can make your own soy and alfalfa meals.

Kiril
12-01-2010, 09:52 PM
mushroom mycelia is 9%
Soy is around 6%
alfalfa is around 4%
corn gluten meal is around 9%

None of which are compost. :)

RigglePLC
12-01-2010, 10:03 PM
You are on the right track, Sedge. I think that almost any legume would be fine as a nitrogen bearing compost. Alfalfa, beans, peas, clover, crown vetch, black medic...

dKoester
12-01-2010, 10:04 PM
Alfalfa and rye help put the N in my compost. I no till farm so compost is the best start. Rye roots go down deep and pull alot of good nutrients out of the soil so when it gets cut down the roots die/decay. This helps with drainage and soil structure while the remaining matter feeds the microbes which feed my plants.

sedge
12-01-2010, 10:42 PM
None of which are compost. :)

I know the corn gluten "meal" wasn't and didn't figure on the others, but just checking. Thanx.

You are on the right track, Sedge. I think that almost any legume would be fine as a nitrogen bearing compost. Alfalfa, beans, peas, clover, crown vetch, black medic...

So any naturally occurring plant with higher N, will also make a higher compost with N. Does the heat from the composting break down or enhance or does nothing to the N?

Anual rye is perfect. First cut should be before it flowers. What a great cover crop.
I also like Alfalfa cause it helps bees tremendously and makes deer huge.
http://www.ryegrasscovercrop.com/

As far as meals go, you can make your own soy and alfalfa meals.

Yes, you can purchase soy meal cheaper then you can make it, as the oils have been removed.

Alfalfa and rye help put the N in my compost. I no till farm so compost is the best start. Rye roots go down deep and pull alot of good nutrients out of the soil so when it gets cut down the roots die/decay. This helps with drainage and soil structure while the remaining matter feeds the microbes which feed my plants.

Yes, agreed, but this ain't fo a farm.

Reason I am asking is if we get involved in attacking Iran, NK and related, N prices will skyrocket more so then they are going up currently. So was thinking to possibly have a back up if feasible and maybe also take a look at organic fertilizers.

Organic fert works great, but not so with organic weed control imho on lawns. i say that, but the last 2 years i was on the farm and in charge we used liquid molasses with liquid calcium on the corn for weed control. Worked great.

Kiril
12-01-2010, 10:53 PM
So any naturally occurring plant with higher N, will also make a higher compost with N.

No. A properly finished compost, regardless of the material used, should be in the range of 15:1 -> 20:1 C:N. The benefit you might gain by using a legume is the N source in the plant is naturally obtained (assuming fixation is occurring) and therefore it will be a more sustainable source of green matter in the pile. Cover crops IMO are better used as green manure.

sedge
12-01-2010, 11:00 PM
No. A properly finished compost, regardless of the material used, should be in the range of 15:1 -> 20:1 C:N. The benefit you might gain by using a legume is the N source in the plant is naturally obtained (assuming fixation is occurring) and therefore it will be a more sustainable source of green matter in the pile. Cover crops IMO are better used as green manure.

Ok, thanx!

Now, please forgive my ignornce, but 15:1 -> 20:1 C:N means what exactly? Is that 15 to 20% N?

Typically how many pounds in equals how many pounds out of compost? I know the ingredients vary on moisture levels, but a rough estimate.

NattyLawn
12-01-2010, 11:23 PM
C:N is carbon to nitrogen ratio. Basically it's the browns (carbon) to greens (N) to make compost.

http://www.composting101.com/c-n-ratio.html

I used molasses to kill Nutsedge this summer. Worked great.

Kiril
12-01-2010, 11:46 PM
Now, please forgive my ignornce, but 15:1 -> 20:1 C:N means what exactly? Is that 15 to 20% N?

It is a dimensionless ratio.

Typically how many pounds in equals how many pounds out of compost? I know the ingredients vary on moisture levels, but a rough estimate.

There is no (reasonable) way to put a number on that in general terms that I am aware of. I have posted lab test results for various composts, as have others, and you will see that the nutrient content varies widely.

Here are the ones I posted a long time ago. The links may or may not work.


Plant Based (Leaf & Yard Waste)

http://www.loudouncomposting.com/uploads/soilmate_analysis.pdf


Mixed Manure & Plant Based

http://www.bearpathfarm.com/compost_.pdf

http://www.lacitysan.org/srpcd/pdf/sta_lopez.pdf

http://www.lacitysan.org/srpcd/pdf/sta_griffith.pdf

http://laurelvalleysoils.com/lvs05pdf/PremiumCompost.pdf

fl-landscapes
12-02-2010, 08:02 AM
]Not really an organic question [/B]only, but I get your point. Thanx.



