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Thread: Reclaiming Organic Material

  1. #1 Reclaiming Organic Material 
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    I am working to reclaim a wood chip dump site, were a mill has been putting sawdust and wood chips for the last 15 years. It seems as though the levels of organic matter are excessively high, but I am not sure. Anyone have any experience or information in this field?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    you will need to know the tree species represented in your pile.
    then ph
    and
    have you considered mycelium?


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  4. #3  
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    It's too old for mycelium, I've talked to a specialist about it. I'll check into the other two factors. Would it be possible to grow directly in partially decomposed wood chips even with ideal Ph and species of wood? There is currently no top soil.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    a mill has been putting sawdust and wood chips for the last 15 years
    when did they stop?
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  6. #5  
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    I think grass seed would be a good starting point to try.
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    4 years ago, a grass mix was put on it at that time.
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    Would it be possible to grow directly in partially decomposed wood chips even with ideal Ph and species of wood? There is currently no top soil.
    Simple test. If this heap of stuff is in the open and it's suitable as a growing medium, things would already be growing in it from wind-blown and bird dropped seeds. Even if they're just "weeds".

    If nothing's growing in it now, then clearly it needs something more to become a suitable growing medium. Time and circumstance would obviously do some work, but if you want to manage it a pH test would be a good start. Then you need to think about whether you're just wanting return this stuff which came from the soil back to the soil or whether you're wanting to use it for a specific purpose.

    Depending on the size of the heap and how much of it you want to deal with at a time, you could do a few experiments.

    Using a compost starter compound,
    or covering part of it with soil and seeing how well things grow,
    or using it to mulch soil at various thicknesses,
    or incorporate it into soil at various ratios to see how well, or otherwise, plants will grow in it,
    or any combination of techniques.

    In the end, the best use I've ever found for sawdust is as a path material within a garden. After a year or so, you just shovel it off onto garden beds as in-place compost.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  9. #8  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    put it in planters.....put it around roses if it is acidic....it will decompose and add to the soil ....I have used wood chips for that for 30 years.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Just a small point.
    The microorgansms that break down sawdust or wood chips consume a lot of nitrogen.

    If you want to plant something, it may become nitrogen deficient, and adding a nitrogen fertiliser may be required.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Just a small point.
    The microorgansms that break down sawdust or wood chips consume a lot of nitrogen.

    If you want to plant something, it may become nitrogen deficient, and adding a nitrogen fertiliser may be required.
    easy to do but thanks for making that point.....
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