HVX from municipal compost?

jan_on zone 5bMay 4, 2012

Yard waste is picked up by the municipality, composted, and sold/given back to gardeners. Assuming that a gardener might dispose of infected leaves/scapes/plants in yard waste rather than in the garbage (that's a Canadianism for 'trash'!), is it reasonable to think there is a possibility of acquiring HVX that way? (Somewhere I read advice to not use municipal compost since dear knows what is in there, but lots of people do.)


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I dare say "it depends". Imagine, HVX probably only reproduces while inside of a living hosta, so the amount of HVX in the compost would be limited to the amount of actual diseased hosta material that was incorporated into the compost. I doubt that even .01% of municipal mulch is comprised of decomposed hostas, let alone diseased hostas.

Then, there's a matter of the temperature that the compost reached while decomposing. I'm not sure how hot the pile gets, or what temperature is needed to kill HVX, but it's something else to consider.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 4:49PM
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....and you still need sap to sap transfer. You can create scenarios all day to worry about. Just use good procedures about cutting, digging, and dividing hostas and you will be OK.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 5:24PM
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Actually, HVX is still present even in dead tissue, but then has to transmit to an actively growing plant. If you are cutting into dead leaves, even in the middle of winter for example, you still get HVX on your tools. There just aren't any actively growing plants around to transmit it to...

As for municipal compost, it typically gets a lot hotter than your backyard compost pile, so that will help to kill some of the virus. And as mentioned, the amount of dead hostas within all of that yard waste has to be extremely low, leading to an even lower possibility for transmission.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 6:57PM
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leafwatcher(zone 5)

I have always wondered/worried about business's that take returned pots, that seems like a possible problem unless they are cleaned ? ...

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 11:19PM
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