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Organic Gardeners Composting

Organic Gardeners Composting

Have you always wanted to grow your own vegetables but didn't know what to do? Here are the best tips on how to become a true and envied organic gardner.

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The Keys to a Great Compost

This informative eBook demonstrates the best ways to compost in order to improve your garden, make your vegetables and fruits taste better, and help save the soil and the environment. Over 20% of landfills are simply kitchen waste that could easily be recycled Why waste what you already produce? You have an easy source of organic health for your own garden at home, without having to spend large amounts of money in order to make really healthy soil. With today's composting technology, you can compost as much as suits your needs! If that is a little compost for a small home garden or a large plot that you grow food for your family or business, composting will be an easy and cheap way to improve the quality of your soil and thus your vegetables as well! This guide shows you every method of composting; from free methods you can do with no extra money all the way to elaborate by easy to set up composting rigs. Improve the environment, and get better tasting food!

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Substrate Compost Preparation

Substrate preparation technique for the button mushroom has witnessed evolutionary changes over the years, from the long-method of composting to the current environment-friendly indoor composting. However, the intermediate short-method of composting, is still the most popular method all over the world. 5.1.1 Long Method of Composting Long method of composting is the oldest method and now exists only in few pockets of the world mainly because of poor productivity, proneness to attack by the competitors, and also due to more time and labor consuming process (Vijay and Gupta 1995). This method is completely an outdoor process and takes about 28 days, though production of long-method compost in lesser duration has also been achieved. But the biomass loss in this process is very high (30-35 ) and the quality as well as productivity is poor, besides the environmental problems it creates. 5.1.2 Short Method of Composting Based upon the observations of Lambert that productive compost came...

Applying Composting to Waste Management

Composting has an appeal to local authorities needing to meet diversion targets while keeping a watch on their budgets, since it is relatively simple and does not demand particularly high resource investment, either to set up or run. As a consequence, many of the initiatives instigated to deal with biowaste have been based on composting of one form or another. In the broadest of terms, such schemes fall into one of two categories, namely, home composting, or centralised facilities. The focus of this section will fall on the latter, as a more representative application of biotechnology, though to set this in context, it is worth giving a brief outline of the former.

Centralised composting

The biochemistry and microbiology of all composting remains essentially the same, irrespective of the details of the operation. However, the scale of schemes set up to deal with a municipal biowaste stream in terms of the physical volume involved imposes certain additional considerations, not least amongst them being the need to ensure adequate aeration. In the back-garden compost heap, oxygen diffuses directly into the material large-scale composting cannot rely on this method, as the large quantities involved lead to a lower surface area to volume ratio, limiting natural oxygen ingress. To overcome this, various techniques make use of mixing, turning or pumping, but, clearly, the additional energy required has its own implications for a commercial operation. Approaches suitable for municipal scale use fall into five main categories

Batch Operation Composting

In line with its traditional role as a soil fertilizer, compost has been used as an additive in soil remediation. Composting mostly takes place in fixed-bed reactors (Fig. 11.3a). Basically, the compost is added to stimulate microbial breakdown. In experiments, soil contaminated with hydrocarbons has been mixed with compost in various ratios (soil-compost ratios of 2 1, 3 1, and 4 1). In 3-L test batch reactors, the hydrocarbon degradation was > 90 after a period of 44 d. Compared with the results in the absence of added compost, soil-compost systems had a much faster degradation rate and a lower end concentration (Lotter et al., 1990). In addition to composting, experiments focusing on the use of white-rot fungi have also been carried out (Schaeffer et al., 1995). Another example of composting contaminated soil (in a column) was presented by Gorostiza et al. (1998). In a soil column the degradation of pentachlorophenol with and without added compost was tested compost addition...

Solid waste treatment composting and landfill

Many householders separate organic waste items such as vegetable peelings and grass cuttings and use them to make compost. This practice, apart from providing a useful gardening supplement, also substantially reduces the volume of material that has to be disposed of by other means (see above). We have already mentioned the role of microorganisms in the recycling of carbon in the biosphere these same processes serve to degrade the organic waste, especially the cellulose, resulting in a considerable reduction of the bulk. Fungi and bacteria, particularly actinomycetes, break down the organic matter to produce CO2, water and humus, a relatively stable organic end product. Compost is not really a fertiliser, since its nitrogen content is not high, but it nevertheless provides nutrients to a soil and generally helps to improve its condition. Composting is carried out on a large scale by local authorities using the waste generated in municipal parks and gardens.

