Return to the Vermicomposting Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
compost killed plants?

Posted by soylobom (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 1, 10 at 6:24

i put just a bit of VC on some tomato plants, around the base of them, as well as some jalapeno plants. it seemed to burn them severely, or mess them up some other way. either way, they were in bad shape, tho all but one returned to heatlth eventually.
any ideas why this might have happened?
this bin has been sitting in my backyard for probably 3 years and none of the compost has ever been used. could it be too rich with Nitrogen or something like that?
i put a decent bit of citrus in it over the years as well, but certainly not more than say 10% of their food intake (other than cardboad). could this have affected it?
much appreciation for any help, because I want to finally use this stuff now, and although i plan on testing it out on some grass first, i would still love some input.
thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: compost killed plants?

How deep a layer did you put around the plants?


 o
RE: compost killed plants?

hardly any at all, but from what i've read i thought you could pretty much plant the plants in just worm castings and they would be ok -or something to that extent.


 o
RE: compost killed plants?

I would not have thought that castings would have any kind of adverse effect on plants even if in large proportions.


 o
RE: compost killed plants?

The only thing I can think of is that you might have suffocated the roots. Unlike straw or other items we usually use a mulch, VC is very dense. But since you didn't use very much, that doesn't sound likely.

It might have been something else entirely and just happened at the same time?


 o
RE: compost killed plants?

Would fungus gnats have eaten the rootlets?
(Just brainstorming here.)


 o
RE: compost killed plants?

hmmm well i tested it out on a weed in my yard and it killed the weed.
i have no idea what could be wrong.
i don't know what fungus gnats are :S

has anyone ever let VC age as long as this (appx. 3 years)?
maybe i'll put a PH strip in it.


 o
RE: compost killed plants?

During the time it was stored in your backyard, was it exposed to some herbicide? Could it have gotten accidentally exposed by neighbors or something? I have heard that the microbes that are beneficial can die off after a while, maybe add a few worms to it and see if they survive, and see if you can revive it to cleanse the VC, and get it working again?


 o
RE: compost that killed plants?

Oh, and what material is the bin? I know that aluminum when it gets hot is toxic, and can make the material it is stored in toxic. Could the bin have infected your VC?


 o
RE: compost killing plants?

Oh, and sorry for the triple post. I didn't mean to imply in my previous post that old VC, simply because it was inactive would have killed a plant. If it was inactive, it would have just been less beneficial, not toxic. I was just thinking that if it was active again, whatever was killing the plants in it might be taken care of by the wee beneficial beasties.


 o
RE: compost killed plants?

Wow, if it killed a weed, it is some toxic stuff.

Sounds like something is in there besides VC. Maybe cats have been using it for a cat box?

Deanna


 o
RE: compost killed plants?

it's in a rubbermaid with a top firmly secured on it (only small holes drilled in top) and there are still tons of live worms, mites, spiders, etc. in it - so no herbicide or cats have been getting into it.
Is it possible that it could be too rich?
Or that putting lots of grapefruit rinds in it could've acidified it without hurting the worms?
I'm still perplexed and going to do another test on some more weeds. I tried doing one last week,but I think my dogs may have eaten the VC :/


 o
RE: compost killed plants?

Soylobom, you've got me. But I am fairly new to all this. Hopefully someone with more experience will know what is going on!


 o
RE: compost killed plants?

Patent it as an organic weed killer.

Don't let Monsanto steal your soul.

I have no explination for why compost is killing plants.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Vermicomposting Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here