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Homemade potting compost

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default Homemade potting compost

Post by Chilli-head on 1st October 2012, 10:45 am

It seems that the troubles of commercial composts made from green waste which has been contaminated with the persistent aminopyralid and/or clopyralid weedkillers are here to stay, so I'm looking to make even more of my own stuff.

I watched Gardener's World with interest this week, and the vegan guy with a rather enviable vegetable garden explained some of his methods. The idea of using the composted wood chip from the paths as a mulch is one I have arrived at myself already and already use around my soft fruit, but the idea of sieving it to use in potting compost is an excellent tip. I shall certainly try that.

My other idea is this; I rarely can get enough leaves to make a huge amount of leafmold. I do, however, make a lot of woodshavings. I have a 70L bag of oak shavings to hand at the moment. Perhaps if I put them in a black bag. water them well and leave for a year or two, the result will be useable in place of leafmold ? I could probably use some water with a high nitrogen content to speed things up (no, not that Rolling Eyes , I meant water from the aquarium ...)
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Post by freebird on 1st October 2012, 11:25 am

Chilli-head wrote:It seems that the troubles of commercial composts made from green waste which has been contaminated with the persistent aminopyralid and/or clopyralid weedkillers are here to stay, so I'm looking to make even more of my own stuff.
I didn't know anything about this - do you know where I can find out more? I've had such variable results since changing compost, and that could possibly account for it.
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default Re: Homemade potting compost

Post by Chilli-head on 1st October 2012, 12:04 pm

These herbicides are intended for broad leaf weed control in grassland, and have some unpleasant properties. Although they do decompose in soil, they attach to organic matter, and are released when that organic matter is incorporated into soil. Whilst attached to organic matter, they can survive composting, or passing through an animal.

Well, the Dow agrochemicals official line is here:

http://www.manurematters.co.uk/home.htm

It plays things down, naturally. There was a flurry of problems a couple of years ago. leading to the use of these herbicides being suspended for a year, but they were then re-introduced with clearer guidance - as if that will suffice !
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Post by Dandelion on 1st October 2012, 5:25 pm


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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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