Composting Plant Open Windrow

Composting Factory Designs Drawings

Fig. 13.3 Factors influencing the composting process. Fig. 13.4 Characteristic temperature curve during composting process. The first phase of the composting process, up to a temperature up to about 60 C, is called the pre- and main composting the second phase is called the post-composting or mature phase. Both phases are characterized by different processes (Table 13.4). Frequently, the designers of a composting facility must consider both phases by dividing the entire composting process into different technical stages, especially when the wastes have a risk of strong odor emissions Pre- and main composting occurs in closed reactors or in roofed facilities, and in frequently-mixed or forced-aerated windrows. The post-composting mature phase is done in windrows. The consequences for the composting process are basically to optimize the factors that influence the rotting process. The most important factor is, for a given composition of waste, to ensure gas exchange in the heap. This can...


For centuries, gardeners and horticulturalists have encouraged biodegradable waste to break down to produce stable, nutrient-rich compost for use in pots or directly for improving the soil. This application of the natural, exothermic process of aerobic decomposition, is familiar and time-honoured. More recently, however, composting has been the recipient of increased attention as a potential means of treating biowaste on a municipal basis. Though the scale of such operations imposes certain restrictions of its own, generally, putrescible matter decomposes more efficiently and completely when oxygen is readily available. This leads to proteins being degraded to nitrogen or ammonia and ultimately mineralised to nitrate, while fats and carbohydrates are broken down to carbon dioxide and water, via organic acids. This is, of course, purely a mass flow overview of the process since a proportion of the material becomes incorporated into microbial cells, as the decomposers themselves...

Home composting

Home-based systems differ little in reality from the traditional gardener's approach, putting biodegradable material into a heap or, more typically a bin, often provided free or at a subsidised price, by the local council. Though this does have the advantage of directly involving people in the disposal of their own waste and the informality of this approach has its own advantages, such schemes are not without certain drawbacks. To work, these initiatives draw heavily on householder goodwill and competence, not to mention a good choice of bin and simply making the means available does not, of course, ensure that it will be used. Anecdotal evidence suggests that many bins lie unused within two years, once the initial enthusiasm wears off, and an investigation into Luton's trial scheme suggests that home composting may make little difference to the overall amount of waste generated (Wright 1998). The kind of instant minimisation popularly supposed would seem to be far from guaranteed....

Asplenium monanthes Single sorus spleenwort

Culture and comments I have given this species the same specialized treatment as the xeric ferns in my collection. They are planted in fast-draining, loose soil in a container with a southern exposure well protected from cold winter north winds. They should certainly do in Zone 8 partially shaded rock gardens, in coarse compost, with an emergency covering when threatened by temperatures below 20 F (-7 C).

Athyrium alpestre Alpine lady fern

Culture and comments The alpine lady fern prefers acid compost that is continually moist with draining, not stagnant, water. it is cultivated in the gardens of German specialists. Given appropriate fussing and a proper balance of soil and moisture, it has potential, albeit not an easy one, as an addition to lowland gardens.

Role Of Biocontrol Agents In Healthcare

Abbasi PA, Miller SA, Meulia T, Hoitink JA, and Kim J-M (1999). Precise detection and tracing of Trichoderma hamatum 382 in compost-amended potting mixes by using molecular markers. Appl Environ Microbiol 65 5421-5426. Adams PB and Fravel DR (1990). Economical biological control of Sclerotinia lettuce drop by Sporidesmium sclerotivorum. Phytopathology 80 1121-1124. Ahmed AS, Perez-Sanchez C, Egea C, and Candela ME (1999). Evaluation of Trichoderma harzianum for controlling root rot caused by Phytophthora capsici in pepper plants. Plant Pathol 48 58-64.

Histoplasmosis San Joaquin Valley Fever and Aspergillosis Respiratory Mycoses

Several species of Aspergillus can also cause a lung infection known as aspergillosis. A. fumigatus has been of particular concern around some sludge and yard waste composting sites, where it can apparently grow on woodchips, leaves, and other cellulosic materials. It can tolerate higher temperatures (50 C) than can most other fungi. However, the actual incidence of disease seems to be very low (few or no cases per year), although allergic reactions are more common.

Considerations In Using Alternative Feedstuffs

Some alternative feedstuffs are illegal to feed to some species (i.e., meat and bone meal from ruminants to ruminants) and some are regulated (i.e., feeding of kitchen waste and plate scraps to pigs for further information, refer to Westendorf'9'). Also, some pesticides used in crop production may not be cleared for feeding of the crop residue to livestock.

Dryopteris filixmas Male fern

Culture and comments The common form can be planted and neglected and will faithfully reappear year after year. Fern author Martin Rickard (2000) suggests using it in dark difficult sites such as perhaps near the compost heap or site of the dust bin. I hasten to add that he likes the fern. Being readily available, this fern has a long association with herbal medicine. (It is the only fern ever included in U.S. Pharmacopoeia.) Although recommended for a plethora of ailments, the most popular application, dating back to 300 b.c., was to use an extract from the rhizome as a vermifuge specifically for tapeworm (an act of faith as an incorrect dosage was likely to be fatal). Like many of its European colleagues, it has a large number of popular varieties. As with other Dryopteris culti-vars, these require precautions in sites that are subject to invasions from leafhoppers and thrips.

