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Organic Gardeners Composting

Organic Gardeners Composting

Have you always wanted to grow your own vegetables but didn't know what to do? Here are the best tips on how to become a true and envied organic gardner.

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The Keys to a Great Compost

This informative eBook demonstrates the best ways to compost in order to improve your garden, make your vegetables and fruits taste better, and help save the soil and the environment. Over 20% of landfills are simply kitchen waste that could easily be recycled Why waste what you already produce? You have an easy source of organic health for your own garden at home, without having to spend large amounts of money in order to make really healthy soil. With today's composting technology, you can compost as much as suits your needs! If that is a little compost for a small home garden or a large plot that you grow food for your family or business, composting will be an easy and cheap way to improve the quality of your soil and thus your vegetables as well! This guide shows you every method of composting; from free methods you can do with no extra money all the way to elaborate by easy to set up composting rigs. Improve the environment, and get better tasting food!

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Compost refers to a biological process that uses any one of several methods to speed up the decomposition of raw organic matter, usually by piling, aerating, and moistening. It is also the crumbly, nutrient-rich product of this process. Composting is an important means of recycling organic wastes to return their nutrients to the soil, where they become available to plants. Composting reduces or eliminates problems with odors and water pollution from raw waste products such as livestock manure and slaughterhouse and food-processing wastes. Many cities compost yard wastes in order to conserve scarce landfill space. High-temperature composting methods also kill weed seeds and pathogens, turning a potentially expensive health hazard into a valuable resource. The resulting product contains balanced soil and plant nutrients, including trace minerals, and is rich in beneficial microbes that further improve the soil's ability to nourish plants. Composed primarily of humus, compost also...

Controlled Environment Studies With Crops

Studies done under controlled environment conditions have confirmed the field studies done by Chaudhuri et al. (1990), Kirkham et al. (1992), Nie et al. (1992a), and Wall et al. (2006). Kaddour and Fuller (2004) grew three Syrian cultivars of durum wheat (T durum Desf.) under controlled environmental conditions with either 400 imol mol CO2 or 1000 imol mol CO2 at two levels of water availability. Plants grew in a loam-based compost. The fully irrigated pots were given water to reestablish 90 of available water content (about pot capacity) once the soil water availability had reached 60 available water capacity. Water in the pots in the drought-stressed treatment was restored to 70 available water capacity when the soil water availability had reached 45 available water content. All cultivars responded in a similar manner to both the CO2 and water stress. Raising the CO2 level enabled plants to compensate for the low water availability, so that plants at high CO2 with drought stress had...

Broad Spectrum Organic Matter Mediated Suppression

The role of organic matter in enhancing suppression of soilborne diseases caused by fungi, Oomycetes, bacteria and nematodes has been known for many years and there are now well-documented examples in many quite different agricultural systems. These include suppression of Pythium in Mexican fields following the application of large quantities of organic matter over many years (Lumsden et al. 1987) broad-spectrum control of Pythium, Phytophthora and Rhizoctonia in peat and compost-based soilless container media (Hoitink and Boehm 1999) the use of cover crops, organic amendments and mulches to suppress Phytophthora root rot of avocado in Australia (Broadbent and Baker 1974 Malajczuk 1983 You and Sivasithamparan 1994, 1995) suppression of the same disease with eucalyptus mulch in California, USA (Downer et al. 2001) the management of a fungal, bacterial and nematode-induced root disease complex of potato in Canada with chicken, swine and cattle manures (Conn and Lazarovits 1999...

Conversion to Organic Farming

For scientists involved in transition research, an important outcome of these studies is the realization that the process of converting a conventional crop production system that relies heavily on synthetic, petroleum-based inputs to a legally certifiable, low-external input, organic system is not merely a process of withdrawing external inputs, with no compensatory replacement or alternative management. Considerable ecological knowledge is required to direct the array of natural flows necessary to sustain yields in a low-input system. see also Agricultural Ecosystems Agriculture, History of Agriculture, Modern Agronomist Compost Soil, Chemistry of Soil, Physical Characteristics of.

Modified Roots and Their Economic Importance

Mangroves are trees living in tropical coastal areas. Their roots are of enormous value in stabilizing tropical coast lines against typhoons, hurricanes, and wave action, and they give refuge to young stages of commercially important fish. The global value of such ecosystem services provided by mangroves was estimated in 1997 to exceed 600 billion. To help restore damaged environments, mangroves are being replanted in Vietnam, the Philippines, and Mexico. Mangrove roots allow these coastal trees to grow in shifting sand and oxygen-poor soil. The stilt roots of red mangrove (Rhi-zophora) spread down into sand from dozens of canopy branches, thereby stabilizing the tree. Pores, called lenticels, on the root surface allow oxygen to enter the aerial part of the root and diffuse down to submerged tissues in oxygen-depleted soil. Massive intertwined root systems of red mangrove forests prevent hurricanes from removing acres of land from south Florida and the Caribbean. The root system of...

Other field operations

Other field operations practiced in cardamom fields are trashing, raking, digging and earthing up. Trashing consists of removing old and drying shoots of cardamom plants. From second year after planting, trashing is to be carried out every year. Trashing facilitates better sunlight penetration and aeration, there by promoting tiller initiation and growth as well as reduction in thrips and aphids population. It also helps in better pollination by honeybees (Korikanthimath and Venugopal, 1989). In the rainfed areas, trashing time is May, after the receipt of pre-monsoon showers. The trashed leaves and leafy stems may be heaped between the rows and allowed to decay or used for composting.

