Organic Vegetable Gardening - Sarasota County Extension

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Organic Vegetable Gardening - Sarasota County Extension

Organic Vegetable GardeningCompost: Part 2Noontime TalksPhillippi Farmhouse MarketRobert KlusonAg/NR Extension AgentUF/IFAS Sarasota County Extension


OUTLINE‣Overview of topics of noontimetalks on organic vegetablegardening‣Introduction to organicvegetable gardening‣Advanced and new techniquesof compost making and use


Topics of Noontime Talksfor Organic Vegetable Gardening• Introduction (Nov 23, 2011)• Edible Flowers (Dec 7, 2011)• Container Gardening (Dec 21, 2011)• Worm Composting (Jan 4, 2012)• Frost Protection (Jan 11, 2012)• Composting – Part 1 (Jan 25, 2012)• Transplants (Feb 8,2012)


Topics of Noontime Talksfor Organic Vegetable Gardening• Composting – Part 2 (Feb 22, 2012)• Irrigation (March 14, 2012)• Beneficial Insects (March 28, 2012)• Companion Planting (April 11, 2012)• Cover crops (April 22, 2012)


Goals for Noontime Talks onOrganic Vegetable Introduction Gardening– Food for your freshest nutrition– Food for expanding benefits of backyardvegetable gardening– Food for thought– Food for your soul


Approach of Noontime Talks onOrganic Vegetable Gardening• Promote the practice of the guidelines inthe reference “Vegetable Gardening inFlorida” by James M. Stephens. 1999.Univ. of FL, IFAS• Provide background information on thescience and principles from agroecologyfor successful organic vegetable gardening•• Provide additional resources available forsuccessful organic vegetable gardening


• Available from UF/IFAS bookstore, see http://ifasbooks.ufl.edu/merchant2/Also available from your favorite book vender.


Agroecosystem Concept• An approach that looks at yourvegetable garden as a functional wholeof interacting living and non livingcomponents, i.e. “whole is more thansum of parts”• A science-based management usingmodels from natural ecosystemsGliessman, S., 1999. Agroecology: Ecological Processes in Sustainable Agriculture


Nature Model forOrganic Vegetable Gardening


Organic Vegetable Garden EcologyGarden Agroecosystem Examplecropspestssoil• Garden agroecosystems have functional properties &subsystems (e.g., soil organic matter) from biodiversity


Soil Organic Matter Model• OM additions startrapid multiplicationof bacteria, fungi,and actinomycetes• As most readilyavailable energysources are used up,microorganismsagain becomerelatively inactive,• Leaving behind adark mixture usuallyreferred to ashumus – a stableorganic compoundSoil Resource Webpage,Univ. of MN, http://www.soils.umn.edu/academics/classes/soil2125/


Soil Organic Matter Model• Composition– all living organisms(microorganisms,earthworms, etc),– fresh residues (oldplant roots, cropresidues, recentlyadded manures),– decomposing OM– well-decomposedresidues (humus).Soil Resource Webpage, Univ. of MNhttp://www.soils.umn.edu/academics/classes/soil2125/


Humusa mixture of compounds and complex lifechemicals of plant, animal, or microbial originthat are resistant to decomposition and include:Fulvic AcidsHumic Acids


Function of Humus increases water holding capacity sticks together & helpsestablish and maintain a strongcrumb structure & aidsinfiltration provides some nutrients (N & P)as it is slowly decayed bymicrobial activity at the rate of2.5% per yearHumus =HighMedium buffers pH changes creates good soil “ Tilth” holds nutrients by increasingcation & anion exchangecapacity, and chelating capacityLow


Composting• Art & science of producing ahumus-based, stable organic mattersoil amendment by:– mixing organic materials properly– monitoring resultant biological activity• Types described today– aerobic, thermophilic piles– new developments in aerobic type– compost tea– grub composting


Composting Literature• Sir Albert Howard, “An AgricultureTestament” (1943)– Introduced Indore Compost MakingProcess– Foundation of organic gardening/farming• J.I Rodale, “Complete Book ofComposting” (1960)– Father of US organic gardening/farming


Aerobic Composting Basics Review


Aerobic Composting is Alive!


