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Composting On Paths Works For The Harvest
Composting On Paths Works For The Harvest

Video: Composting On Paths Works For The Harvest

Video: Composting On Paths Works For The Harvest
Video: Harvest Quest Manure and Mortality Management Through Composting 2023, March

Carbon dioxide and compost paths


Most gardeners who compost themselves in heaps of compost are convinced that plants need, first of all, humus. That's why they compost. However, they do not take into account the losses that inevitably occur during the process of such composting. In the compost heap, during the decomposition of organic matter, primarily carbon dioxide is lost.

And all this is for the sake of obtaining humus. As a result, gardeners oppose carbon dioxide nutrition to mineral nutrition. I think that these types of food cannot be opposed. If there is not enough mineral nutrition, then the plants will be weak, underdeveloped. If they lack carbon dioxide nutrition, the result will be the same. To obtain the maximum yield, it is necessary that both types of food are provided to the maximum extent.

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Experienced gardeners know that if you increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the air directly near the plants, the yield will increase in proportion to this increase. Why then create an overabundance of mineral nutrition if an insufficient amount of carbon dioxide will still hold back the growth of the crop? An increase in the amount of humus and mineral solutions due to the loss of carbon dioxide in this case is unnecessary, wasted work.

On my site, composting takes place in the immediate vicinity of the plants - in the paths. Therefore, carbon dioxide is not lost, but absorbed by plants. In this case, the formation of humus and nutrient solutions also occurs near the plants themselves - all decomposition products of organic matter are used as fully and harmoniously as possible. This is where I see the benefits of composting paths.

In one of the publications I met the statement: “It is possible to raise the level of carbon dioxide in the near-surface layer of the atmosphere without the use of green mulch by increasing the population of soil microorganisms in the soil of the ridges by introducing them with EM preparations. It is easier to do than to collect and lay out green organic matter."

I think that it is absolutely impossible to put the question this way. In order for carbon dioxide to be released, organic matter is needed first of all. Precisely in order to have something to digest. And it is just as important that there are those in the soil who will digest it. If one thing is missing, then the process will not go. If one of the components is small, the process will be extremely sluggish.

Proponents of composting organic matter in heaps in the soil most often introduce completely decomposed compost. There is already very little undecomposed organic matter in such compost. This means that the process of formation of carbon dioxide will go poorly in the beds. To enhance this process, unfermented organic matter is needed on the surface of the ridges - mulch. So it is pointless to discuss in this case which is easier, to introduce organic matter or effective microorganisms. We need both.

Fragment from another publication: “Garden bed plus aisle - 1 meter. A passage width of less than 70 cm between the ridges does not give any positive result (Mittlider). The plants in the outer rows get more food from the air (carbon dioxide) as the air is constantly renewed near the aisles. Inside the ridge, the air stagnates or weakly renews. It is in this, and not in the compost of the aisles, that is the reason for the higher yield of the outer rows. Wide passages between the ridges will provide a constant exchange of air around each of the plants, the wind increases the yield."

This author refers to Mittleider as an irrefutable authority. And in this case, I think his recommendation is very important for the Mittlider method. But precisely for the Mittlider method. What caused the need for a constant exchange of air around each plant? Everything is very simple. The use of mineral fertilizers on a sterile substrate does not contribute to the formation of carbon dioxide. Mittlider: "The passages are never loosened, not watered, not fertilized, they are only trampled down tightly by your walking on them."

This means that microbiological activity in the passages is also extremely suppressed. Consequently, during stagnation of air, there is a drop in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the surface space - plants consume it. This can reduce the yield. In order for the crop to not decline, it is precisely the constant renewal of the air that is needed - to bring in carbon dioxide from the outside. Mittlider's recommendation is a good decision when applying his methods: since his methods do not increase the concentration of carbon dioxide, then you need to attract it from the outside. In greenhouses, different methods of increasing the concentration of carbon dioxide are often used - special burners, cylinders with liquefied carbon dioxide, barrels with organic matter and other devices.

Now let's take a look at the pile composting organic vegetable garden. More carbon dioxide is lost during composting. The compost is then brought into the ridges. In the ridges, soil inhabitants are constantly working, decomposing the remains of organic matter, which did not have time to decompose in the compost heap. This produces carbon dioxide. But wide passages between the ridges will provide a constant exchange of air around each of the plants.

And carbon dioxide flies safely to the neighbors. Why aren't carbon dioxide cylinders used outdoors? Because it's useless. Gas is distributed in the air, moves to other areas, in short, it is wasted. The same thing happens with the gas that germs emit in the beds with the constant movement of air - it also goes to waste. So what happens: the wind increases the yield? With Mittlider, yes. On the beds filled with compost - no. The wind simply carries away the carbon dioxide. I am not talking about other gases of the atmosphere, because there is already an abundance of them in the air to feed plants. To obtain the maximum yield, only carbon dioxide is always lacking in the atmosphere. So do not artificially reduce its concentration.

In the wild, vast expanses of thickets of grasses, without a single Mittlider path, are full of health, with all their looks they say that they are good in this "wild" Nature. Why don't they need intensive air exchange? Because there is always a layer of organic mulch under them - food for microbes and other soil inhabitants, which replenish the surface air layer with the missing carbon dioxide. This is exactly the very endless cylinder of carbon dioxide.

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For myself, I made a conclusion - in terms of carbon dioxide nutrition, wide Mittlider paths, trampled, without a single weed, devoid of organic matter is the worst option. If the paths are overgrown or under mulch, this is much better. In my opinion, the best option is narrower paths in which the organic composting process takes place. This conclusion does not apply to the question of convenience: it is undoubtedly more convenient to walk on wide paths.

By no means am I calling for redesigning the layout of your garden. If for some reason only wide, bare paths are acceptable to you, then there is no problem - create a system of curtains that prevent the wind. The most effective option is a green fence, which will reduce the loss of carbon dioxide. Another quote from the publication: "The passages are never loosened, not watered, not fertilized, they are only trampled down tightly by your walking on them."

Apparently this is good on sandy soil. On my loam after the rain, you can't walk along such a path - it's mud. Don't come in in the spring. In this regard, the paths under organic matter are much more convenient. They are always clean. The top layer -3-5 cm is always dry. It dries very quickly even after rain. This top layer does not overheat precisely because it is dry. On loam, such paths are a clear advantage.

Another drawback, in my opinion, of clean wide, tamped tracks is that a huge amount of moisture is lost from their surface. They get very hot in summer. In our area, at the end of June, such paths are covered with cracks up to 20 cm deep and finger-thick. Such paths work to overheat the beds.

The opposite situation develops if the paths are covered with mulch. Compost paths have a minor drawback - they take longer than bare paths to warm up in spring. But this does not affect the development of cultivated plants. The beds are raised so they heat up quickly. This is enough for small plants - the root system is still small.

Good luck everyone!

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