This is in meal form or composted form of the entire plant for the other 3?

If I am reading that correctly, corn gluten at 9% would take 11 lbs to make 1 lb of N?

Soy (meal?) would take about 16lbs. Soy meal at $400 per ton would be about $3.20 per actual lb of N, correct?

I wasnt trying to be rude, I just thought you would get more info there. Looks like they all came here to answer so your good. But how is composting plants for a natural compost high in N not an organic question? Where is the synthetic part I missed?

sedge
12-02-2010, 08:24 AM
I wasnt trying to be rude, I just thought you would get more info there. Looks like they all came here to answer so your good. But how is composting plants for a natural compost high in N not an organic question? Where is the synthetic part I missed?

I know you weren't, that is why I said thanx.

This forum is labeled pesticide & herbicide application, not synthetic pesticide & synthetic herbicide application. But there are as many or near as many threads on fertilizers.

I never said it had to be natural, IE organic, I was just wondering if it mattered what plants were in it and the end N level.

Ric
12-02-2010, 09:09 AM
I know you weren't, that is why I said thanx.

This forum is labeled pesticide & herbicide application, not synthetic pesticide & synthetic herbicide application. But there are as many or near as many threads on fertilizers.

I never said it had to be natural, IE organic, I was just wondering if it mattered what plants were in it and the end N level.

Sedge

You realize as organic material decomposes it uses Nitrogen to stir microbial activity. In others words Nitrogen IN doesn't equal Nitrogen out because much of the Nitrogen is lost or gassed off in the process.

gunsnroses
12-02-2010, 10:06 AM
http://www.groworganic.com/seeds.html?cat=77


Use the solution finder on the left of the page.

RigglePLC
12-02-2010, 10:40 AM
So...you can mix clover seed with grass seed...like they used to do a hundred years ago. The clover provides nitrogen to stimulate the grass. Only about a pound per thousand sq ft per year, from what I have heard. Not sure how much nitrogen you would get. Fine--self-fertilizing grass, with numerous white clover blossoms in June. However, how do you kill the dandelions without killing the clover?
Black medic should work just as well and blooms are not obvious. Its an annual, but self reseeds in most years.

starry night
12-02-2010, 11:27 AM
sedge: don't worry about us organic guys finding your question. We are ubiquitous. (Inside joke from the organics forum.) :)

IMO, everyone got off-track trying to answer your question per se rather than your reasoning behind it. (Ric touched on it.) I believe you were trying to find a way of producing N at a cost less than buying it, possibly by making high-N compost or at least supplementing the purchased N. Your thinking reflects that of guys who use synthetics that provide N in the form that grass uses directly. The goal of organics is to improve the soil environment by adding organic matter so that the soil microbiology produces the N. Our inputs don't necessarily provide much N by themselves. On the lawns that I treat organically with compost and some grain meals, my actual N input is minimal for the season. I've never even bothered to compute it. (My guess is less than 2 pounds for the season, maybe one pound?)

dKoester
12-02-2010, 07:18 PM
Use some PEEEEEE! LOL It works. Just dilute it well. I do not recommend this if you are on any medication.
Rabbit manure works awesome! Those little balls come pelletized too! There like BB's!

starry night
12-02-2010, 07:21 PM
Use some PEEEEEE! LOL It works. Just dilute it well. I do not recommend this if you are on any medication.
Rabbit manure works awesome! Those little balls come pelletized too! There like BB's!

Are you sure you aren't on some kind of medication? :laugh::laugh:

dKoester
12-02-2010, 07:25 PM
I'm a 100% there man. Rabbits are funny. when they go to poo they get big eyes. Its hilarious. Ah man the simple things in life.

starry night
12-02-2010, 07:34 PM
I try to chase out all the rabbits on my property so they stay away from eating my plants. However, my dog can be helpful with the pee. When I send him outside, I put a surgical mask on him so he can't smell his previous spots and therefore he pees all around the yard.

cdqat1432
12-03-2010, 06:15 PM
I couldnt help it. The idea of a dog with a mask on just made me laugh. How many times did he rip it off before you got him used to it? Did he bite you the first time? Sorry. :)