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05-09-2003 12:13 PM

solarizing compost
 


over the last 2 seasons a problem with anthracnose has developed in areas i
plant tomatoes...not really a problem if you can keep the soil away from
the fruit when it rains and soil splashes.

however, i made the mistake of putting some infected tomato waste into my
composter so i am sure that the compost is contaminated.

my intention is to put the compost into large clear plastic bags, wet it
down and let it sit in the sun thereby solarizing it and hopefully killing
any diseases in the compost.


any comments on my chances for success would be appreciated

Fito 05-09-2003 02:42 PM

solarizing compost
 

wrote in message ...


over the last 2 seasons a problem with anthracnose has developed in areas

i
plant tomatoes...not really a problem if you can keep the soil away from
the fruit when it rains and soil splashes.

however, i made the mistake of putting some infected tomato waste into my
composter so i am sure that the compost is contaminated.

my intention is to put the compost into large clear plastic bags, wet it
down and let it sit in the sun thereby solarizing it and hopefully killing
any diseases in the compost.


any comments on my chances for success would be appreciated


A little reading tells me that anthracnose is a fungal disease. Even at its
highest temperatures, "solarizing" may not accomplish what you want. That
may even help to propagate the fungus. Here is a good website:
www.gardenweb.com . There are tomatoes and compost forums there.

Fito



Mary Fisher 06-09-2003 10:02 PM

solarizing compost
 

Better off heat pasteurising it. As is done with commercial composts.


I've often had fungal growth - obvious mycelium as well as tiny fruiting
bodies - in commercial compost.

Mary

Jim




Mary Fisher 07-09-2003 12:02 PM

solarizing compost
 

Better off heat pasteurising it. As is done with commercial composts.


I've often had fungal growth - obvious mycelium as well as tiny fruiting
bodies - in commercial compost.

Mary


Ahhh but that could be other things.. ranging from spores already on
plants/seed coats to contaminated water, pots, handling, poor strage of
compost.. (it doesn't stay pastuerised forever you know).


I didn't explain myself properly. I rarely do on Usenet, too busy getting
the essentials - or what I think are the essentials - down.

I meant that I've seen evidence of fungi in newly bought and newly opened
bags of organic compost.

Now that I've got a good supply of my own compost and shreddings I shan't be
buying any more. The hens make a marvellous job of turning and fertilising
shreddings.



The OP asked about reducing fungal growth in own compost. Heat treatment
would minimise this IMO.


But does it matter?

And if it does, how can we heat-treat compost?

Mary



//
Jim




Mary Fisher 07-09-2003 03:02 PM

solarizing compost
 




... how can we heat-treat compost?


Sterilisers can be bought or there are various home made versions on the
web. Eg: http://www.geocities.com/j_warham/Steri1.html

For small quantities I belive the microwave can be used..


If you have one!


It all depends on the value of your crop/plant etc as to whether you
bother sterilising or not.. If its rare seed/ or you only have a single
plant it may be more important that it survive than if its a hardy
Butterfly bush or something.. In whcih case clean pots, using
fungicides to water etc etc are important.

And of course storage in a sealed bag post sterilising is important.

There is plenty more information on the web if you go look for it;-)


Thanks, but I really don't think I'll bother, I've never had a problem. If I
do I'll do a Google, thanks for the tip.

By the way, I occasionally have volunteer blewits and oyster mushrooms
growing in our garden :-)

Mary
//
Jim




Tom Jaszewski 07-09-2003 04:12 PM

solarizing compost
 
On Sun, 7 Sep 2003 11:39:00 +0100,
(Jim W) wrote:

The OP asked about reducing fungal growth in own compost. Heat treatment
would minimise this IMO.



I INCOURAGE fungal growth in compost! Fungi are an important part of
why we use compost. If home gardeners would learn to make thermophilic
compost or use a worm farm to prcess waste, pathogens would not be a
problem!

If we need to get the compost up to temperature to kill pathogens,
150F, solarization will not likely be sufficient.

Tom Jaszewski 07-09-2003 04:32 PM

solarizing compost
 
On Sun, 7 Sep 2003 11:39:00 +0100,
(Jim W) wrote:

The OP asked about reducing fungal growth in own compost. Heat treatment
would minimise this IMO.


This would kill the beneficial elements of compost. We use compost
because of it's biological diversity

Noydb 07-09-2003 09:12 PM

solarizing compost
 
wrote:



over the last 2 seasons a problem with anthracnose has developed in areas
i plant tomatoes...not really a problem if you can keep the soil away from
the fruit when it rains and soil splashes.

however, i made the mistake of putting some infected tomato waste into my
composter so i am sure that the compost is contaminated.

my intention is to put the compost into large clear plastic bags, wet it
down and let it sit in the sun thereby solarizing it and hopefully killing
any diseases in the compost.


any comments on my chances for success would be appreciated



Why not mix in some fresh nitrogen (blood meal, fresh manure, grass
clippings, etc.) and run it through the composter again? Make certain it
gets hot enough long enough and you should be "home free". This won't take
any longer than solarizing it and, this time of year, will probably yield
higher temps.


Bill
--
Zone 8b (Detroit, MI)
I do not post my address to news groups.



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