[permaculture] Re: permaculture Digest, Vol 2, Issue 33

Rick Valley bamboogrove at cmug.com
Wed Mar 26 15:28:35 EST 2003

> From: Scott Pittman <pci at permaculture-inst.org>
> I have trouble composting
> forbs, for crying out loud, unless I keep the hose nearby.  My compost is
> also always threatening to petrify rather than compost - more water,
> covers, and less turning.  I think the problem here is the lack of
> composting mycorrhiza, which is compounded by the lack of humus and humidity.

I was thinking that fungal populations might be low. The chips in the garden
walkways ought to be good innoculant. When is your primary fungal bloom?
During summer thunderstorms? Compost speed is at it's peak here precisely
when the mushrooms are up (how's that for phenology) which here is fall and
spring. It's a good time to turn and add, and the best time to leave a pile
uncovered here. (Here in Oregon, chips rot so quickly that it's sometimes
futile to use them in garden paths. I had to laugh when an innocent friend
used them to create ROADWAYS in her nursery. By the middle of our wet winter
the pickup was in over its wheels in black muck.) But those paths look great
in our dry summer!
Scott- do you have compost piles in pits? And, do you add clay slurry to
your compost? It's a way of increasing moisture retention while adding
mineral. Garbage smoothies are good too- run a sink disposal into a bucket.
I've given up compost bins as a waste of time, but if I went back to the
Sonoran desert, I'd try and build (or excavate) an earth berm compost bin

-Rick (indoors hiding from the rainy season that finally came)

More information about the permaculture mailing list