GQT - well rotted organic matter

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Re: GQT - well rotted organic matter

Postby Primrose » Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:51 am

I was going to suggest the same. If you don,t have any big sheets of black,plastic I,m told bed and mattress supply outlets often have large sheets of clear plastic for protecting new mattresses whixh they are often only too happy to get rid of, whixh would hopefully stop the worst of the rain leaching the goodness out.
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Re: GQT - well rotted organic matter

Postby Colin2016 » Thu Nov 28, 2019 5:33 pm

How about Cardboard?

If this is going on top of compost surly there would not be a leaching problem.

I have a pile pallet size cubed with loads of worms in it , been advise to leave alone over winter to let the worms do their job, treat it like a large wormery.
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Re: GQT - well rotted organic matter

Postby Westi » Thu Nov 28, 2019 5:58 pm

I always mulched with the cow manure & covered for the winter & have loads of black plastic I inherited from a leaving plot holder. I would prefer this method as a lot less strenuous. I did have a thought that if I put the edges under the membrane path then the run off would be on the top of the plastic. It runs off as the path has 3 layers of membrane now as when it get worn I just roll the new one on top. This only happens with prolonged rain as loads of holes in the under layers for water to seep through.

Any recommendations for how deep a mulch with this fine stuff? I didn't have to worry with the cow manure much because of the hay & some dry pats it was about 6" deep anyway when raked out & mostly gone by Spring with the rest in the compost bin or dug in if just pats. This is as fine as potting compost almost, so I'm assuming the nutrients will be concentrated so not sure I will need as much depth.

I should never think, it raises more questions than answers which is why I am so grateful for your input.
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Re: GQT - well rotted organic matter

Postby oldherbaceous » Thu Nov 28, 2019 6:18 pm

Dear Westi, have I missed what you have actually had delivered, is it compost, or very well rotted manure of some kind?
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Re: GQT - well rotted organic matter

Postby Westi » Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:20 pm

Farmyard compost with soil improver OH. I can no longer get the diary muck I have relied on to improve my sandy soil, only missed 1 year, now moving into 2, but I can tell by the harvest not enough good stuff to keep the plants happy with the chicken 6X I used this year. We get horse delivered to the plot but it is more wood chip than horse droppings - OK to mulch with but nought else. This load I was buying blind, but I was surprised how fine it is. No idea what the soil improver is but thought maybe small bits to stop the rain just letting the nutrients wash down away from the plant roots. There are bits in it but they are soft & crumble in your hand if you rub your palms together. It's confusing me a bit tbh!
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Re: GQT - well rotted organic matter

Postby Colin2016 » Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:03 am

My beds are all composted 6 inchs deep when created, the second year only needs 1 or 2 inchs on top.

I believe the goodness does not leach out of comp when it rains.
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Re: GQT - well rotted organic matter

Postby Westi » Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:23 pm

Thank you Colin.

I do indeed think too much & need reassurance when confronted with a new product! If the goodness does not leech out I'm in for a super brassica harvest as theirs is a targeted bed for this little present along with the tunnel beds & those wonderful pumpkin & squash which taste so great & store so well. But might be able to share the love a bit more if only 2" needed.
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Re: GQT - well rotted organic matter

Postby Colin2016 » Fri Nov 29, 2019 8:49 pm

Hi Westi this a quote from Charles Dowding Faq site no 21...
"Compost is not fertiliser and contains most nutrients in a water-insoluble form, hence the success of applying compost in autumn, then leaving beds to weather, which encourages lumps to soften. I never cover beds in winter apart from mulching with compost."
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Re: GQT - well rotted organic matter

Postby Westi » Sat Nov 30, 2019 6:21 pm

And again you offer me even more assurance Colin - kind of! If it is water insoluble how to the plants access the nutrients in it? How do the roots get it into them? I know plants are super clever & adapted but if you could pretend you are responding to a child, I would be very keen to know just how plants get what they need from the soil? Or just point me to a website! (I knew doing Zoology at school was the wrong choice but the guys were cuter in that stream & we got to imprint chicks & take them home if we wanted - Noodle was dead cute & lived a happy life with the rest of the hens)!

