[Market-farming] Conversion factors for weight of compost

Matt Cheselka cheselka at theriver.com
Thu Jul 1 19:34:22 EDT 2004

On Thu, 1 Jul 2004, russandrosie wrote:

> Hey Matt,
> Just a thought on the "compost" you get from the county.  My guess that the 
> high wood chip content is causing your seedlings to be slow.  As you know, 
> wood chips tie up nitrogen and the seedlings don't have large enough root 
> systems to reach beneath the mulch.

Yeah, I'd expect this too if it were mulch.  But this really is compost in 
the sense that there's very few large chunks of anything.  It's all been 
broken down really well.  It looks and smells like dirt.  Plus, I'm not 
just laying the inputs onto the top of the soil.  I'm tilling them in for 
this first application.  From now on, though, I'll lay it all out and 
gently dig it into the top few inches.  I'm shooting for no-till and 
hoping that my choice of cover crops (when market veggies aren't in those 
beds) will take care of the deeper parts of the soil.

I'm certainly not complaining about the seedlings being "slow".  Hey -- if
I want fast-growing veggies all I need to do is spray something on them
right?  ;)  Since I'm growing things organically (no "artificial"
fertilizers, etc, etc, etc), I'm most concerned about the health of the
soil and making sure it's being fed with yummy stuff.  There's much more
to growin' happy veggies than them growing fast or big.  So the fact that
the veggies are slower to "turn on" doesn't bother me in the least -- it's
just a piece of information I need to keep in mind when I'm planning
production in the future.  In another few months I'll probably do a
comparison between the soils and see if I can notice any signficant
differences (look, feel, smell, worms, etc.).

Cool stuff.


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