Edible Fungi And Recycling Of The Wastesresidues

There are very few wastes of lignocellulosic nature of agro-forestry origin, which can not be used for growing one or the other mushroom. Poppe (2000) has compiled the information on various agro-wastes, which have been used for growing mushrooms. Residues left after obtaining the main product (e.g., grains, cotton, sugar) pose problems of their disposal and many may prove to be environmental hazards. Cultivation of various edible fungi on these wastes represents one of the unique recycling mechanisms where hardly any residue is left unexploited in one form or the other. The substrate left after growing the mushrooms is though often called spent mushroom substrate (SMS), which is a misnomer and post-mushroom substrate (PMS) is a more appropriate term because it is not spent and can be further decomposed by new set of organisms. Many efforts have been made towards profitable utilization of the PMS. The subject has recently been reviewed (Ahlawat and Rai 2002 Levanon and Danai 1997a)....

Carbon in Environmental Engineering and Science

It traditionally has been the organic carbon (along with pathogens) that was of the greatest concern in water pollution (Section 15.2.7), leading to the construction of wastewater treatment plants (Chapter 16) that focus on its removal. Management of wastewater treatment sludges often has stabilization of the organic material as a major objective. (Stabilization involves conversion of readily degradable materials to those that change only slowly see later in this subsection). Municipal solid waste management also must stabilize the organic material (e.g., by incineration or composting), or else deal with the consequences (e.g., attraction of vermin, settling, and leachate and gas production during landfilling). Similarly, with soil and groundwater contamination, it is often organic carbon that is the target of remediation. Undesirable tastes and odors in drinking water, and the formation of cancer-causing compounds during disinfection, are traceable to organic compounds present in the...

Recycling of animal products

Though proper treatment of the waste eliminates the possibility of transmission of most pathogens, it does not suffice for prions, infectious protein agents responsible for such diseases as BSE (mad cow disease). Composting, for example, which destroys most pathogens in manure through the heat generated in the composting process, does not destroy the heat-resistant prion. Moreover, proper treatment of waste requires oversight to ensure compliance with standards for treatment. Hence, the possibility remains of the transmission of pathogens through waste from one species to another and from animals in one location to many animals throughout a region or even the world.

Prerequisites Of Haccp

In 1997, President Clinton announced his Food Safety Initiative amid public and media pressure to improve safety in the U.S. food supply. An immediate result was that the FDA in conjunction with the USDA published a user's manual for the fresh produce industry entitled A Guide to Minimize Microbiological Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. This document, which is not regulatory, identifies potential sources of microbiological contamination for fruits and vegetables during production and handling at the farm level and provides suggestions on good agricultural practices to minimize these hazards (CFSAN, 1998). Specifically, it addresses potential contamination from water sources, fertilizer use (manure or compost), worker health and hygiene, and field and packingshed sanitation, and calls for the development of trace-back procedures for fresh produce.

Asplenium bulbiferum Mother fern

Culture and comments Outside of warmer areas, this species is popularly encountered as a houseplant with pots beckoning for adoption wherever ferns are offered for sale. it is easy to grow, and prefers low light and an evenly moist soil. The plentifully produced bulbils root themselves in moist compost and they keep on coming.

General References

Of the animals and may be recovered in active and stable forms for commercial use. There is considerable demand for enzymes throughout the world for food, biomedical, and other commercial applications. Worldwide sales of commercial enzymes were estimated at 1.5 billion for 1997 (1). Traditional enzymes such as pepsins, rennets, trypsins, and lipases are derived from animal tissues, whereas bromelain, ficin, papain, lipoxygenase, and amylases are derived from plants. Plant and animal enzymes represent a small fraction of commercial enzymes, with the greatest diversity of commercial enzymes coming from microorganisms that have been stringently evaluated and certified as safe. Examples of microbial enzymes are glucose oxidase, pectinesterases, cellulase, and glucose isomerase. Microbial enzymes are used as replacements or substitutes for homologous enzymes from animals or plants because they are relatively easier and cheaper to produce. Other contributory factors to the decline in the...

Pellaea glabella Smooth cliff brake

Culture and comments Once established, and this is the challenge, this petite blue-green species will tolerate full sun in cloudy coastal haunts of the western United States and almost full sun elsewhere. i recommend a planting compost of two parts lava rock, one part light compost, and one part a mixed balance of bark, crushed concrete, and charcoal (or whatever gritty additives suit your personal preference). This has culture and comments A healthy and well-grown button fern is an extremely attractive addition to the indoor fern collection or the patio pot displays and foreground focal points in temperate Zone 9 gardens. It requires an acid and well-drained grainy compost and, while it should not dry out, it is more likely to meet its demise by the overzealous attention of the eager guardian armed with a watering can. Give it good indirect light and occasional water, rather like the attention and site given to poinsettias.

