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RE: Mulch-corn stalks

I found a great article on the web yesterday concerning composting:


A goal in your compost heap is to attain a 30:1 ratio of carbon to nitrogen.
This is one of the most critical factors in the amount of heat generated and
thus the rate of decomposition. (The ratio has other important aspects to
it; see page 3 of that document.)

Corn has a ratio of 60:1.  This doesn't mean it's bad--it's quite fine.  All
it means is that's its contribution to the compost composition.

Other factors are the mix of dry to moist/wet things you put in there--a
factor in aeration (important for the decomposition process as well).

Shredded corn cobs are specifically mentioned as the first thing to lay down
in the compost heap in order to provide for absorbtion of "leachate that
trickles down through the pile."  (page 8)

Have fun!


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-hosta-open@mallorn.com
[mailto:owner-hosta-open@mallorn.com]On Behalf Of Linda
Sent: Monday, October 09, 2000 11:38 AM
Subject: Mulch-corn stalks

Hi all garden mulchers,   I live in S.Minn. in the middle of endless
corn fields and it never ocurred to me until this morning that those
corn stalks might make good, free mulch, if run through the
chipper/shredder!  It takes so many leaves, shredded to make any
quantity of mulch and it's a lot of work to get the branches run
through our little chipper.  So I went out and got a wheel barrow
full of corn stalks, and ran them the shredder.  It made beautiful
fluffy mulch, not too fine, and I think it would break down fast like
leaves and not have to worry about robbing nitrogen like wood chips.
QUESTION:  Has anyone on the list tried this and were you happy with
the results?  Pros? Cons?  If I don't learn any negatives, I will go
ahead and try it and let you all know next year how it works.  Linda
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