What plants make the highest N composted?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by sedge, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. sedge

    sedge LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 33,566

    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?
  2. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,542

    might want to try this over in the organics forum....maybe the mods can move it for you
  3. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

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

    sedge LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 33,566

    Not really an organic question 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?
  5. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,257

    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.

    As far as meals go, you can make your own soy and alfalfa meals.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    None of which are compost. :)
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,229

    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...
  8. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,257

    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.
  9. sedge

    sedge LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 33,566

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

    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?

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

    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.
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    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.

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