I bought some fairly real compost from a local maker, real in that it did
not contain sludge (he said).
However, he admitted to sawdust, and some wood chip content was visible.
Much of his market is landscapers, and many of them probably dump on loads
of high nitrogen turf builder and suchlike, so the wood content probably
doesn't slow them down.
I screened this compost and added it to my potting mix for approx 300 tomato
plants in flats. After some growth, the plants started to yellow and stall.
Fish emulsion and the like wouldn't budge them. It took a while before the
fact of the wood content eating up all the nitrogen finally penetrated my
thick uncomposted brain.
I sprinkled quite a lot of blood meal (gruesome stuff, it amazes me how
organic gardeners, many of whom possibly are some sort of vegetarians, so
eagerly urge the use of this) on one flat, and in 3 days the plants were
greening right up, and growing fast. Some lesson about wood and nitrogen.
BTW, Dr. Simmons, could you explain about the carbon being good for a large
windrow system. What is a large windrow system and how does the carbon help?
Also, would anyone be able to tell me how bad is manufactured urea nitrogen,
how is it made, and wouldn't it be better to use that rather than using
I do use many common organic fertilizers, manure and manufactured, but
occasionally a big jolt of nitrogen seems to be called for, particularly if
I've made some mistake like the above.
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