Conclusions And Final Remarks

Many arguments can be given in favor of organic and sustainable agricultural practices as new forms of resources management such as multiple cropping, cover crops, organic compost, and biological controls for pests. Allelopathy is an emerging tool for a more biorational management of natural resources. However, allelopathy is not a simple panacea for the solution of ecological problems in agroecosystems or in natural ecosystems. It has not been considered as a universal ecological phenomenon

Conventional alternation of generations

Later experiments with the same rhizomes and genotypes clarified this (Wynn, 2002). Rhizomes originated from two contrasting environments in the UK. One was 550 kilometers north of the other, and experiences a considerably harsher climate. Bracken in the more northerly location had never been seen to generate spores, whereas plants from the southerly collection site routinely did so. Plants of two distinct genotypes used in the experiments conducted a year earlier had been maintained in cultivation in potting compost and their

Caring for lavenders in the garden

Ensure the soil and site are as described above. Moisten the plant compost, but do not waterlog. Dig a hole and add a dusting of bone meal to the hole and the soil removed from it and mix together. Fill the hole with water and allow to drain away. Place the plant in the hole and fill to the level of compost around the plant stem. In dry conditions water the soil around the plant, but do not over water. Be attentive to lavenders in the first few weeks after planting, especially if the weather is dry as the compost in which the plant was originally potted will dry out very quickly. Use a mix of one-third each of a soilless compost, John Innes No. 2 or 3 and coarse grit. For feeding, add slow release fertiliser at the recommended rate. One application should last all season. Tender and half-hardy lavenders (and frost-hardy lavenders grown in pots) should be kept under glass in light, airy conditions. These plants need very little water from November to February. Wait until the pot is...

Complexing properties and reducing capacity

To the heterogeneity of humic substances concerning molecular weight, content of functional groups, variety of bonding sites and changes in conformation of these macromolecules with pH and salt concentration, it is difficult to reach an unequivocal state of knowledge (Chen and Stevenson, 1986). Attempts have been made to determine the apparent stability constants (Kapp) for Fe3+ with two hydrophobic fractions of dissolved organic matter obtained from a manure compost, after sorption onto XAD-8 resin (Chen et al., 2004). The Kapp values at pH 5.0 and an ionic strength of 0.1 M were 7.91 for the fraction desorbed with NaOH and 6.76 for that desorbed with methanol. Garcia-Mina et al. (2004) investigated the stability of different metal-humic complexes (NaOH extracted) in the pH range 6-9 and ionic strength of 3 mM, and found maximal Kapp values (4.11) at pH 8.0. These values are somewhat lower than the maximal stability constant values determined for complexes between Fe and synthetic...

Mobilization Of Iron By Siderophores 21 Iron availability in the plant rhizosphere

Along with humic substances, plant detritus is also an important iron source, some of which may be mobilized by siderophores and recycled into the biomass before precipitation as inorganic iron minerals (Mazoy and Lemos, 1991 Chen et al., 2000). Plants contain iron in many different redox proteins that have metal centers involving heme or iron sulfur complexes. This iron can be accessed during degradation of proteins, which release the soluble heme iron complex into the soil solution. Some microorganisms apparently have the ability to transport heme-iron which would negate the need for production of siderophores (Nienaber et al., 2001). Conversely, other compounds that are produced during plant decomposition such as polyphenols hold iron in a form that is accessible only to siderophore producing microorganisms (Mila et al., 1996). In this manner, soils that are rich in organic matter, or that have been amended with iron supplemented organic matter amendments provide an important...

Microscopic Carnivores

Two of the smallest types of carnivorous plants belong to a group of fungi called molds. You can often find them in a bit of garden compost or the decaying leaf mold from a forest floor. When you place this sample under a microscope, there's lots to see. If lucky, you may have a portion of these carnivorous fungi. Their diet can also be revealed with proper magnification. Try 50 to 100 times at first. Once you locate the appropriate loops and snares you can zero in at higher magnification for a better picture of what is taking place. Amoebas, nematodes, small crustaceans, and rotifers are all at work in typical compost or rotting leaf humus. They are the diet of these nearly microscopic carnivores. Nematodes seem to be the preferred food. Nematodes are tiny worms, about I io > ' long. Some are helpful others, like the golden nematode and potato wort nematode, are disaster when they invade farm fields. They stunt and kill the crops. You may have seen cabbage, broccoli, or cauliflower...

Biology of Nematode Trapping Fungi

Nematode-trapping fungi are found in all regions of the world, from the tropics to Antarctica. They are commonly found in soils and decaying leaf litter, decaying wood, dung, compost and mosses. When grown in soils, nematode-trapping fungi can grow as saprophytes as vegetative hyphae (mycelium). Traps are initiated either spontaneously or in response to signals from the environment, including peptides and other compounds secreted by the host nematode (Dijksterhuis et al. 1994). There is a large variation in the morphology of trapping structures, even between closely related species (Barron 1977) (Fig. 6.1). In some species, the trap consists of an erect branch that is covered with an adhesive material. In other species, such as the well-studied Arthrobotrys oligospora, the trap is a complex three-dimensional net. A third type of trap is the adhesive knob. The knob is a morphologically distinct cell, often produced on the apex of a slender hyphal stalk. A layer of adhesive polymers...

Treatment after Harvest

The drying shelf must be in the shade with good airing and away from the stables and compost piles. The drying shelves can be put over each other in opposite directions to let in air. They should be left in the sun on the first day and covered with an upside-down drying shelf so they will not be directly exposed to the sun this helps in the drying process. At the end of the day drying shelves must be put onto the big shelf covered with a ceiling so that they are not exposed to the dew.

Smallholder initiatives

Pragmatically adapt traditional strategies, as for example slash and burn agriculture in the tropics (Hecht, 1982 Miller and Nair, 2006). Here, trees and forests are used mainly for soil improvement while growing forest products plays a minor role. Yet many indigenous and traditional communities have developed quite sophisticated permanent agroforestry systems (Padoch et al, 1985). Agroforestry systems combining perennial crops with trees are widely distributed (Box 6.4). In these systems, trees, while providing products for subsistence and markets, are planted mainly for the provision of shade (Mussak and Laarman, 1989, Ramirez et al, 1992 Neto et al, 2004).

Alnus acuminata Kunth

Betulaceae SC SE North America (S Mexico to Panama) NW MW MC SC South America (Colombia to N Argentina) L D hel hyg mes sili acid dr fr fw (charcoal, fuel) ma pl pp (shortfibre pulp) sa (agroforestry, antierosion, soil improvement) ti (boxes, furniture, light construction, plywood, veneer)

Recommended plants

In the wild, Darlingtonia survives snow cover, but Californian winters are relatively mild and dry. Therefore, it is wise to provide winter protection, either under glass or outside with a covering of loose straw. In summer, a cool root run is essential and plants should be kept in semi-shade outdoors, where they will happily grow in a bog or pond. Alternatively, they may be potted and stood in water, preferably submerging the roots and crown and in winter reducing the depth of water to about 2 in. (5 cm). Compost D or B. Temperature 32 F (0 C) winter minimum or protect with straw. The plant does best in a very open compost and care should be taken that it is not overgrown by tall mosses. It should stand in a tray or deeper container of soft water all year. Strong sunlight is essential for the best growth and colouration. Compost B. Temperature 50 F (10 C) winter minimum (see pp.31 and 59). Regular misting or spraying three or four times a day is essential and the humidity can also be...