Biological Waste Treatment

The early successes of biowaste treatment have typically been achieved with the plant matter from domestic, commercial and municipal gardens, often called 'green' or 'yard' wastes. There are many reasons for this. The material is readily biodegradable, and often there is a legal obligation on the householder to dispose of it separately from the general domestic waste. In the UK alone, the production of this type of biowaste is estimated at around 5 million tonnes per annum (DETR 1999b), making this one area in which biological waste treatment can make very swift advances. Nowhere is the point better illustrated than in the USA, where the upsurge in yard waste processing throughout the 1990s, led to a biowaste recovery rate of more than 40 , which made an effective contribution of nearly 25 to overall US recycling figures. In many respects, however, discussions of waste types and their suitability for treatment are irrelevancies. Legislation tends to be focused on excluding putrescible...

Polypodium virginianum

Range and habitat The rocky compost of inhospitable sites is more of a common denominator than any particular soil preference. Polypodium virginianum spreads in nature with picturesque ease on and among rocks from eastern Canada to the lower eastern states of North Carolina and borderline central states from Wisconsin to Tennessee. Haufler et al. (1995) noted that P. virginianum was likely pushed south by glaciation from its northerly parent P. sibericum. Interim eons allowed it to evolve and adapt.

Polystichum acrostichoides Christmas fern

Culture and comments This is the flagship fern of eastern North America where, with its easy-going and evergreen nature, it is cheerful in gardens and woodlands. It is especially conspicuous in the bleak winter months, rewarding those who venture from the warmth of the hearth to garden and countryside walks. New growth arrives early in the spring in the company of wildflowers, or, in cultivation, primroses and hepaticas. While this is a staple in the east, it has not been vigorous in West Coast gardens. Are we too mild or missing summer heat I find the best chance for success in the Pacific Northwest is to start with a good-sized mature plant. While propagation by spores is easy, this is one of the few poly-stichums that are readily increased by division. Dig the plant and carefully tease apart and cut away the separate crowns. Treat the resulting progeny to a moist site in rich compost. Most eastern growers prefer to do this surgery in early spring.

Polystichum aculeatum

Culture and comments This is a truly handsome addition to the garden, but for optimal display appreciates a basic compost. I have mine adjacent to a concrete foundation in the belief that slightly leaching lime will keep it in good humor. It will adjust to neutral soil, however, so long as Mother Nature or the hose handlers tend to its moisture requirements. Two summers of drought reduced my parent plant from a splendid 30-in. (75-cm) display to a 15-in. (38-cm) survivor of sorts. It can be confused with Polystichum setiferum, its fellow Brit and continental associate. common names come to the rescue here as P. setiferum is the soft shield fern and, at the risk of annoying your garden hosts, can be distinguished by the soft feel of the latter versus the hard of P. aculeatum. More scientifically, the stipes on P. setiferum are proportionately longer in relation to the blade, and the lower pinnae are closer in size to those of the midsection. cultivars previously assigned to this...

Applying AD to Waste Management

The nature of anaerobic digestion inevitably means that its applications to waste management are relatively large-scale operations, there being no effective equivalent of home composting. Hence, whether the application is as an onsite treatment for process effluent or as part of a centralised municipal waste initiative, the approach relies heavily on engineering, a schematic plant being shown in Figure 8.2. This is in clear contrast with composting and, together with the attendant additional costs, probably goes further to explain the overall lower take-up of this technology than any other factor. It should also be apparent that more resources, and primarily a more skilled workforce, are essential prerequisites for success. However, for wastes which are particularly suited to this form of biotechnology, a number of cost-benefit analyses over the years have shown that these drawbacks may often be outweighed by the advantages inherent in the system. As with so many practical...

Other Biotechnologies

Although composting and anaerobic digestion between them account for by far the bulk of biological waste treatment globally and each has a well-established track record, as is so often the case with practical applications of environmental biotechnology, neither is a clear winner. Dependent on the specifics of the situation, the particular waste composition, local factors and so on, either can have clear benefits to offer and, as we have seen, both can form adequate responses On the other hand, composting is essentially less of an engineered solution and in many of the versions often seen at local authority sites, it is a very simple process. The major practical limitation, at least as a sole method of bulk treatment, lies in the physical amount of material, since the typical retention period for composting is longer than AD and the final volume of product derived is greater. Consequently, a relatively large area of land is required for processing and a sizeable market capacity or...

