Posts Tagged ‘Composting’

The Solana Center for Environmental Innovation is offering free composting workshops around San Diego County in February 2012.

Composting is an important component of environmentally sustainable communities because it diverts valuable organic matter from landfills and reduces the amount of waste that must be transported from neighborhoods to waste disposal and processing facilities. For residents, composting is also an excellent way to enrich soil in gardens, yards, and planters. Amending soil with compost can conserve water, reduce the need for fertilizer, and increase plant vigor and pest resistance.

Saturday, February 4, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, Water Conservation Garden: 12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West, El Cajon

Saturday, February 25, 8:00 am-10:00 am, San Diego Zoo (Otto Center): 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego

Saturday, February 25, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, Crestridge Ecological Reserve: 1171 Horsemill Road, El Cajon (Crest)

These workshops are sponsored by the County of San Diego and the City of San Diego.

To register or for more information click here!


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Join the Solana Center for a great course on how to start and sustain a school garden. As with any garden, composting plays an important role and will also be discussed in this course along with several other issues that are critical to school garden success. One of the class days will focus on a hands-on garden build, from the dirt up! Please contact Elizabeth for more information at (760) 436-7986 ext. 218 or elizabeth@solanacenter.org.

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Static composting can take as long as a year to complete. Since you’re routinely adding new material to the top of your pile and you’re not really mixing the entire pile, then you may have compost ready to use near the bottom of your pile. If you have the space or the means, access the oldest, lower layers of your compost. The compost is ready when it is dark brown, has a crumbly texture, and smells earthy. The materials you added to the pile should no longer be recognizable. A good and easy way to test if you’re compost is mature is by doing a bag test. Simply fill a baggie with compost and seal the baggie. Leave it alone for a week or so. To re-check your compost, open the baggie and smell. If it still smells earthy, your compost is ready. However if you smell ammonia or any off odors, then the microorganisms are still busy eating and you’ll need to wait longer for your compost to mature.

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Although, pet waste can be composted, it takes careful monitoring to make sure the bin is over 140 degrees  for 14 days to kill all the bacteria, intestinal parasites and pathogens.  Also, the bin must be turned regularly to insure the cooler outside edges are moved to the hot center of the bin.

The intense level of monitoring necessary,  plus the high risk of putting “sick” soil into your garden bed make pet waste composting inadvisable.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011
10 – 12 noon
San Diego Botanic Gardens
230 Quail Gardens Dr.
Encinitas, CA 92024

Saturday, February 5, 2011
10 – 12 noon
Water Conservation Garden
12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West
El Cajon, CA 92019

Monday, March 14, 2011
2-4 p.m.
Welk Resort Farmer’s Market
8860 Lawrence Welk Drive, Escondido, CA 92026

Saturday, March 19, 2011
10 – 12 noon
Summer’s Past Farm
15602 Olde Highway 80
El Cajon, CA 92021

Learn about the ins and outs of backyard composting and vermicomposting at this free workshop! Workshop will include information about selecting a bin, maintenance, harvesting, and more! A limited number of compost bins and worm bins will be available for purchase after the workshop.

Click here to pre-register now or to view a full list of upcoming workshops!

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Although chemical fertilizers give plants a quick,  lush growth boost they are soon depleted and actually leave the soil in a chemically dependent state.  The use of vermicompost as fertilizer adds living  micro-organisms to the soil and begins breaking down organic matter, making it nutritionally available to plants.  Surrounding and existing soil becomes  viable and sustainable; one begins to notice that the neighboring plants and yards improve as well.
When using vermicompost, mix it into the existing soil at the ratio of 5-15 % (vermicompost to soil), improvement doesn’t increase after 20%. With new plants, place a handful of vermicompost in the bottom of the planting hole. If vermicompost is not mixed into soil, but left on the surface, it quickly dries out and becomes crisp and useless.

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Saturday, October 2nd, 2010
10 – 12 noon
Crestridge Ecological Reserve
1171 Horsemill Road
El Cajon (Crest), CA 92019

Learn the basics of backyard composting and vermicomposting including bin set up, maintenance, harvesting, and more! The workshop will be held at Crestridge Ecological Reserve during the Earth Discovery Institute Native Plant Sale. There will be a limited number of compost bins available.

Please register online at www.solanacenter.org or by phone 760-436-7986 ext. 222. Workshop is provided by the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation and the County of San Diego.

Register today!

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