Recommended highland plants

17. intermedia and several other species enjoy very shallow water up to lin. (2.5 cm) deep and will creep out on to wet peat. Most non-aquatic species should be kept permanently wet, using shallow pots or trays of compost and standing these in water all year. V. reni ormis, a large South American species, is liable to rot if kept wet, but must not be allowed to dry out. The commonly available species, apart from the hardy ones, will generally grow well if temperatures are maintained above 50 F (10 C) all year. Compost A, for LJ. sandersoni and most non-aquatic species D, for U. longifolia, U.praelonga, U. calycifida B, for 17. reni ormis. Temperature 50 F (10 C) minimum for tender species cool summer and exposure to frost for hardy species.

Compatibility of FPI with Natural Compounds Chitosan as a Case Study

FPI have to break their hosts outer barriers for infection. These barriers, as we have discussed (see Sect. 9.2.3) mostly include a chitin-protein structure (e.g. nematode egg-shell, insect cuticle). Furthermore chitin is the second most abundant polymer in nature after cellulose (Cohen-Kupiec and Chet 1998) and occurs in various organisms (e.g. crustaceans, insects, nematodes and most fungi). Chitin waste is an abundant by-product of the crustacean fishing industry worldwide. This waste product has been a target for the development of organic nematicides. The rationale behind this was that a chitin amendment to soil would enhance the chitinolytic microbiota, which would in turn be nematophagous, in view of the biochemical composition of nematode barriers. This resulted in the isolation of nematophagous organisms, including new species of bacteria (Spiegel et al. 1986, 1987, 1988). The experiments of soil organic amendments for biocontrol of soil-borne pathogens have produced various...

The Origin of Soil Organic Matter

2004) around 1.65 billion tonnes of exogenous SOM are produced in the European Union (EU) each year, from which 61 represent animal wastes, 25 crop residues, 7 industrial wastes and 7 urban and municipal wastes (e.g. sewage sludge, biowastes and green wastes). The predominant application of exogenous SOM on arable land areas in EU is (on a weight basis) in the form of animal manure and slurries (97 ), whereas almost a negligible portion comes from industrial wastes (2 ) and sewage sludge (1 ) application. Some of mentioned organic wastes (precursors of organic soil amendments) before application must be stabilised, i.e. degraded and decomposed to a certain degree through composting or similar processes, to final product such as biosolids. Data about biosolids production and management practices across Europe and the USA (e.g. Epstein 2003 Ondrasek 2008 and references therein) show that in EU countries, from the total biosolids production (cca 7.4 million dry tones per year) 42 is...

Leaf and Whole Plant Problems

Damping-off is caused by soil-dwelling fungi that thrive in cool, wet conditions. Keep soil moist, but not soggy, thin seedlings to improve air circulation, and spray them with compost tea as soon as the first true leaves open to prevent problems. Nitrogen deficiency waterlogged soil. Drench soil and spray foliage with compost tea, fish emulsion, or fish-meal tea, or side-dress plants with compost to alleviate deficiency symptoms. Waterlogged soil damages roots and prevents them from using nutrients available in the soil. Prevent problems by choosing well-drained sites, adding organic matter to the soil to improve drainage, and planting in raised beds. Leaves with light brown to purple spots. Cause Blight. Stems and pods are also spotted. Leaves may turn yellow and plants may die. Various fungi and bacteria can cause these disease symptoms. Spray plants with copper if weather is wet. Remove severely infected plants. Presoak seed in compost tea and don't touch plants when they are wet...

Fertilization weeding and irrigation

Vegetable soybean, being a legume, fixes atmospheric nitrogen in the soil through the Bradyrhizobium bacteria, and normally it does not require nitrogen fertilizer application. However, depending upon a soil test and the amount of fertilizer applied to the previous crop, a starter nitrogen fertilizer of 25-30 kg N ha-1 can be applied at the time of sowing. Based on soil tests in Taiwan, the recommended fertilizer application is about 10 t ha-1 of compost, 60 kg N ha-1, 30 kg P ha-1 and 50 kg K ha-1. Half of the nitrogen fertilizer is applied as a basal dressing and the other half as a top dressing at the flowering and pod-formation stage. To ensure optimum size and good quality of seed, another dose of 20 kg N ha-1 can be given at the seed-filling stage (Chen et al., 1991). In Japan, compost is applied at 10-150 t ha-1. The nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fertilizer rate is 30-40, 150, and 80-100 kg ha-1, respectively (Kamiyama, 1991). Lime is also applied at the rate of 1000 kg...

Plant growth conditions

Seeds from the lines were germinated on two Whatman filter papers in plastic Petri dishes (9 cm diameter) and when seedlings were 3 days old they were planted, one per pot, into 30 cm diameter plastic pots containing a heavy black soil potting compost mix (1 1, v v). The soil was watered and maintained at field capacity and the plants grown outside the field site at the University of Queensland during the months of June-August (the normal time for A. fatua growth and development in the northern wheat belt). When the seedlings were 20 days old, they were placed under three light intensity conditions (i.e. 0 , 40 and 80 reductions in natural sunlight) created by using a non-spectral shift, black Saron shade cloth (Yates, 1989) obtained from KMart Pty., Ltd, Brisbane, Australia. The shade cloth was attached to metal frames (3 x 4 x 4 m) that were set up 5 m apart. The plants were grown under these shade conditions until they reached maturity.

Trace Element Toxicity

Despite these positive results of soil amendment with biosolids, the dark side of the sludge is evident in the health risks. Sewage sludges also contain components considered to be harmful to the environment. Sewage sludge contains three constituents of environmental concern (1) heavy metals (2) organic pollution (c) pathogenic organism 24 . Generally, sludges contain heavy trace elements such as Cu, As, Cd, Ni, Zn, and Pb in diverse concentration these originate from a number of different sources, such as industry, commerce, business, domestic household waste, corroding pipes, and runoff from roads and roofs 5 .