Annelidic conversion AC

The use of a variety of annelid worm species is one alternative approach that has received fairly regular reawakenings of interest over the years, having been variously termed worm composting, vermicomposting, vermiculture or our preferred annelidic conversion, a term first attributed to H. Carl Klauck of Newgate, Ontario. The description worm composting and its like is somewhat misleading, since the process from both biological and operational criteria is quite distinct from true compost production in two significant ways. Firstly, as we have seen, in traditional composting, breakdown is brought about by the direct actions of a thriving microbial community. Within a worm-based system, while micro-organisms may contribute in some way to the overall biodegradation, their role in this respect is very much incidental to that of the worms themselves. Worms of various species can be present in traditional compost heaps, even in thermophilic piles, but they avoid the genuinely thermophilic...

Solid Waste Treatment

Finally, the relative combination of high solids and low moisture found in solid waste streams effectively yields a high-level specific energy content (i.e., cal kg) that is higher than that of most other biodegraded waste (e.g., greater than wastewater and sludge), with the sole exception of agricultural manures. Commensurate with effective biodegradation of these wastes, therefore, the heat release per mass of degraded solids would not only be considerably higher, but also apt to be trapped inside the high-density waste, due to its insulating nature. On the one hand, this heat release and temperature increase could help to accelerate the ongoing biochemical process. However, as is the case with composting, this thermal buildup could accelerate evaporative water loss to a degree that eventually retards the desired activity. waterborne contaminants into the adjacent groundwater table can subsequently be reduced or obviated. At no point during this process, either during active filling...

Polystichum proliferum Mother shield fern

Culture and comments This striking fern with glassy green foliage deserves wider distribution. It is easily cultivated in good woodland compost and light shade where, with bulbil assistance, it can form an elegant colony. (The readily rooting bulbils often form plantlets while still attached to the mother frond.) While recommended for the garden, it can also fill the living room as a specimen-sized houseplant. This species is the parent of some outstanding proliferous hybrids, including the handsome Polystichum xdycei. Brownsey and Smith-Dodsworth (2000) note that it is similar to P. vestitumbut the latter does not produce bulbils.

Comparison of Bioreactors

Table 11.1 shows a technological and economical characterization of the three bio-reactor systems. It is clear that composting is the 'low technology' type of bioreactor, requiring only limited technological infrastructure and investment. Slurry process- Composting Addition of compost to the solids From the economic point of view, continuous slurry processing in an off-site installation can be beneficial only on a large scale. Capacities > 40000-60000 t a-1 (depending on the local conditions) are needed to benefit from the economy of scale and thus to perform at acceptable cost levels. For batch-operated composting processes, smaller volumes, handled close to or on the site, may offer solutions if sufficient area is available and time is not limited. Rotating-drum systems in which solid-state processing is achieved are considered to perform well for smaller volumes (up to 3000 t) in a mobile plant used on-site.

Polystichum tripteron Trifid holly fern

Culture and comments The distinctive fronds provide an interesting diversion from traditional fern foliar silhouettes. The fern needs to be cool and planted in rich compost. Note, however, that unlike most polystichums, it is deciduous. (And what fern would want to keep its fronds above ground in Siberian and Manchurian winters ) Unfortunately, when it does appear, it is a magnet for slugs and will not survive without ample vigilance. i recommend a moat.

Short rotation coppicing

The potential for nutrient and humus recycling from biowaste back into the soil, via composted, digested or otherwise biologically treated material was mentioned in Chapter 8. Without digressing into detailed examination of the general options open for the utilisation of such soil amendments, they do have water-holding applications and form another example of the natural potential for environmental biotechnologies to self-integrate. Much of the evidence for this has come from the field, with research conducted throughout the UK highlighting the major water-holding benefits to be gained by large-scale use of biowaste compost. It has been shown that at an application rate of around 250 tonnes of composted material per hectare, the land is able to hold between 1000 and 2500 tonnes of rainwater (Butterworth 1999). Perhaps the most significant evidence in this respect comes from the trials of large-scale compost treatment in the loose, sandy soils of East Anglia, which seem to suggest that...

Genetic modification of plants to improve shelflife

There are a number of potential applications of delayed senescence in Psag12-IPT modified lettuce. Since leaves retain their chlorophyll longer after harvesting, the most obvious application is extended post-harvest quality. Interestingly, homozygous plants also showed a significant reduction in susceptibility to infection by Botrytis cinerea (W.J.R.M. Jordi, unpublished) as this pathogen normally targets senescing tissues. Additionally, lettuce plants transformed with the PSAG12-IPT gene remained green even when nitrates became depleted in the compost. On this evidence, it was therefore proposed that the expression of this transgene might also provide a strategy for reducing the nitrate content in cultivated lettuce. In this respect, removal of nitrogen from the growth medium 5 or 10 days before harvest of PSAG12-IPT-transformed lettuce plants could result in up to 70 reduction in nitrate content with only a slight reduction in growth and no loss of leaf pigmentation and, hence,...

