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
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Better off heat pasteurising it. As is done with commercial composts.
Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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.

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

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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.. Eg dampish compost. Be wary of anything with stones in though. Not a good idea in a microwave.
You can use a heatproof thermometer if you wish usually a temperature of 89 C is sufficient for pastuerisation..
All of above at your own risk.
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;-) // Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you have one!

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

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 7 Sep 2003 11:39:00 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@macunlimited.net (Jim W) wrote:

This would kill the beneficial elements of compost. We use compost because of it's biological diversity
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Very true but not what the OP asked about. Indeed some species need a diverse fungal population to thrive.
Definitions of 'compost' may vary.. It can include sterilised growing media or homemade mixes;-) // Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@x.net wrote:

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.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.