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
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
But does it matter?
And if it does, how can we heat-treat compost?
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
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;-)
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 :-)
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;-)
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
Zone 8b (Detroit, MI)
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