Aerobic,Thermophilic CompostingReview of the Basics• Organic materials– carbon:nitrogen ratio = 30:1– less than 2-3 inches particle size– moisture (40-60 %)• Pile building and management– layers– aeration– volume (3‟x3‟x3-6‟)• Monitoring– temperature rise (minimum 131 o F for 3 days)• Management– mixing/turning– finishing/curing– screening– maturity testsGo to http://compostinfo.com/


FL’s Online Composting CenterProvides interactive tool for proper use of raw ingredients


Aerobic Composting Basicshttp://www.wastenot-organics.wisc.edu/05composting/presentations/biologyofcompostpile.pdf


Aerobic Composting Basics


Aerobic Composting Basics


Aerobic Composting Basics


Aerobic Composting Basics


Aerobic Composting Basicshttp://www.fcgov.com/recycling/pdf/composting_fest08_02_composting.pdf


Compost Maturity Testing


Compost Maturity


Compost Maturity Testing


Compost Maturity TestsSniff testBag testGermination testswith extracts of compostin compostPlant growth in compostSolvita test kit


Compost Maturity TestingThe Sniff Test-Get a sample from thecompost pile by hand or inan open container- Check for foul odors. Theyindicate anaerobic or airlessdecomposition is occurring,creating chemicals which canbe toxic to plants- As a rule, foul smellingcompost should not be used.


Compost Maturity TestingThe Bag Test- Used to determine if the compost is ready to becured or stored for its final stage of stabilization- Take a small sample of compost from the inside ofthe pile, wet it thoroughly, and seal the sample in aplastic bag- Store the closed bag for about a week at roomtemperature.- If when you open the bag the compost has apleasant, earthy odor, rather than a foul odor, it isstable enough to be cured. If not, the compostingprocess should be continued.


Simple Compost Maturity TestingThe Germination Test-Unfinished compost has phytotoxiccompounds (toxic to plants) whichinhibit seed germination, especiallywith highly sensitive cress and beanseeds.-Test cress seed germination in astarting flat with a shallow layer ofcompost and planting apredetermined number of seeds.(germination in 2-3 days)-Test bean germination in several 4inch pots with compost, planting 3 to4 seeds in each pot (germination in5-7 days)


Simple Compost Maturity TestingThe Germination Test (cont.)-At the same time, county out the samenumber of seeds and germinate thesein damp paper towels.-Compare both the germination speedand the number of seeds thatgerminate in towels with the numberthat germinate in compost treatment-If the plants are not healthy, thecompost is not mature andneeds to continue composting orcuring, the final stage of stabilizingcompost.http://sarasota.ifas.ufl.edu/compost-info/tutorial/compost-maturity-test.shtml


Solvita Test for Compost Maturity‣Test based on monitoring bothCO 2 respiration & NH 3 volatilization‣ High rates of emissions indicate activelydegrading compost‣ Tests results together give a compostmaturity indexhttp://solvita.com/compost-information


Compost Byproducts; NH 3


Solvita Compost Maturity Index


Solvita Compost Maturity Index


Advanced Composting: LIGNIN


What Is Lignin?Lignin is a complex chemical compound mostcommonly derived from wood, and an integral partof the secondary cell walls of plants. Its mostcommonly noted function is the support throughstrengthening of wood (xylem cells) in trees.Wood ligninLignin chemistry


Humus Comparisona mixture of compounds and complex lifechemicals of plant, animal, or microbial originthat are resistant to decomposition and include:Fulvic AcidsHumic Acids


Composting Lignin Factor


Composting Lignin Factor


Advanced Composting: BARKhttp://plantpath.osu.edu/people-and-programs/faculty-directory/emeritus/hoitink-harry-a-j/index_html


Composting Bark Factor


Composting Bark Factor


Composting Bark Factor


Composting Bark Factor


Composting Bark Factor


Composting Bark Factor


Composting Bark Factor


Composting Bark Factor


Composting Bark Factor


Advanced Composting: BIOCHAR; NH 3


Advanced Composting: BiocharExperiment: BIOCHAR Bulking Agent in Composting; NH 3http://www.biorefinery.uga.edu/carbon%20cycl%20apps%20main.html


What IsBiochar?


