What We Will Learn Today We will learn the difference between Compost and Mulch. We will learn about Micro Organisms and Macro Organisms. We will learn how to make a compost bin from a trash can. We will learn how to make Super Soil.
SOIL…It’s Not Just Dirt! Healthy Soil is home to living organisms Scientific Definition: An organism is a creature such as a plant, animal or a single-celled life form. (noun)
Organisms That Help the Soil Come Alive Earthworms Ants Nematodes (tiny worms) Bacteria Fungi Springtails
Each Organism has a Job They break down dead leaves and other plant debris. They burrow in the soil making small tunnels that increase aeration (air flow) and water movement. They protect plant roots from harmful organisms.
Micro-Organism Bacteria Bacteria is the most numerous and effective of all the micro- organisms found in compost and is usually the best at using nitrogen. However it needs the proper amount of water and lots of oxygen to do its job. You know it’s hard at work when the pile of compost heats up!micro- organisms When I eat at the BACTERIA CAFETERIA I really heat things up! Definition: Life forms so small it takes a microscope to see them!
Fungi This micro-organism usually decomposes compost material more slowly than bacteria. However, fungi can work with less water. Fungi are always hungry and looking for something to eat and they have strange sounding names like the Aspergillus fumigatus pictured here. This is one of many different types of fungi
Macro-Organisms Definition: Any organism that can be seen with your eyes Making Compost takes Team Work!` After the micro-organisms have started to decompose a compost pile, and the temperature decreases, they get new neighbors moving in with them to help complete the job: Nematodes, Earthworms, Ants, Fermentation Mites, Springtails and a host of other Macro-Organisms (that feed on fungi) begin to live in the compost pile. Nematode Earthworm Fermentation Mite Ant Springtail
How Do You Help Soil Organisms Thrive and Multiply? Feed the organisms in your soil a regular supply of organic material (COMPOST). Did you know that 75% of soil organisms are found in the top 2 inches of the soil? Protect the soil from erosion by covering it with a thick layer of (MULCH). DO NOT USE chemical pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
Compost and Mulch the two main ingredients for Super Soil and Healthy Roses! What is Compost?What is Mulch?
Definitions COMPOST Is a combination of decayed leaves, manure, and vegetative scraps to be mixed into the ground for improving and fertilizing soil. Compost is rich in nutrients and full of life. Using compost is the foundation for building healthy soil. MULCH A loose material such as straw, leaves, manure, grass, wood bark, etc. that is spread on the ground around roses, trees or plants to protect the roots from cold or heat. Mulch helps to prevent moisture loss and weed growth. It enriches the soil through decay.
Composting Involves a wide variety of organisms which are naturally present in our environment that work as decomposers. Together they turn garden materials and vegetative food scraps into a dark, crumbly and earthy smelling material called compost.
Things That Make Up Compost Carbon Nitrogen Moisture Air Time Beneficial Bugs (if you build it, they will come!)
What is Carbon? Scientific Definition: A very common non-metallic element which occurs in combination with other elements in all plants and animals. Carbon material is the Brown Stuff in Compost.
What is Brown Stuff? (Carbon) Dry Leaves Bark Junk mail Paper and news paper Paper towels Dryer lint Cardboard egg cartons Cereal boxes Hay Sawdust
What is Nitrogen? Scientific Definition: A colorless, odorless, tasteless, gaseous element that forms much of our atmosphere and is a necessary part of all animal and vegetable tissues. Nitrogen material is the Green Stuff in compost.
What is Green Stuff? (Nitrogen) Kitchen Waste Fruit Vegetables Grass clippings Green Plants Manure Coffee Grounds
A Compost Bin is Like a Backyard Science Lab You can measure the heat of the compost bin to determine its activity and make any necessary additions. You can observe macro-organisms at work. You can observe and investigate the decomposition of the Brown and Green material. You can record data on materials used and the time it takes to make completed compost.