Plant nutrient sources and method of application by element

Broadcast applications of organic compost or manure may preclude the need for additional preplant N, but usually not for postplant N. Where preplant responses are certain, N can be banded in the soil as ammonium sulphate, ammonium phosphate, potassium nitrate, urea or urea-ammonium nitrate at 25-100 kg ha-1 (25-100 lb acre-1) of N as the element. Side-dressings of ammonium sulphate and potassium nitrate are effective, but prohibitively expensive in large operations. Repeated foliar applications of solutions of urea or urea-ammonium nitrate, at 2-, 3- or 4-week intervals, are the mainstay of the nitrogen programme for most large operations. Cumulative quantities of 200-600 kg ha-1 (200-600 lb acre-1) of N are typical, depending on the local requirements.

Assessment of nutritional requirements

A preliminary assessment of nutrient requirements can be made by soil testing. Soil samples should be taken prior to land preparation, such as just before knockdown, and should represent the rooting volume of the native soil, less any contributions made from the crop residue. The total nutrient-management programme for pineapple is determined for three important stages -broadcast amendments for soil improvement, localized preplant fertilizer to promote early rooting and early nutrient uptake, and postplant side-dressing or foliar fertilizers for the remaining nutrients which may still be limiting. Such a composite fertilizer programme has great flexibility and provides for maximum economic benefit. A variety of total nutrient-management programmes exist for pineapple, given the diverse environments and the range of available fertilizers. Moreover, fertilizer programmes in successful farms are usually under constant evaluation to discover opportunities for additional responses.

Fertilizer Recommendations

Different types of organics are applied in varying quantities in the pepper growing countries. In India green leaves, dry leaves, wood ash, cattle manure, oil cakes, neem cake and bone meal are the common organics used. In Malaysia organic cakes, prawn refuse, guano, fish meal, etc are used. In Micronesia every pepper field will have a compost pit also. In addition sea cucumbers (Holothurian sp.) are dug into the soil around vines. (Zaiger 1964). Here the recommended fertilizer dose is a mixture of urea, cottonseed meal, potassium chloride and superphosphate at the rate of 0.66, 6.6, 1.1, 1.8 pounds per vine per year (Lawrence 1981).

Fertilizer Application

A suitable source of fertilizers is essential for good seedling growth in the nursery. A. mangium appears to be an easy speeies to manage in the nursery from the point of view of nutrition and fertilization. Both chemical and organic fertilizers (for example, cow dung, chicken manure, or compost) have been used. If organic fertilizers are applied, they should constitute about 2()7r of the total media (FAO 1987).

Other mineral and organic iron sources

If supplied alone, Fe(II)sulfate is of little or no agronomic value in calcareous soils, where the Fe2+ is subject to rapid oxidation. For example, Fe sulfate was not effective for curing Fe chlorosis in Actinidia deliciosa in a soil with a high CaCO3 content (32 ), while a quite complete recovery was achieved by Fe-EDDHA (Loupassaki et al., 1997). The effectiveness of soil applied Fe sulfate may be improved by the addition of organic substrates able to complex the Fe (e.g. animal manures, sewage sludge, compost, peat, etc.). Plant extracts or plant residues (e.g. from Amaranthus retroflexus) enriched with Fe salts may represent a promising way to improve soil Fe availability in both field crops (Matocha, 1984 Matocha and Pennington, 1982) and in fruit trees (Rombol , unpublished). The increase of soil organic matter content greatly reduces the risk of Fe chlorosis. Animal manure, particularly from cow, has been traditionally used to enhance soil...

Plant and Leaf Problems

Cause Damping-off. Prevent problems by planting in raised beds and presoaking seed in compost tea. same symptoms. Spray plants and drench roots with fish emulsion or fish-meal tea to alleviate symptoms. Plant in raised beds to improve drainage and add compost before planting to prevent problems. Onion maggots feed on roots, killing seedlings and older plants. They also burrow into bulbs, making them unfit for use. Onion maggots are' long, white, and taper to a point at the head. Adults are small gray flies that lay eggs early in the spring. Destroy infested plants. Do not compost them onion maggots thrive in compost piles. To prevent problems, apply parasitic nematodes to the soil before planting and cover plants with row cover as soon as they come up to prevent flies from laying eggs. Trap maggots by planting a few onions at scattered points around the garden a few weeks

Chemical Features of Urban Soils

Urban soils show chemical human impacts compared with natural soils their pH, element cycling and nutrient availability are altered. Their node function as nutrient source and buffering system or as detoxification medium is restricted or imbalanced. Fertilizer or compost application, atmospheric pollution and outwash via stem-flow, heavy metal contamination from various sources, de-icer from winter maintenance, contaminated irrigation-water, debris from exotic species, litter removal etc. contribute to chemical deviations from the natural element budgets and have additive or antagonistic effects. Organic matter is a major energy source of soil biota, which brings nutrients back into the cycle. Urban soils generally lack organic matter and its nutrient contribution, because nutrient-containing litter is removed during maintenance. This deteriorates not only carbon pools and fluxes but also influences nutrient cycling and has via changes of soil inhibiting organisms a severe impact on...

Suppressing Nematodes with Organic Amendments

Although most recent research on organic amendments for nematode control has focused on nitrogenous materials, the possibility of using materials with a much higher C N ratio has also received attention. McSorley and Gallaher (1995) used a composted mixture of sticks, leaves, branches, grass clippings and wood chips from the urban environment (C N ratio 36) as an amendment or mulch and found that it had little effect on plant-parasitic nematodes in vegetable crops planted immediately after the amendment was applied. However, in another study that continued for 3 years, population densities of plant-parasitic nematodes on maize were reduced in the third season, once the woody compost material had broken down and levels of soil organic matter had increased in amended plots (McSorley and Gallaher 1996). Results from these studies indicate that amendments with a high C N ratio act much more slowly than nitrogenous amendments. When soil is amended with materials such as yard waste, sawdust...

