adding superphosphate to compost

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by andrew curr, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    i think i read of this tecnique in the bible
    supposed to prevent N oxidising
    any ideas?
    went to a field day last week where a NZ product(Biostart) was being heavily promoted
    im a bit warey of all the glossy brocures
    anyone used any biostart products:shake:
     
  2. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    Haven't used it, and dont intend on using it....

    Is it a microbial inoculant with the chemical fertilisers?
     
  3. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    Sorry, won't use it since this is what I try to follow:

    The five principles of Natural Farming are that:

    human cultivation of soil, plowing or tilling are unnecessary, as is the use of powered machines
    prepared fertilizers are unnecessary, as is the process of preparing compost
    weeding, either by cultivation or by herbicides, is unnecessary. Instead only minimal weed suppression with minimal disturbance
    applications of pesticides or herbicides are unnecessary
    pruning of fruit trees is unnecessary


    I would like to point out some of those products are meant to be mixed with glyphoshate.
     
  4. Robert Knops

    Robert Knops Junior Member

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    Superphosphate is a chemical so i wouldn't use it. You could use Symphytum or Achillea for improving your compost. In Lemna species is a lot of phosphate. They also indicate phosphate in wother areas. The chemical fertilizers are also in the long term not sustainable. They create shortcomings in some areas and to much of it in other areas.
     
  5. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    This one I struggle with... Unnecessary yes, but I like to keep my trees at a size that I can pick fruit from without needing a ladder....
     
  6. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    I agree, it is the most difficult for me to deal with as well.
     
  7. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    Also, Andrew is a broadacre farmer, so its a different set of rules to maintain productivity, especially as phosporus is a limiting factor in Australia. Albeit he isn't a crop farmer as far as I know, so no-till, deep ripping and rotational grazing are his best tools in the permaculture kit.
     
  8. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Superphosphate kills soil bacteria which is not only in soil but humus and compost. That's the whole point of building healthy soil. The reason conventional farming uses superphosphate is because it's not labor intensive. It can be bought cheaply and applied by machine, and that's how they save money. They are, however, ruining all of the organic matter that is so carefully collected and hauled and spread. It keeps the immune systems of plants from functioning properly, and worms won't go anywhere near it.

    If you need a lot of phosphate, which is what this stuff is giving you, because you need more blossoming action than new leaf action, (and be sure it's really what you need, not just what you've read you need or you think you need) then start adding herbivore animal manures, your own urine, or granite sand to your compost or your mulch.

    These things also provide a multitude of micronutrients. Organic/natural gardening/farming uses a stew of ingredients, not just single ingredients, because it "takes a village" to use a good quote. It's the evil chemical companies that have trained our brains to only think in terms of one chemical at a time. That's not natural, it's not organic, and it's not healthy for soil or for us :)
     
  9. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I think the question originally was - does adding superphosphate to compost stop the N off gassing? Does anyone know? Are there any other ways to keep the N in your compost more effectively?
     
  10. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    When I bought compost for my very first garden up in Auckland, the seller had all his compost bins under some trees and said that this made better compost because the bins werent being overheated by the sun.
    Evaporation rate was less meaning not having to damp it down so much and controlling the inner heat was made easier too, making for more nutrients in the finished product.
    I wish I had remembered that when I built our bins-might move them now.
     
  11. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    Looks like it does https://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-AHNY201208024.htm ... also https://www.agronomy.org/publications/jeq/abstracts/41/4/1221?access=0&view=pdf

    Biochar and rock dusts will help trap nitrogen. Biodynamic composts are usually higher in nitrogen as they are traditionally turned only once, so they arent off gassing as much as one does with regular aeration.
     
  12. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    It depends on quantity. With small additions of superphosphate directly drilled into the soil layer, the micro-organisms responsible for making phosphorus are invigorated and multiplied creating more hungry microbes to scavenge for phosphorus.

    Cam Wilson
     
  13. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    where does the "small additions" (plural? that means more than one, which isn't really small, eh?) rule come in? Is it written somewhere that's not a blog?

