Tag Archives: compost

COMPOSTING IS EASY – TRY IT TODAY! | My Little Green Steps

COMPOSTING IS EASY – TRY IT TODAY!

Posted on January 21, 2015

I had started composting my kitchen scraps 12 years ago when we moved to Sydney, Australia. Back then we lived in an apartment. I started with a worm farm in my laundry but soon realised that this way of producing compost is not very effective – I used only a small part of my kitchen scraps. I decided to join a local community garden where I can have my own compost bin. For attendance of a sustainability workshop, my local council gave me a compost bin for free. I collected my kitchen scraps and once a week took them to the community garden. As a result of my composting, the amount of rubbish I threw in the red bin was reduced by half! I added leaves and a bit of soil from the community garden to the compost. My heart jumped with joy the first time I saw worms working hard to turn my kitchen scraps into compost! I was so proud with my compost, I never looked back.

Few years later we bought a house and I had the privilege to have a compost bin in my own backyard! This time in addition to the kitchen scraps, leaves and newspaper strips I could add the lawn mower clippings as well. “Hooray” I thought, now I can produce the best compost in the world! However, after a while I noticed that there were no worms in my backyard compost bin?! Obviously there was something wrong with my compost. I checked all kind of websites and books for advice. They all had long lists of dos and don’ts, percentages of green and brown…it sounded sooo complicated. See, I’m a lazy gardener and a busy working mum so I decided to ignore all the composting instructions and do it my way.

via COMPOSTING IS EASY – TRY IT TODAY! | My Little Green Steps.

Soil and earthworms

Did you know that 2015 is International Year of Soils? And today is a Blogger Action Day on Save the Soil started by Lori Fontanes at (http://whattheducks.com/2015/01/12/talk-dirt-2-me/).

As part of my contribution, I wanted to talk about the humble earthworm. It is estimated that there are 3000 species of earthworms globally. The common earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris), is one of the most abundant species in Ireland and Britain and is found throughout the Northern hemisphere. It has also been introduced into Southern America, Australia and New Zealand.

Earthworms play a vital role in soil health. On one website, earthworms are described as ‘ecosystem engineers’ (http://www.earthwormsoc.org.uk). Firstly, earthworms dig burrows. Some species dig vertical burrows, others dig horizontal burrows. The burrows allow air and water to penetrate into the soil. At the same time, the burrows allow carbon dioxide to escape. Earthworms also help decompose organic matter. The common earthworm will come to the surface and pull plant material into its burrow. Darwin described earthworms as ‘natures ploughs‘ because they mix soils and the organic matter. Their casts (faeces) are rich in organic plant material and help maintain soil fertility. There can be 20-40 earthworms per square metre of garden!

Providing plenty of organic matter in you garden is a good way of encouraging earthworms. You can do this by putting mulch around plants. It is also great to have a compost bin or compost heap. It’s a great way to recycle garden and kitchen waste. I took this photo of my compost heap yesterday – it was cold and the worms are probably buried deep within but they are definitely there!

Read more here: https://murtaghsmeadow.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/soil-and-earthworms/

steering clear of the devil’s workshop

It’s winter. Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop. Not this time Devil, because I’m getting busy.

Before we go any further with this, a disclaimer; I haven’t actually tested this seeding mix in these proportions. From experience with other proportions and mixes though, I believe it to be a sound recipe, and have high hopes. Although hopes and a buck fifty will get you a bad cup of coffee.

I love this process, which started more than a year ago with 1000 red wigglers, then continued three months later with a trailer-load of enticingly-scented horse plops. Now, with two buckets of black beautiful worm castings and compost in front of me, I can finally get my hands dirty.

It’s another sort of harvest, and I can’t stop myself from fluffing the stuff with a little garden fork and patting myself on the head. Good little gardener.

It’s a cathartic thing, mixing seed-starting media. Like baking, only with poop.

The mix is simple:
2 parts compost (for nutrients and moisture retention)
2 parts peat (to lighten the mix and add drainage)
1 part vermiculite (also for moisture retention)
1 smidge of worm castings (for flavor)

I would have added some perlite too, but didn’t have any on hand. No matter.

It makes a light, fluffy, enticingly dark mix. I started measuring what I had the least of (peat) and mixed that 2:1 with vermiculite. Then started dumping equal amounts of that mixture and compost into the wheelbarrow until I ran out. Finally came a couple of cups of precious vermicompost. It’s hard for me to actually use my composts. I want to KEEP them. But the garden moves on, and composting never ends.

Read more here: https://vegetablurb.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/steering-clear-of-the-devils-workshop/

Compost and Compost Tea Management of Mini Watermelon Cultivations Affects the Chemical, Physical and Sensory Assessment of the Fruits | Scientific Research Publishing

Compost and Compost Tea Management of Mini Watermelon Cultivations Affects the Chemical, Physical and Sensory Assessment of the Fruits

Read  full  paper  at:

http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=53314#.VLyl48nQrzE

Author(s)

Loredana Liguori1, Catello Pane2, Donatella Albanese1*, Giuseppe Celano3, Massimo Zaccardelli2, Marisa Di Matteo1

Affiliation(s)

1Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale, Università di Salerno, Fisciano, Italy.

2Consiglio per la Ricerca e la Sperimentazione in Agricoltura, Centro di Ricerca per l’Orticoltura, Pontecagnano, Italy.

3Dipartimento delle Culture Europee e del Mediterraneo: Architettura, Ambiente, Patrimoni Culturali (DICEM), Università degli Studi della Basilicata, Matera, Italy.

ABSTRACT

Compost, rich in plant nutrients, is a readily available fertilizer with beneficial effects on physical, chemical, biochemical and biological properties of the soils. Moreover compost-based treatments can exert protective effects against plant diseases occurrence and/or stimulate an enhanced plant physiological status with improvements in quantity and quality of crop productions. In this study the effects of three different compost-based cropping managements on the productive response and main quality parameters of watermelon fruits were investigated. Treatments, in comparison with the conventional cultivation method, were: soil amendment with an agricultural waste compost (AWC), a municipal waste compost (MWC) and a foliar treatment with a compost tea blend (CTB). The productive responses and colour parameters related to compost treatments did not show significant differences compared to control ones, which reached a total yield of about 10.22 kg·m-2 with a mean weight of 2.74 kg. AWC caused a higher ascorbic acid content with an increase of 50% than conventional treatment, while fruits obtained by CTB showed higher values in firmness and Quality Index than control samples. The analysis of main sugars highlighted that the application of compost as biofertilizer influenced the ratio among fructose, glucose and sucrose with respect to those observed for control fruits.

via Compost and Compost Tea Management of Mini Watermelon Cultivations Affects the Chemical, Physical and Sensory Assessment of the Fruits | Scientific Research Publishing.