Biochar Soil Amendment History“Terra Preta” Soil in Amazonia


“Prime Farmland” Soil Comparison


Biochar Properties & History


Biochar Compostinghttp://www.biorefinery.uga.edu/carbon%20cycl%20apps%20main.html


Biochar Composting Effectshttp://www.biorefinery.uga.edu/carbon%20cycl%20apps%20main.html


Biochar Composting Effectshttp://www.biorefinery.uga.edu/carbon%20cycl%20apps%20main.html


Biochar Properties‣ The major soil amendment benefits of biochar: The extremely high affinity of nutrients to biochar(adsorption) & increased soil fertility The extremely high persistence of biochar(stability)‣ Additional beneficial effects of biochar include: increasesd soil microbial functions increased soil water availability


Garden Scale BiocharProduction and CompostingSee the video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXMUmby8PpU&feature=related


Compost Extract and TeaWhat are they?Extract =Tea =http://organic.kysu.edu/CompostTea.pdf


Gardening Applications


Compost Tea Research


Compost Tea Research


Compost Tea Research


Compost Tea Research


Compost Tea Safety


Compost Tea Safety


Compost Tea Safety


Grub Composting• The specific bioconversion process by whichvaluable proteins and fats of kitchen wastesare captured and recycled, rather thandegraded, into usable biomass by abeneficial decomposer is referred to as GrubComposting.• The signature species utilized in suchsystems is the juvenile Black Soldier Fly,Hermetia illucenshttp://thebiopod.com/


Bio Pod Example- grub larvaecomposter & grower- Use grub larvae asfood high in fats &protein to fish, herp& chickensGrub CompostingBlack Soldier FlyGrub larvaeSee the video:http://thebiopod.com/Adult


Food For Your Soul• Walt Whitman, “Behold This Compost” (1855)– A celebratory poem in his seminalbook „Leaves of Grass‟“Something startles me where I thought I was safest,I withdraw from the still woods I loved . . .How can you be alive you growths of spring?How can you furnish health you blood of herbs, roots, orchards, grain?Are they not continually putting distemper'd corpses within you?Is not every continent work'd over and over with sour dead?Where have you disposed of their carcasses? . . .Behold this compost! behold it well!Perhaps every mite has once form'd part of a sick person--yet behold!The grass of spring covers the prairies,The bean bursts noiselessly through the mould in the garden,The delicate spear of the onion pierces upward, . . .What chemistry! . . .”http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/wwhitman/bl-ww-thiscompost.htm


Summary• Organic vegetable gardeningfundamentally depends ondeveloping a functional soilecosystem• Practices are designed toenhance soil quality and health• “Feed the soil so that the soil canfeed the plant”


Online Resources• Bomford, M. Compost Tea. KYSUhttp://organic.kysu.edu/CompostTea.pdf• Cornell Composting. Compost Trouble Shootinghttp://compost.css.cornell.edu/trouble.html• Elliot, A. Backyard Composting: Avoid Toxic Composthttp://www.fcgov.com/recycling/pdf/composting_fest08_02_composting.pdf• Hoitink, H. Dept of Plant Pathology, OSU• Copperbrand, L. The Biology of Composting. UW.http://www.wastenotorganics.wisc.edu/05composting/presentations/biologyofcompostpile.pdfhttp://plantpath.osu.edu/people-and-programs/facultydirectory/emeritus/hoitink-harry-a-j/index_html


Online Resources• Steiner, C. 2009. Waste Biomass & Prospects ofBiochar. UGA.http://www.biorefinery.uga.edu/docs/Steiner%20FPPC2009%2009_10_09.pdf• Stromberger, M. Composting Organisms, CSUhttp://www.extsoilcrop.colostate.edu/Soils/powerpoint/compost/CompostingOrganisms.pdf

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