Compost?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Tim Wilson, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    Makes sense.

    Another thought I just had is to make sure you are applying the same amount of total N per K with each of the three medias. This will make your results more comparable. It would take a different test than the standard soil test.. out here the total N test runs $11.50.

    So for $40 you can standardize your N, and have a more reputable comparison. If you decide to apply at the same N rate and need help calculating it... just pm me.

    Either way good luck and have fun with your experiment. :)
     
  2. Tim Wilson

    Tim Wilson LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 795

    I use vermicompost, so cannot speak much about thermophilic compost but I've never had a problem with the nitrogen requirements being available for the plants. I often plant seeds directly into 100% vermicompost. When I had a hay farm in a more populated area, where manure was cheap we would often spread chicken manure in wood shavings/dust across our field. This degraded quite quickly with good greening results. Now we run horses over the field in winter and have a resident herd of elk (200 or so) which hang out and poo over winter. Most Springs we harrow this to spread and break it up. The horse manure breaks down very rapidly (into compost?). We have never used any other amendments. I've already posted a photo of our 7 foot hay.

    There are other sources of organic matter which contribute to feed the soil which may work for you; fish hydrolysate? grass clippings? humic acid?
     
  3. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    Kiril,

    What manure does your supplier usually use? I assume things like large scale chicken manure would have minimal weed seeds to begin with.

    Do they do anything to sterilize the manure before they mix it with the compost? For instance, can you bake it or something to kill the seeds?

    Thanks
     
  4. Tim Wilson

    Tim Wilson LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 795

    Just a little word on lab tests;

    Be sure to use an accredited lab. I've had quite a lot of testing done on a variety of soils and substances. There was a local Ag lab which did typical testing for years. All the farmers counted on it. I had testing done by them which was out to lunch. I started sending samples to the Bodycote group instead and was pleased with cheaper accurate results. There are other good labs but just check their accreditation.

    I wonder if there is more value in plant tissue testing?
     
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Turkey, and I don't know what they do to it nor do I know how the farm is run. Sometimes I get fist sized nuggets of joy. :)
     
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    When it comes to nutrient management in an organic program I would say there is more value in plant tissue analysis than soil testing. You still need to test the soil for a management program, but when you are faced with nutrient related problems in your plants, I go to the tissue analysis for answers.
     
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    A farmer went by the insane asylum with his honeywagon full of fresh horse manure, when one of the residents shouted out to him, "Where you going with all that manure?"
    The farmer replies , "I'm gonna put it on my Strawberries."
    The one resident looks at another and says, "We put milk and sugar on ours and they think we're crazy."
     
  8. Tim Wilson

    Tim Wilson LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 795

    Smirk! & chortle
     

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