Cheers in advance!
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Re: GQT - well rotted organic matter

Postby Colin2016 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:13 am

Hi Westi, I do not have the technical answer to your question I just put down to the worms doing all the work.
Looked at my muck pile yesterday there were loads of worms doing their stuff, looked at the Christmas spud bed and again worms doing their stuff.

My compost seems moist compared the earth on a dry day, don't get wrong I still water but a lot less.

If you can get hold of Square foot gardening by Mel Bartholomew (library or happy to post mine to you) there is a section on watering which may go to helping you understand how plants get their nutrients.

You will find all your answers on Charles Dowding "No Dig" site and if you have specific question you can always ask him direct.

I hope me mentioning him again does not get me kicked off this forum, as happened on another forum.
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Re: GQT - well rotted organic matter

Postby oldherbaceous » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:58 pm

You are going no where, Colin.... :)
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Re: GQT - well rotted organic matter

Postby Primrose » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:54 pm

We won't be kicking you off here Colin. I think we all need all the advice we can get on water retention in our soil, especially after the last two dry summers we've had, and anything which helps this is always welcome. I think all of us on here are always willing to learn any new techniques which help us.

My main concern is that sometimes it may be necessary for practical reasons regarding timing, to have to put a thick mulch of manure or other covering onto dry soil. If that happens at the wrong time of year and we get very little rainfall, how does sufficient water get through the mulch level down into the roots of vegetables where it is most needed?
I imagine that capiliary action will eventually ensure that some moisture permeates down to the roots but sometimes in really dry weather I've dug down to six or eight inches before the surface of the soil and it is still bone dry.

Would mulching in such conditions, if you were forced to do it then, make a bad situation even worse if you had to rely on natural rainfall to water our plants?
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Re: GQT - well rotted organic matter

Postby Westi » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:50 pm

I was very pleased to find the couple of areas I had covered for weed control when rolled back to apply the compost showed loads of worm activity & breaking down nicely in just a couple of weeks. And I have given them an early Xmas present so they should be very happy. I was advised to water the compost when I put it down before covering so I did, but have a few that I did not have time to cover so didn't water them so may have a peek underneath the watered plastic v's the left on top to see but it is only a couple of days, but thinking as the soil was so wet the compost would have absorbed it anyway. I will see; as even the sun as weak as it is & the breeze may have dried it off & as so fine it might have capped slightly.

I have no issues with anyone having different views & methods of growing so long as respect is paid to their views & back again. Mention Charles as much as you like Colin - it's our choice whether we follow or look elsewhere. This is what is best about this forum - we respect & acknowledge everyone's choice & I personally take a peek at what mentioned & sometimes borrow an idea that might suit my growing from within it.

I'm a thinking I might post on 'Ask the Team' in the hope they occasionally read it, to consider an 'Plain English' Guide to understand how plants get what they need as I can't see the worms using those fine hair like structures that are roots as straws. I got the hang of how fungi works from nature programme's so it is doable & in my opinion more important than what is the best blog. I will wait until tomorrow though in case you guys tell me I am mad! :)
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Re: GQT - well rotted organic matter

Postby Geoff » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:22 pm

Not mad at all. If somebody explains to you how plants absorb their NPK and other requirements perhaps they might also be able to explain how they 'know' they have come from natural sources rather than being artificially produced, as is so often claimed.
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Re: GQT - well rotted organic matter

Postby Westi » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:25 pm

Interesting Geoff, not heard that before, but as you can tell I've not paid too much attention to the magic of plants. I would however think that they are not that magic to be able to ID the source of same said elements. Blimey that is pushing even my vivid imagination a step too far.
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