Dryopteris neorosthornii

Culture and comments Like Dryopteris wallichiana, this species is a springtime beauty with its unfurling fiddleheads protectively wrapped in a profusion of blackish-brown scales. The show continues as the contrasting bright green foliage unfolds. it is a dynamite of a plant and certain to evoke a wow from even the least fern enlightened of your garden guests. It is shorter than D. wallichiana with stipes and scales that are dark brownish-black at maturity rather than green and reddish-brown respectively. It is slow to establish and likes evenly moist compost in dappled shade. Christopher Fraser-Jenkins (pers. comm.) reports that material in the trade as D. neorosthornii has been misnamed and should properly be classified as D. xanthomelas. He adds that true D. neorosthornii is now classified as D. wallichiana subsp. nepalensis.

Adiantum aleuticum Western maidenhair

Adiantum Aleuticum Cultivars

Culture and comments This is easily grown in western U.S. gardens and takes time to establish in eastern U.S. habitats. Give it light shade, compost, and a reliable source of water. New growth is a week or two later than the eastern counterpart, Adiantum pedatum, and by balance, the species remains green for several weeks longer into the fall. In the occasionally mild western winter, when temperatures dip only modestly and infrequently below freezing, it may surprise, tease, and confuse by maintaining a wintergreen complement of foliage.

Dryopteris blanfordii Blanfords wood fern

Culture and comments Blanford's wood fern is quite variable in nature and in the botanical literature. For the gardener, however, it is a handsome, rounded, flat, pale green fern with fronds becoming prostrate with the arrival of frost. Although not fussy, it is best in filtered light and friable compost. Visitors consider the Hardy Fern Foundation's planting at the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden exceptionally attractive.

Northern maidenhair five finger fern

Culture and comments At one time the Adiantum pedatum classification included most of the fan-fronded material native to North America. (Adiantum aleuticum, the western native, is now considered a separate species, although quite difficult to distinguish from A.pedatum.) Woodland compost

Plantmicrobe interactions

Although straying away slightly from the remit of this section, it is interesting to point out that soil microbial activity has a major influence in the balance of stable atmospheric gases. These include the greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, nitrous and nitric oxide and methane, so called because they trap heat re-emitted by earth from energy radiated by the sun. The atmospheric balance of less stable gases which include ammonia, hydrogen sulphide and dimethylsulphide are also subject to microbial activity, as will be apparent from an understanding of the foregoing chapters on metabolism. A final word on soil microbes concerns the degradation of lignin. This is a major constituent of woody plant material and is recalcitrant to degradation. However, filamentous fungi are responsible for its degradation worldwide, augmented in the tropics by bacteria living in the gut of termites. This degradation requires the presence of oxygen, hence wood residing in anaerobic conditions is somewhat...

Use Of Fungi In Bioremediation In The Field

A number of different strategies have been adopted where attempts have been made to exploit fungi in bioremediation. Early findings demonstrated that attempts to establish wood rotting species in soil without amendments or soil sterilization failed. Like the early failures in establishing biological control agents in soil (Faull 1986), the indigenous micro flora out-competed the inoculants unless there were large additions of substrates such as wood chips and other ligno-cellulosic materials to the soil (Bennett et al. 2002 Cerniglia and Sutherland 2002 Radtke et al. 1994). Currently, a number of approaches are being tried, including soil piles and windrows (where composting may occur), soil farming, soil slurry reactors, and fixed film reactors (Rogers and Bunce 2001).

Soil Piles and Windrows

Soil piles and windrows are created by mixing soil with wood chips, corn cobs, or other ligno-cellulosic materials and adding fungal inoculum on a lignocellulosic base. The pile is then left for an extended period of time with regular turning and wetting for composting, or no turning for the static pile. This approach can lead to a rapid disappearance of explosive contaminants. A number of different fungal inoculants have been tried. For example, Jerger and Woodull (2000) used Trametes versicolour and P. chrysosporium as soil pile inoculants, Fritsche et al. (2000) used Stropharia rugosoannulata and Spreinart et al. (1998) used B. adusta. This approach is being widely used in the United States for the clean up of military sites (USAEC 1999). However, criticisms of this technique include the long incubation times needed for complete disappearance of the target substrate, and the high costs of set-up and maintenance. The process is further criticised for being based on unknown...

Utilization Of Fruit And Vegetable Processing Wastes Via Solidstate Fermentation

Although direct disposal of fruit processing wastes in landfills has become environmentally unacceptable, some fruit processing wastes can be composted under anaerobic condition, and then used as fertilizer in landfills, because such wastes were readily degraded under anaerobic digestion conditions (57,58). Solid-state fermentation can also be used for composting of fruit and vegetable processing wastes such as apple waste (59) and tomato pomace (60). Composted apple pomace and other fruit and vegetable processing wastes can be used in nursery potting mixes and as field soil amendments (61). Composted grape pomace was used as an organic fertilizer in vineyards for growing grapes (62).