System Stability and Change

Agroecologists use the idea of an agricultural ecosystem as a focus for the study of farming systems that are converting from single crops and synthetic inputs to ecologically based design and management. Ecological concepts and principles are applied for the development of alternative practices and inputs. A good example is research done by Sean Swezey and his colleagues on apples in California. After three years of using organic farming techniques, an apple orchard had begun to show a reduction in the use of fossil fuel energy. Nutrients were supplied from compost and annual cover crops planted in the rows between the trees during the winter season. Nutrient recycling and storage in leaves and branches within the apple agro-ecosystem improved soil conditions, reduced the need for fertilizer, and even led to increased yields. Insect pests normally controlled by synthetic pesticides were reduced instead by beneficial predatory insects that were attracted to the organic orchard by...

Popular Carnivorous Plants

Of the more than 1,600 carnivorous plant species and hybrids so far identified, many are hard to obtain or difficult to grow. This chapter therefore concentrates on those plants which are most suitable for the beginner, all of them being easy to grow, inexpensive, readily available and fascinating or beautiful. (The compost types referred to at the end of the cultivation notes are described in table 3, p.13). A windowsill in direct sunlight is an excellent place for Dionaea, although it will survive happily in a cold greenhouse. Grow it in a half-pot and stand in a tray or saucer of soft water for most of the year to keep the compost wet. During winter, when Dionaea is dormant, keep the compost merely damp by watering occasionally. Some success has been recorded with plants outdoors, but if overwintered outside, they never grow to their best and will be killed in severe weather. Compost A. Temperature 50 F (10 C) winter minimum for best results. Grow Sarracenia in good light, but...

Agriculture Organic

Organic farming is a production system that sustains agricultural productivity while avoiding or largely excluding synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Whenever possible, external resources, such as commercially purchased chemicals and fuels, are replaced by resources found on or near the farm. These internal resources include solar or wind energy, biological pest controls, and biologically fixed nitrogen and other nutrients released from organic matter or from soil reserves. Thus organic farmers rely heavily on the use of crop rotations, crop residues, animal manures, compost, legumes, green manures, off-farm organic wastes, mechanical cultivation, mineral-bearing rocks, and aspects of biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and tilth, to supply plant nutrients, and to control insect pests, weeds, and diseases. In essence, organic farming aims to promote soil health as the key to sustaining productivity, and most organic practices are designed to improve the ability of...

Harvest and Milling

At harvest, rice grain is called paddy or rough rice. In preparation for consumption, the hulls are removed by dehulling machines. Hulls, which are 18 percent by weight of paddy, have high silica content and are of little value except for onsite fuel or mixing into compost materials. Hull removal produces brown rice, which then is milled to remove the grain's outer layers, called bran, 10 percent by weight of paddy, and white rice, 72 percent by weight of paddy. Edible oil, about 2 percent by weight of paddy, is extracted from the bran and the remainder of the bran goes into pet food. Virtually all human consumption is as milled white rice, except for a small amount as brown rice in health food markets. In much of the world the milled rice goes into food use. In the United States, 81 percent of the domestic use of rice is for food, 15 percent for brewing, and the remaining 4 percent for seeding the next crop.


It thrives in any area with winter ground freezes or a dry season to provide a dormant period each year. Asparagus does best in full sun and deep, well-drained soil. Select a permanent location carefully, since plants will produce for 20 years or more. Dig out all weeds and add plenty of compost to the soil before planting. Asparagus requires high levels of phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. Do a soil test and add amendments as necessary. If your soil is heavy or poorly drained, plant asparagus in raised beds. Plant 1-year-old crowns from a reputable nursery that sells fresh, firm, disease-free roots, or start your plants from seed. Soak seeds or crowns in compost tea for 5 minutes before planting to reduce disease problems. Mulch with a high-nitrogen compost each spring before spears emerge, and again in fall. Leave winter-killed foliage, along with straw or other light mulch, on the bed to provide winter protection. Remove and destroy the

Spear Problems

Causes Young plants low soil fertility overharvested plants. Harvest lightly the first few years so plants can grow strong roots. Reduce harvest if established plantings begin to lose vigor. Asparagus is a heavy feeder add lots of compost to maintain high soil fertility. Leaves yellow growth slow. Causes Nitrogen deficiency waterlogged soil. Spray foliage with fish-meal tea and side-dress with compost to correct nitrogen deficiency. Waterlogged soil will produce the same symptoms. Make sure soil is well-drained or plant in raised beds.


Recently Chaney and Ryan (1992) and Henry and Harrison (1992) have reviewed the effects of heavy metals in sewage sludges and MSW-composts (municipal solid waste) used as soil amendments. Chaney and Ryan found that in contrast to sewage sludge, MSW-composts contain phytotoxic levels of boron. Application can also raise the pH of the soil-compost mixture, which can result in compost-induced Mn-defi-ciency. Chaney and Ryan conclude that uncontaminated sludges and MSW-composts comprise no risks in relation to Cd uptake by crops and vegetables, thus there is no food chain Cd risk to humans consuming western diets. This largely comes about because Zn is a natural limiting factor in the following way either soil pH is kept at a reasonable level for crop production limiting Cd uptake or if the soil pH drops enough to allow Cd uptake, then Zn-phytotoxicity reduces the yield and the Cd risk.

Root Functions

There are more than fifteen elements needed by plants to grow. Of these, roots absorb nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in the largest amounts. The soil minerals most commonly available for root uptake are those that are stuck onto tiny colloid particles in the soil. Colloids are abundant in clay and in broken-down compost. They enhance soil fertility by anchoring minerals in the soil and preventing them from being washed (leached) down and away from plant roots. Colloids are negatively charged particles, allowing minerals with positive charges (potassium, calcium, iron, etc.) to stick to them. Roots can free these stuck minerals by releasing protons (H+) from inside the root and exchanging them for positively charged minerals on the colloid surface in a process called cation exchange. The cation exchange capacity of a soil is a strong indicator of soil fertility, the ability of a soil to provide roots with essential minerals over long periods of time. Acid rain (high in...


Work in plenty of low-nitrogen compost before planting to loosen the soil. For a healthy, trouble-free crop, plant beans after soil has warmed. Optimum soil temperature for germination is 80 F At soil temperatures below 60 H most bean cultivars germinate poorly and are more susceptible to pests and root rot. Choose light, well-drained soil for early plantings, if possible, and cover beans with row cover or clear plastic until they emerge. If you use clear plastic, be sure to remove it as soon as the seeds germinate to avoid cooking the seedlings. Soak seed in compost tea for 25 minutes before planting to help prevent disease and speed germination. Treat seed with an inocu-lant labeled for the type of bean you are planting before sowing to promote nitrogen fixation. Be sure to buy fresh inoculant each year, or check the date on the package for viability. Don't touch plants when foliage is wet to avoid spreading diseases. Compost plants after harvest. Prevent...

