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15 Cards in this Set

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What is the definition of composting?
-biological reduction of organic wastes to humans
-biological decomposition of organic matter under controlled aerobic conditions.
What is the difference between fermentation and compost?
-compost is aerobic whereas fermentation is anaerobic decomposition
Why should people compost?
-saves money (cheaper than peat moss)
-increase tilth (soil structure, aeration, fertility)
-adds macro and micro nutrients
-increases CEC and acts as a pH buffer
-provides energy source for soil microbes and earthworms
-when used as mulch, can keep down weeds
-What should the proper temperature be of compost?
-What is the "danger" temperature?
-70-140 degrees Farenheit
-flip if temp reaches 150 degrees
What is the proper moisture content of compost?
50% (should feel like a wrung-out sponge
*use tarp if rainy to prevent excess moisture
What are factors affecting composting?
-temperature
-moisture
-nutrients (C:N ratio)
-time
How would you add more C to compost?
-add straw, hay, woody materials, dried corn stalks, paper wastes, wood chips
How would you add more N to compost?
-add manures, green material (grass clippings), food wastes, N fertilizer
What is the proper C:N ratio of compost?
-25:1
(can range from 20:1-40:1)
What is the time length for composting to occur?
-2 weeks to 2 years depending on factors
*if in landfill, may never decompose due to lack of oxygen!
What are some ways to speed composting?
-chop.shred materials
-mix equal amounts of brown and green materials
-turn pile regularly
-keep moist but not wet
What are different types of composting?
-3x3x3' to 5x5x5' bins
-multiple "turning bins"/tumblers
-piles (contained w/wo chicken wire)
-garbage can with holes
-plastic bins
-snow fencing/cinder block/wood pallets
What are 10 things that should NOT go into a compost pile?
-meat
-unground bones
-diseased plants
-grease/fat/oil
-used kitty litter
-colored newspaper/circulars
-treated wood or sawdust
-dairy products
-weeds/seeds
-human/dog/cat waste
How do you take a soil sample?
-chose representative area
-take 10 core samples and mix together
-dig 4-6" for turf, 6-10" for tilled veg. crops
-store in refrig. if needed (do NOT leave in hot car/location)
-send soil in approved bag mailer
How do you take your own soil pH?
-use 2 parts soil, 1 part distilled water
-mix well
-use litmus paper