Lygodium japonicum Japanese climbing fern

Culture and comments The Japanese climbing fern is an easily cultivated conversation piece indoors where it will, however, need a supporting framework. outdoors in cold zones it is self-maintaining, but in warmer areas needs the same attention as those growing indoors. To prevent an unsightly tangle of the old and the new it is essential to cut the old fronds back to the ground in late winter before the new growth takes off in the spring. Give it good composty soil and keep it moist. My plant has been in the same, albeit large, pot for over a dozen years with no fertilizer nor attention other than regular watering and an annual haircut. If the growth has been stunted it is not apparent. culture and comments In short, this fern is a challenge to cultivate, although it can be done. German specialist Wolfram Gassner, who has an array of interesting plant material in his garden north of Hamburg, grows his specimen in a deep 16- to 20-in. (40- to 50-cm) container with no bottom drainage....

Mushrooms Cultivation Description

In recent decades the microbiological industry has been enormously improved, and the production of mushrooms in a controlled environment has become an example of highly advanced technology. Today horse dung still constitutes the basis of the culture soil (5). With a given quantity of straw and droppings, the dung initially undergoes a process of natural though controlled fermentation, first out of doors and then in an enclosed area where it is enriched with nitrogenous sugar substances and vitamins required for the development of the field mushroom. After a variable period of time, depending on the composition of the substrate, now called compost, sowing takes place, using cereal seeds covered with Agaricus bisporus mold. Two main varieties of field mushrooms are used white and brown. The white are better suited to canning, whereas the brown, with their hazel-colored cap and small brown scales, are more widely used in Europe for direct consumption because the flesh is firmer and...

Poultry Manure Treatment And Utilization

A small portion of the litter and straw, hay, or crop residue may be used as a carbon source for animal mortality composting, with the resulting compost used as fertilizer. In some parts of the United States, broiler litter or dried layer manure is used in the microbial mixture to supply nutrients for Agaricus mushrooms. 4

Principles of the Heap Technique

Determination of requirements for and addition of additives of suitable quality and quantity is another important step for successful soil treatment with the heap technique. As shown in Figure 10.1, additives can be divided into different categories. Here, 'substrate' indicates all additives that improve the physical and chemical soil structure. Depending on soil quality parameters like particle size, pH, organic matter, etc., and the results of laboratory testing, materials such as compost, bark, lime, tensides, etc. are added to create optimal environmental conditions for the degrading microflora. 'Substrate' can also be used to enhance the soil temperature by including a high amount of easily degradable organics, although with the risk of a high level of carbon sources that are competitive to the contaminant. Otherwise, the added carbon source can be used as cosubstrate for energy supply or an inducer for degrading enzymes this use has been investigated for the degradation of...

Limitations To Using Manure As A Fertilizer

Effective recycling of manure nutrients through crops presents many challenges. For example, to achieve analytical results with a 95 confidence interval with a 10 probable error for manure N content, 1, 55, and 17 subsamples are required for dairy compost, chicken manure, and stockpiled beef manure, respectively.1-6-1

Effects On Invertebrate Behaviour

Decomposed by them and extractives from such wood are often attractive to termites, and VOCs can stimulate termites to eat more sound wood and build more galleries. White-rot fungi and white-rotted wood are often unattractive and even toxic to termites, though P. ostreatus was attractive. White-rot fungal mycelia are, however, attractive to other arthropods. For example, fungus gnats (Bradysia Sciaridae) are highly attracted to and oviposit in interaction zones of mating incompatible mycelia of Stereum spp. and Phlebia spp. (Boddy et al., 1983 Figure 2a). Collembola are also attracted to and preferentially graze in interaction zones between mycelia growing from woody resources into soil (Figure 2b). These regions are presumably more palatable and leak nutrients, and VOCs are upregulated (Hynes et al., 2007). Sciarids and phorids (Diptera) are attracted to the mycelium and compost of cultivated mushrooms (Agaricus species Grove and Blight, 1983 Tibbles et al., 2005). There were,...

Solidstate Fermentation

Solid-state fermentation has been used long before the underlying microbiological or biochemical processes involved were understood. The use of naturally occurring microorganisms in the preparation of foods such as bread and cheese, or directly as food such as mushrooms, dates back many centuries, and these are some examples of traditional solid-state fermentation systems (4). As early as 2600 b.c., Egyptians were making bread by methods essentially similar to those of today (4). In Asia, cheese had been prepared as food for several hundred years before the birth of Christ (4). The preparation of koji for soy sauce and miso production in Japan and Southeast Asia goes back as far as 1000 years ago and probably 3000 years ago in China (4,5). Preservation of fish, meat, and other animal products by solid-state fermentation goes back about 2500 years (4). Vinegar was produced by solid-state fermentation from fruit pomace in the eighteenth century (5). The production of gallic acid is...