Field Inoculation

Inoculation of seedlings at the time of field planting is time consuming, requires more inoculum, and the introduced fungus must be compatible with native microorganisms and climatic conditions of the planting site (Riffle and Maronek 1982). Thus, nursery inoculated seedlings are more frequently outplanted (Roldan et al. 1996 Garbaye and Churin 1997 Nunez et al. 2006 Rincon et al. 2007) than inoculated at the time or after field planting. Castellano (1996) reviewed most of available literature (including unpublished data) on outplanting performance of ECM-inoculated seedlings and provided insight to the fungus-inoculum type-host-location combinations in field experiments. Inoculum types and application methods in the field are very similar to nursery inoculation of container-grown seedlings. Various natural organic materials and organic wastes are often used and may be considered as a simple source of ECM fungi propagules. Hallsby (1995) planted Norway spruce seedlings to mounds...

Methods of planting

The systems of planting vary according to the land, soil fertility and the probable period over which the plantations are expected to last. In some places seedlings are planted in holes, just scooped out at the time of planting. In other areas, considerable care is taken in the preparation of planting pits. The spots where pits are to be dug are marked with stakes, soil dug out from pits, and they are filled with surface soil mixed with leaf mould, compost or cattle manure (Subbaiah, 1940). In Kerala, for planting var. Mysore and Vazhukka, usually pits of 60 X 45 X 45 cm are used. Normally pits are opened during April May after the pre-monsoon showers. Pits are filled with a mixture of topsoil and compost or well rotten farmyard manure and 100 g of rock phosphate. In sloppy land, contour terraces are to be made sufficiently in advance and pits taken along the contour (Anonymous, 1985, 1986).

Botanical Work

The book on earthworms was published just six months before Darwin's death. Until his end, Darwin remained a productive scientist. Some of his most imaginative work was performed toward the end of his long life. His was a happy and productive life in a home filled with the voices of his ten children and numerous grandchildren. On his death in 1882, he received a rare honor for a scientist he was given a state burial and was buried at Westminster Abbey. see also Carnivorous Plants Compost Evolution of Plants Evolution of Plants, History of Hooker, Joseph Dalton Mendel, Gregor Orchidaceae Phylogeny Sachs, Julius von Tropisms and Nastic Movements.

Root Problems

Cause Lumpy or compacted soil. Prevent problems by working soil deeply and adding lots of compost. Plant shorter-rooted cultivars in rocky or clay soil. Carrot weevils usually attack the upper and outer parts of the root. Tunnels are often in a zigzag pattern. Larvae are creamy white, ' > long grubs with brown heads. Adults are coppery brown, ' & long snout beetles. Destroy infested roots don't put them in the compost. Control larvae by applying parasitic nematodes to the soil. Control adults, which emerge early in the spring to lay eggs, by covering the seedbed with row cover or by spraying or dusting plants with pyrethrin as soon as you see adult weevils.

Field practices

Information on nutrient requirements and fertilization of Echinacea species is very limited. In the early cultivation handbooks, the fertilization instructions are quite general. German writers have proposed mixing fertilizers in 100 to 200 kg ha at ratios of N P K 12 12 20 (Ebert, 1982) with additional compost between the rows every spring (Heeger, 1956).

Soil analyses

The organic-matter content can be measured by ashing the soil, with the volume of organic matter being estimated from the loss of weight. As mentioned earlier, pineapple plants respond favourably to soils with a high percentage of organic matter. This is not to be confused with crop residue or other organic material that has not undergone complete decomposition by composting or other means that result in a stable C N ratio in the soil.


Cedars all like a deep, loamy soil, well-drained but enriched with organic matter. Plant them in spring as small, balled-and-burlapped or container-grown plants, setting them in a sunny location. Cedars are remarkably free of serious insect pests. Keep your trees healthy by applying compost mulch and watering thoroughly during periods of drought to minimize damage.

Nutrient uptake

Humic substances have been proven to stimulate plant growth and nutrient accumulation (for review see Vaughan and Malcolm, 1985 Chen and Aviad, 1990 Varanini and Pinton, 1995). Studies on uptake kinetics, use of protein synthesis inhibitors and variations in experimental conditions (e.g. temperature) suggest that the effects of humic substances on plant nutrition may be mediated by variations in the synthesis and functionality of membrane carriers. Moreover, stimulation of active proton extrusion from roots (Pinton et a ., 1997) and transmembrane potential hyperpolarization (Slesak and Jurek, 1988) indicated an involvement of the plasma membrane H+-ATPase (PM H+-ATPase) in the increased nutrient uptake due to the presence of humic substances. Direct proof of an interaction between humic molecules and PM H+-ATPase has been obtained by Varanini et a . (1993) who demonstrated that low molecular weight (< 5 kDa) humic molecules can stimulate the phosphohydrolitic activity of this enzyme...

Inducible Tolerance

It has always been asssumed, if not demonstrated unequivocally, that metal tolerance is an entirely genetically-based phenomenon, unaffected by environmental influences (Baker and Walker, 1989). Carefully controlled pretreatment and cultivation experiments with clonal plant materials have shown that a certain degree of metal tolerance can be induced by metal pretreatment and subsequently 'lost' when metal influences are removed. Thus Baker et al. (1986) were able to demonstrate the tolerances of both cadmium-tolerant and non-tolerant populations of the grasses Holcus lanatus, Agrostis capillaris, Festuca rubra and Deschampsia caespitosa were reduced by an overall 13 when clonal materials were cultivated in an uncon-taminated potting compost instead of native soils. Tolerance could also be induced in non-tolerant H. lanatus by transplantation of tillers into metalliferous soil. Subsequent experiments by Walker and Baker (1991 ) with seedlings of this grass have shown that zinc...


Chard grows vigorously from late spring to fall frost. Plants prefer sandy, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.5-7.5. They will tolerate a wide range of temperatures and will withstand light frost. To keep leaves tender, provide chard with plenty of water and nitrogen. Compost worked into the soil at planting followed by alfalfa meal sprinkled on the soil surface after seeding usually provides chard's requirements.