    If one holds a Certified Organic certification they will lose it if they use superphosphate. I can't imagine that it's promoted anywhere in Permaculture, nowhere in the literature I've seen. It is only found in a lab, it is not made in nature.

    If people think that combining chemicals with organic matter equals healthy soil and organic growing, they are highly, highly mistaken. It does way more damage to your soil and your soil creatures than it will ever add goodness to your food. I hope that when we grow naturally we will stop doing it with our need for excessive growth and the notion that huge vegetables mean quality, and grow with our knowledge of soil and plant biology :)
     
  14. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    Ive just spent a while looking through science papers and looking for any trials on using small amounts of highly available P to increase P-solubilising microbes such as bacilus and psuedomona. There wasn't any that I came across that were entirely specific.

    John Priestley is a highly respected and profitable bio-dynamic farmer who may be privy to information I couldn't find.

    Perhaps you got the wrong impression that Im advocating the use of Super, which im not. It does seem to make some sense that if you introduce a food to a small population of microbes that they require en-masse, then their population would grow under the improved conditions and in turn, would become more effective in utilising the mineral P present in the soil. Won't do much good if you dont have much mineral P to begin with.

    Its also known, although I have no papers to back it up, that an advantage of converting an old paddock that has been under heavy Superphosphate application, is that the unavailable form of Super will become a bank for years to come as the microbial life builds in the soil, and begins scavenging in the phosphorus bank.

    That probably didn't clear anything up, my apologies.
     
  15. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    Broad acre or not, you do not need chemicals.

    To review.

    The five principles of Natural Farming are that:

    human cultivation of soil, plowing or tilling are unnecessary, as is the use of powered machines
    prepared fertilizers are unnecessary, as is the process of preparing compost
    weeding, either by cultivation or by herbicides, is unnecessary. Instead only minimal weed suppression with minimal disturbance
    applications of pesticides or herbicides are unnecessary
    pruning of fruit trees is unnecessary

    Nature has a host of elements that can become ready for plant use with proper broad acre management. Worms help the soil tremendously more then chemicals (as an example) but are incredibly over looked since Commercial Ag prefers to kill them and everything else in the soil; IE - hydroponics using soil as the medium.
     
  16. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    Now might be a good time for those experiences to be taken out to the boondocks and demonstrate the effectiveness of well intentioned lists have in the real world of growing food for the world population.
     
  17. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    nice work matto
    i suspect there are comercial compost makers using the tecnology as we speak
    eg biostart , they produce a range of glossey brochures and organoadditives
    there can be money in shit
    regardless if i take part in this shitfight it goes on
    the feedlot charges 8$/t for raw manure add freight and spreading and it is an expensive proposal
    cold turkey isnt always the best method of dealing with an addiction (the first step is realising you are addicted)
     
  18. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    Well, instead of snide remarks, I suggest watching Bill Mollison in the "Global Gardener" since he visits a rancher making a lot of money, without chemicals, used worms.

    In separate examples, there is the non-profit farm giving away over 1,000,000 US pounds of food a year (all veg) with an additional 10,000 fish & over 500 yards of no chemicals used compost a year.

    These examples have been going on for a long long time.
     
  19. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    I guess the fundamental question is: Why do you think you need superphosphate, and what's it going to do for you?
     
  20. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    And while I've got this at hand, here is a scientific paper studying the effect of superphospate on mycorrhizal fungi (capitalization is mine for ease of reading) These guys weren't even trying to be organic:

    "The percentage mycorrhizal root colonization with the A. laevis + P. fluorescens
    (86.86 ± 2.17%) combination and chlorophyll content with the G. mosseae + A. laevis + P. fluorescens (0.474 ± 0.009 mg
    g-1 FW) combination recorded the highest values at the low concentration (half recommended superphosphate dose) as
    compared with non-mycorrhizal plants (control). The high superphosphate dose CLEARLY REDUCED OR DECREASED ALL THE GROWTH PARAMETERS.

    https://www.chileanjar.cl/files/V72I2Y2012CJAR11289.pdf


    Not to mention that Rodale has lots of writings on superphosphate harming worm populations.
     

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