Determine Where the Water for Your Compost Bin Will Come From What source of water will be available for your compost pile? Rain? Lake/Pond or Stream? City Water (garden hose)
How to Make a Trash Can into a Simple Compost Bin A simple compost bin can be made by using an old plastic trash can that has a lid. We’ll show you how! Find a Flat Place on Dirt to Place the Bin-Preferably Away From the House
Have a Parent Help You Measure and Cut Off The Bottom of the Can TOPSEY-TURVEY! The Can’s Original Top Will Become The Bottom
With an Adult’s Help Drill Holes for Aeration The Holes Will Allow More Air in the Bin and it Will Speed Up Decomposition
Use the Right Ratio A ratio of TWO PARTS “green stuff” to ONE PART “brown stuff” is what will make your compost pile work the best. That means for each (1) cup of brown waste (carbon) you will have to add 2 cups of green waste (Nitrogen)
Remember 2 Parts Green Stuff to 1 Part Brown Stuff !
Replace the Lid- Add Bricks to Keep the Lid On Give the Micro-Organisms and the Macro- Organisms Time To Do Their Work
What Should the Moisture Level Be ? The compost should feel as moist as a wrung-out sponge, but yield no liquid when squeezed.
Speed up the Composting Process Junk mail and paper can be torn into pieces or run through a paper shredder Kitchen Scraps can be run through the blender or food processor The smaller the pieces, the faster it decomposes
Turn Up the Heat The cooler the compost pile the slower the decomposition. You may need to add nitrogen (green stuff) to increase heat. The air/water balance is critical to maintaining high temperatures. A thermometer inserted into the center of the bin should read 120°-160° Fahrenheit.
Follow the Compost Formula Lots of air (oxygen)= Lots of Organisms= Rapid Decay= Compost= Super Soil Compost should be turned when the core temperature begins to drop below 120 degrees. Turn the compost material to aerate it (give it more oxygen). The oxygen will help to heat it up again.
Turning the Compost Bin Check on your compost bin on a regular basis to make sure it stays warm and moist enough to Create SUPER SOIL. Lift the bin and move it to a new position. This will leave your compost in a heap on the ground. Now use a garden fork to refill the bin from the heap… You have just aerated your compost and helped to speed up the process.
Be a Compost Detective Sour smell – too much water – add brown stuff Ammonia smell – too much nitrogen – add brown stuff Sweet smell/cool pile- too small/not enough nitrogen – add green stuff Animals in pile – meat, fat, dairy and bones in pile –remove them! Gnats and flies – food scraps on top of pile – bury them!
Beautiful Roses Can Begin in Your Own Kitchen Use kitchen scraps To enrich your garden soil
How to Make a Healthy Drink for Roses from Kitchen Scraps Place 3-4 overly ripe whole bananas in a blender Add 3-4 egg shells Add 16 ounces of water Blend on high speed until well mixed Pour 1 cup of this Banana Smoothie around the base of each rose This smoothie provides your roses with calcium and potassium for Strong growth and green leaves
Here’s a Sample of Beautiful Roses Grown in Compost and Mulch
Mulch helps to block weed growth and looks attractive in your rose garden
Roses Come in Many Shapes and Colors Look How Many Petals are in the Center of this Rose Named “Collette”
Some Even Have Stripes Like this great climbing rose called “Fourth of July”
Would You Like to Grow Roses this Pretty? How About Roses that have Beautiful Fragrance?
What If You Can’t Make a Compost Bin to Create Super Soil? While it is fun and rewarding to make your own Super Soil, you may live where that is not possible. Both Compost and Mulch can be purchased in bags from local nurseries and home improvement stores. Your roses will grow better and stronger if you use Compost and Mulch…they won’t care where it comes from !
Whether you grow roses in containers or in gardens, just remember the 4 R’s…
R ecycle -R euse -R aise R oses ! You Can Help Make the World More Beautiful
Kidz N’ Roses Wishes to Thank the Following Sources: Kathy Swanson, Master Gardener- ppt “How to build the soil to bring on the blooms” Riverside Waste Resource Management District’s Master Composter Program Dr. C. Forrest Mc Dowell and Tricia Clark Mc Dowell Http:www.homecompostingmadeeasy.com/compoststages.html BSA Troop 8 Riverside, California-Photos Http://www.motherearthnews.com/modern-homesteading/better-compost-bin- zm0205zsie.95px Ginger Dwyer, High School Science Teacher American Rose Society member, Dr. Sam Jones- photo Juliana Stevens- photos Candace Stevens- photos Raincross Rose Society Riverside, California –photo Joetta Prince, Elementary School Teacher Terry Keiser, Teacher Rose Brooks, Elementary School Teacher