Ear Problems

Ears with bare, undeveloped tips can also be caused by potassium deficiency. Phosphorus deficiency also causes small, irregular ears. See page 77 for an illustration of this condition. If ears are misshapen and kernels have corky, brown bands at their bases, suspect boron deficiency. Spray young plants with seaweed extract or compost tea to help prevent deficiencies. Confirm deficiencies with a soil test and amend soil as needed. Ears or tassels with enlarged galls. Cause Corn smut. Young galls are firm and whitish, older ones are spongy and filled with black powder. Remove galls before they split open, and destroy infected plants. Do not compost them. Prevent problems by planting resistant cultivars such as 'Bellringer', 'Gold Cup', 'Merit', 'Sweet Sue', and 'Viking'.

Broadcast amendments

Broadcast amendments are applied prior to planting to adjust soil pH or to increase the supply of Ca, K, N and P. Rock-phosphate, lime, animal manure and well-composted organic material have all been used successfully in pineapple culture systems under the right conditions. Benefits from broadcast amendments should not be assumed thus, diagnostic soil testing is needed to verify specific deficits, such as soil pH (for lime), Ca and K (for lime and manures) and P (for phosphates). Pineapple responds well to the use of organic manures. Growers in 18th-century England allowed sheep to trample their droppings and urine into oak leaves that would be used to make potting compost. More recently, experiments in Hawaii with sewage sludge, chicken manure and dairy or feedlot cattle manure all resulted in substantial yield increases from incorporation of up to about 45 t ha-1 (about 20 tons acre-1) of manure into lands that had been continuously planted to pineapple for ten to 15 crop cycles....

Cultural Practices

Pruning and timely removal of infested branches and trees can be an effective method of preventing the spread of pests and diseases. That proved to be particularly true in the control of Dutch Elm Disease in Europe and North America. Systematic removal and burning of any potential breeding material for elm bark beetles was one of the most effective control measures. A similar approach directed at removal and composting of fallen leaves is presently developed in Europe to limit population growth and spreading of Cameraria ohridella (Marx 1997). For canker stain of plane trees, the only possible strategy is sanitation. In Italy, a decree settles the compulsory control measures attacked or dead trees and healthy ones beside them have to be felled. When cutting, infected timber, sawdust and wood chips must be collected and eliminated. All living stumps must be removed or killed.

Lily Bulbs

Mark the planting sites to help avoid injuring the newly emerging shoots. As they appear in spring (sometimes surprisingly late), carefully cultivate and scratch in the first of 2 organic fertilizer meals for the season. Fertilize again before bloom avoid excessive nitrogen applications. Mulch with several inches of compost or finely shredded bark to keep the soil cool. Water during dry spells. Stake tall lilies and deadhead after bloom. After the tops die, cut the stems down to a few inches to mark the spot for next year. Clear away faded foliage and plant debris to remove overwintering pests and diseases.


Biomass refers to total dry weight of living material expressed in terms of volume or area. This organic material can be harvested as a source of energy. Plants store energy from sunlight in their various parts, which can be accessed through several technologies. Plant biomass can be burnt to generate heat energy or electricity, converted to liquid and transportable fuels, or used as a feedstock for the production of chemicals. It can also be used as compost or green manure, and converted into building materials, fiber, or animal feed. Plants are the main source of biomass for energy, with crops that produce the greatest quantity of bulk material in the shortest possible time the most useful. The maximum biomass yield for energy crops is typically around 30 tonnesha-1 (White and Plaskett, 1981).

Organic Production

Tal sustainability, followed by integrated, and then by conventional systems. Because of the minimal use of synthetic inputs and greater emphasis placed on long-term sustainability, there are many differences between conventional and OP systems. One of the greatest differences between conventional and organic systems is the emphasis placed on soil health and conservation in OP systems. Organic systems utilize compost, manure, or other natural organic matter to improve soil fertility, which will in turn be used by fruit trees, while conventional systems rely on synthetic fertilizer applications to supply nutrients to fruit trees themselves and not necessarily to improve overall soil fertility or sustainability. The specific nutrient contribution of composted organic matter can vary, and therefore soil and nutrient management requires careful, long-term planning (Edwards, 1998). Organic growers must carefully consider orchard sites, root-stocks, and cultivars. Rootstock as well as...

Herbs And Weeds

The genus Rumex Polygonaceae (buckwheat or knotweed family) common name, dock or sorrel consists of weedy herbs. Pearson and Brooks (1995) studied Rumex obtusifolius L. (broad-leaved dock C3), a perennial herb that grows to be 40-150 cm tall. In many countries, it is the most troublesome weed in intensively managed permanent grasslands. The possession of a large root system explains much of the persistence and aggressive nature of R. obtusifolius. They grew the plants in pots containing compost and grit placed in day-lit environmental chambers with air containing 350 or 600 imol mol CO2. During the experiment, there were five flushes of new leaves, which they labeled A, B, C, D, and E. They determined dry weights of roots and shoots, and weighed senescent leaves. Data from gas exchange measurements were used to calculate the instantaneous water use efficiency (photosynthetic rate divided by transpiration rate). Plants grown under 600 mol mol CO2 had higher aboveground (Figure 15.24a)...

Hiber Problems

Potatoes with brown or black spots or patches on skin. Cause Scurf. Peel off spots before using tubers. Soak seed pieces in compost tea before planting to help suppress fungal diseases. Do not plant spotted tubers The resulting plants will produce only small tubers, many of which will rot.

Sources of Supply

When choosing carnivorous plants, look for strong healthy specimens. The leaves should show no sign of wilting and should be free from pests and fungus. Pitchers should be upright, while fly-paper traps should appear sticky. Many carnivorous plants, including Dionaea and tropical Pinguicula, will normally have one or two dead or dying leaves, but these should never predominate. Seedlings and very young plants are easily damaged by underwatering or sudden changes in temperature and are best avoided when starting a collection. Any plants purchased from garden centres should be repotted as soon as possible in the recommended potting compost (see table 3, p.13).

