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creating ultimate compost/natural weed control
Posted by: Mislu ()
Date: May 07, 2008 05:06AM

I have been composting for a few years now, and I think I could use a little advice. What materials do you add to get healthy vibrant compost to help your garden plants grow?

I understand that some herbs are particularly helpful to add, like dandelion, nettles, horsetail, comfery, plus any weeds from the garden. I also add some seaweed, powered feathers, leaves, coffee grounds, tea bags. One year I added calcium sulfate, but later found out that wasn't really necessary. I think I need more time, as it always seems to take so much time to compose. But it seems to work, my garden is slowly starting to have things actually grow. Prior to adding compost nothing came up, or everything planted died.

I don't have chickweed or lambsquarter growing anywere yet, so I will need to do something. (these are supposed to indicate great soil fertility)

I found an interesting site about natural weed control. Of course most people don't like weeds, but this gives some interesting insite as to how weeds work, and what they are doing in a particular area.
[www.enviromateinc.com]
The site might also be viewed as ways in which weeds can work for you. Balancing out minerals, accumulating minerals, creating vitamins or other compounds. The most interesting comment on the whole page is about common mullen growing in soils low in xenon. I suppose its possible that xenon is something needed for plants, but I always thought it was inert. But compounds can be made with noble gases, so who knows what importance they could be.

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Re: creating ultimate compost/natural weed control
Posted by: Itzdavey ()
Date: May 07, 2008 02:15PM

I use a 1/3rd Compost, 1/3rd vermiculite, and 1/3rd peat moss mix to plant everything. The compost I use is vermicompost My "pet worms" eat my junkmail and food scraps, which include just about everything you mentioned above.

Stuff grows like crazy in this mix. Weed control isn't a problem for me since I make my own soil mixture and don't plant in the ground. I either do containers (right now because I am in an aparment) or square foot gardening (using a raised bed). Last raised bed I had the occasional weed flown in from somewhere but this soil mix is so fluffy and light that everything just pulls right out with no effort, and minimal bending over!

It's about as natural as you can get. I've never bought fertilizer or weed or pest control of any kind.

Worm compost is the best, IMO. And I like knowing that I've created a little worm paradise (they just eat and make babies all day).

-DaveK

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Re: creating ultimate compost/natural weed control
Posted by: greensatva ()
Date: May 11, 2008 09:12AM

Hi!

DaveK, would the worms in this organic fertiliser damage my crops, especially tubers?

Love, Good Health, and God bless you!
~Greensatva, Kingston, Jamaica, W.I.

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Re: creating ultimate compost/natural weed control
Posted by: Itzdavey ()
Date: May 22, 2008 06:06PM

Greensatva,

I am so sorry I didn't reply to your message earlier. I tend to miss this part of the forums.

In vermicomposting systems, most of the worms are left behind when you harvest your compost. This is done by a variety of different methods but usually involves getting the worms to move towards newly added material for them to feast on.

There will inevitably some stragglers, but worms only eat dead stuff. They won't eat your plants that you are growing. In fact what they really do, if I understand correctly, is kind of slurp along the edges of stuff where it is already decomposing on it's own. (They have no teeth) Technically I think they are eating the microbes that are eating the decomposing materials.

Worms are generally considered to be beneficial to soil anyway since they aerate it. So they are perfectly natural.

-DaveK

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Re: creating ultimate compost/natural weed control
Posted by: TruthHunter ()
Date: September 04, 2008 04:04PM

Mislu Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have been composting for a few years now, and I
> think I could use a little advice. What materials
> do you add to get healthy vibrant compost to help
> your garden plants grow?

Add any healthy leftover plant material. For soil amendment, volume of organic matter is probably more important than type. while it is true that plants will concentrate or even transmute minerals that are in short supply, Compost from your own place isn't an efficient way to correct your soil.

If you want good results, test your soil. I had some friends who struggled for several years trying to grow things Organically. They finally tested their soil and found that they were very low on sulfur! The worst places were where they had tried to build up the soil with compost from their own place. They became disgusted with Organic and added Ammonium Sulfate. Everything grew wonderfully. Obviously sulfur isn't your problem if Calcium sulfate didn't help. but a good soil test might reveal something. The most common problems are still NPK, Calcium, and Magnesium. Availability may depend on PH

You didn't indicate what area you lived in. High soil PH may be a problem in California and Florida. You can have plenty of nutrients that aren't very available. Many other areas tend to be too low. Calcium Sulfate usually is used where you don't want to raise the PH, but want to add calcium.


I also add some seaweed, powered feathers,
> leaves, coffee grounds, tea bags.

Seaweed is good. See link below. You drink coffee?! :-)

> One year I added
> calcium sulfate, but later found out that wasn't
> really necessary.

Because there is plenty of calcium? Or it didn't make a difference? Again what's your PH?


I think I need more time, as it
> always seems to take so much time to compose.

?? Did you mean compost? Usually slow composting is a result of a lack of moisture, nitrogen, or heat. The bacteria that break down plant material quickly in compost work up to 160 degrees F. At close to this temperature compost will finish in less than 2 weeks.

But
> it seems to work, my garden is slowly starting to
> have things actually grow. Prior to adding compost
> nothing came up, or everything planted died.

Do you use any cover crops where nothing else is growing? How big a garden do you grow? Winter clover or Rye will build up the soil rapidly. The conserve nutrients when nothing else is growing plus add organic matter when they are tilled in. Now is the time to plant them in many areas.
>
> I don't have chickweed or lambsquarter growing
> anywere yet, so I will need to do something.
> (these are supposed to indicate great soil
> fertility)
>
First of all, do they grow at all in your area?

> I found an interesting site about natural weed
> control. Of course most people don't like weeds,
> but this gives some interesting insite as to how
> weeds work, and what they are doing in a
> particular area.
> [www.enviromateinc.com]

Interesting site, but almost none of that grows in my area.




Take a look at these links: [www.subtleenergies.com]

[www.subtleenergies.com]

TruthHunter

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