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Re: building up sand for iris culture
iris@hort.net
  • Subject: Re: building up sand for iris culture
  • From: Linda Mann <lmann@lock-net.com>
  • Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2012 19:03:21 -0400

Organic matter starts out with a lot of carbon compounds (carbohydrates etc) that fungi and bacteria 'eat', so basically something like 99% of it 'cooks' off pretty quickly as CO2 (respiration), leaving the hard to digest humic substances behind. Depending on climate (moisture & temp) and fertility (esp nitrogen), that can happen in just a few years. It's been more than a decade since I've had to know such stuff, but that's the ball park - horse poop or grass clippings, very little of it will be left after the soil critters get done with it. I'm trying to remember how many years it takes to cook down to resistant compounds in my climate, but am drawing a blank. Not long.

"Depending on their chemical structure, decomposition is rapid (sugars, starches and proteins), slow (cellulose, fats, waxes and resins) or very slow (lignin)."

So whatever you got that contains a 'high percentage of humic acids' ("high" relative to what?) could maybe be well aged compost? The longer compost 'cooks' (and I mean years or decades), the more what's left will be resistant to being cooked off once you add it to your soil.

On 6/21/2012 8:10 PM, SDAyres2@aol.com wrote:
 I found that in the desert, the
organic matter  added to sandy soil will eventually go away.  I am not  sure
where it goes.  Does it burn up, fall down through the soil or does it  get used
up?

I find it interesting that compost is not high in humic acids.

Scarlett

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