Potting Substrate

The supply of potting substrate in adequate quantity and quality is a major problem in many large nurseries, which can require huge amounts. Several substrates have been used for raising A. mangium planting stock, including topsoil, vermiculite, perlite, different types of compost, and tropical peat. These Different types of compost have also been used as seedling media. Trials in South Kalimantan tested 13 different compost substrates with A. mangium. Compost of rice straw, maize stems, and leaves, mixed with 50 or 30 topsoil, produced the best growth and survival. Bagasse yielded good height but poor diameter growth. Pure compost media (maize and rice straw), excluding bagasse, yielded poor survival. In the same trial, peat and rice husk (70 30) yielded moderate growth but highest survival (Rusmana 1993, pers. communication). Newman (1989a) reported the results of using sawdust as germination medium for A. mangium at SAFODA's nursery. Two seedlots of this species were germinated...

Growing Indoors

Carnivorous plants grown indoors require no special treatment. They can be grown in a pot of the appropriate compost and placed in a plastic saucer containing 1 in. (2.5 cm) of rain water or distilled water. During dormancy the plants should not stand in water but should be watered once a week to keep the compost damp. Tender plants, especially Pinguicula, should be moved away from a window when outside temperatures fall below 50 F (10 C).

Rich cove forest

A variety of trees form a dense canopy of overlapping crowns that deeply shade the forest floor, much like a dense tropical forest. Rooted in moist, fertile soils, the canopy trees grow faster, taller, and wider than in most other forests. Among the most common canopy species are tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), American beech (Fagus grandifolia), white basswood (Tilia americana), yellow buckeye (Aesculusflava), and sugar maple (Acer saccharum). Other canopy species include white ash (Fraxinus americana), sweet birch (Betula lenta), cucumber tree (Magnolia acuminata), and yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea). The usually open understory consists of smaller individuals of the canopy species as well as typical subcanopy trees such as Carolina silverbell (Halesia tetraptera), Fraser magnolia (Magnolia fraseri), flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), hop hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana), ironwood (Carpinus caroliniana), striped maple (Acer pensylvanicum), and pawpaw (Asimina triloba). A...


COMPOSTS Commercially available composts are not recommended for carnivorous plants, but it is easy and cheap to mix suitable composts at home and does not require precise measurement or many ingredients. Care must be taken to ensure that the mixture is made up in the correct proportions, as carnivorous plants vary in their preferences, from those needing free drainage to those wanting permanently wet bog. Most plants fall into one of four categories, for which appropriate mixtures are shown in table 3. Table 3 types of compost Ingredients Compost type All these composts are without nutrients. This is important, because carnivorous plants always grow in infertile soils or water. Addition of fertilizer to the compost may cause root damage, malformation of the trapping leaves or death of the plant and therefore should not be attempted. Sharp sand is used to give the compost an open texture. The grains should measure 1 16 to 1 8 in. (1.6-3 mm) and should be washed first to remove as many...


Balancing crop nutrient needs using both inorganic commercial fertilizer and organic sources is an excellent way to avoid overapplication of plant nutrients. Soil and or plant tissue testing should be used to determine crop nutrient needs before applying nutrients from any source. This will ensure efficient use of plant nutrients while maintaining high crop yields, crop quality and profitability, and preserving or enhancing environmental quality. see also Agriculture, Modern Biochemical Cycles Compost Nutrients Organic Agriculture Soil, Chemistry of Soil, Physical Characteristics of.

Secondary nursery

Well-decomposed compost, cattle manure and fertile top forest soil are used for application to each bed at the rate of 8 10 kg (2.5 X 1.0 m) both in primary and secondary nursery. On average, 120 g nitrogen, 20 g phosphorous and 300 g potash, 50 g magnesium and 75 g calcium are removed from a bed planted with 100 seedlings. To promote uniform growth, 250 g mixture made of nine parts of NPK 17 17 17 and eight parts of zinc sulphate dissolved in 10 l of water may be sprayed once in 15 20 days, starting one month after transplanting (Anonymous, 1990). Regional Research Station, Mudigere, recommends NPK mixture at the rate of 160 g per bed one month after planting. This is to be increased by 160 g every month until a maximum of 960 g per bed is reached. The proportion of NPK is one part urea, two parts superphosphate and one part muriate of potash (Anonymous, 1979).

Suppressive Soils

In addition, Postma et al. (2003) found that compost amended soil has also been found to be suppressive against plant diseases in various cropping systems. The level and reproducibility of disease suppressive properties of compost might be increased by the addition of antagonists. In this study, the establishment and suppressive activity of two fungal antagonists of soil-borne diseases was evaluated after their inoculation in potting soil and in compost produced from different types of organic waste and at different maturation stages. The fungal antagonists Verticillium biguttatum, a mycoparasite of Rhizoctonia solani, and a non-pathogenic isolate of Fusarium oxysporum antagonistic to Fusarium wilt, survived at high levels (103-105 CFU g-1) after 3 months incubation at room temperature in green waste compost and in potting soil. Their populations faded-out in the organic household waste compost, especially in the matured product. In bioassays with R. solani on sugar beet and potato,...


Moreover, circles of vetiver might be used to enclose compost piles, trash heaps, farm gardens, fish ponds and more. Animal Protection corrals and shelters for small creatures such as chickens seem a possibility. Traffic Control vetiver can be employed to direct where people and animals walk and where vehicles drive. For instance, it can keep them away from unstable banks or family gardens. Weed Prevention the hedges are said to prevent creeping weeds, such as Bahia grass, from invading gardens. Making Steep Slopes Usable hedges across slopes make it possible to work where now even standing is difficult and everything washes away with the rains.

Weed Management

Using a soil bioassay technique, Conkling et al. (2002) assessed seedling growth and incidence of disease of wild mustard (Brassica kaber) and sweet corn (Zea mays) in soil from field plots that received either of two treatments incorporated red clover (Trifolium pratense) residue plus application of compost ('amended soil'), or application of ammonium nitrate fertilizer ('unamended soil'). Soils were analyzed for percent moisture, dissolved organic carbon, conductivity, phenolics, and nutrient content. A trend toward greater incidence of Pythium spp. infection of wild mustard seedlings grown in amended soil was observed during the first 40 days after incorporation (DAI) of red clover and compost, with significant differences (a 0.05) at two out of four sampling dates in 1997, and four out of four sampling dates in 1998. Incidence of Pythium infection was 10-70 greater in the amended soil treatment during that period. Asymptomatic wild mustard seedlings grown in amended soil were also...