Plant disease suppression

A number of alternative options are being explored, including soil pasteurisation using steam, ultraviolet treatment and the development of resistant cultivars using both selective breeding and genetic modification. The use of compost extracts - so-called 'compost teas' - is also receiving serious consideration as a means of crop-specific disease control. Their action appears to be two-fold, firstly as a protection against foliar diseases and secondly as a inoculant to restoring or enhancing suboptimal soil microbial communities. Table 10.1 Plant disease suppression using selected compost extracts Table 10.1 Plant disease suppression using selected compost extracts Compost extract Bark compost extract1 Cattle compost extract2,3 Horse compost extract2 Manure-straw compost extract4 Spent mushroom compost extract5 Compost teas are prepared for use by either aerated or fermented extraction methods. So-called 'fermented' extraction was the original, first developed in Germany and it is...

Dicksonia fibrosa Woolly tree fern

Culture and comments I grew this as a transient (indoors in winter, out in the summer) for a number of years until the logistics of transferring it exceeded my muscular capabilities and eventually those of my family. Now it is an accent in the plant propagation room, where it is restricted by pot size. Thus restrained it is a manageable 4-ft. (120-cm) specimen, 2V2 ft. (75 cm) of which is trunk. Watering requirements of plants in confinement need special vigilance however. Neglect will lead to collapsed fronds and a dormancy period of approximately six months. The fern recovers just in time to escape a trip to the compost heap.

Poultry Manure Management Systems

As shown in Fig. 1, mortality from these poultry production systems may be handled using on-site incineration or composting (usually with litter as a co-composting material). The finished compost is then land-applied as fertilizer. Off-site disposal is accomplished through rendering. Burial of dead birds is prohibited in many states, but may be allowed if a large number of mortalities occur as a result of catastrophes.

Cultivation of the Common White Mushroom

The fermentation process removes most of the simple sugars from the medium and leaves insoluble substances such as cellulose and lignin, which are readily utilized by Agaricus bisporus. The point of the composting step is to create a medium that both favors the mushroom mycelium and discourages its natural rivals. The composting process is usually carried out in the open, with the piles being regularly turned to ensure an even fermentation that results in the whole pile becoming hot. The length of time required to get the compost into the right condition varies, depending on the age of the manure, but normally it is at least 2 weeks. Composts for growing in mushroom houses vary according to the nature of the locally available materials and the type of pasteurization employed. Most trays now in use have short legs, which require the addition of spacing blocks for cropping. However, some farms use longer legs, so that the trays are always stacked at the full dis- tance apart, as for...

Growing Ferns Indoors

Can Ostrich Ferns Grow Indoors

Sacks of fern-specific soil, usually containing various combinations of peat, sterilized compost, and perhaps sand, pumice, and or perlite, are easily purchased from most garden centers and are in general ready to use. I find many somewhat heavy, however, and prefer to cut them with a gritty amendment, so as to improve drainage. Well-washed pumice is always excellent, but perlite (which I find unaesthetic) and other inorganic additives may be used as well. Some growers amend with an orchid media.

Button Mushroom Agaricus Bisporus

Agaricus bisporus (Lange) Sing., popularly known as the white button mushroom, has the widest acceptability and still accounts for more than 30 of total production of all mushrooms. Limited quantities of A. bitorquis, a high temperature species, are also produced in some countries. Its cultivation technology has developed over the years from a primitive cave culture in France in the 16th century to a hightech industry in America and Europe now. Still in many parts of the world, especially in developing Asian and African countries, sizeable quantities are being produced in low-cost structures like huts under the seasonal conditions. In some parts of the Europe, seasonal growing is done with arrangement for heating during the winters. Like any such venture, the production systems differ in the infrastructure, level of technology, automation, and mechanization but the basic principles and processes remain the same. The production technology of the white button mushroom (A. bisporus) has...

Cyrtomium hookerianum Hookers holly fern

Culture and comments German specialists have this in cultivation in protected Zone 6 gardens. My lone plant survived its first winter (as a youngster) in Zone 8. With its mid green radiance, it is a handsome complement to the pastel greens, hosta blues, and pale yellows in the garden design. Give it nutrient-rich compost, plenty of shade, and a site nestled among shrubby plants for protection from the extremes of heat and cold.

Cyrtomium caryotideum

Culture and comments This is the Cyrtomium for climates with cold winters such as in Zone 5 or 6. It successfully survives rigorous temperature extremes from Salt Lake City to southern Massachusetts. While lime tolerant it does not depend on supplements for good health. Normal woodland compost and light to deep shade will maintain its dependable display of soft green circles of fronds.


Aside from those mixes selected for specific soil requirements, normal, good draining, rich fern compost, with an emphasis on compost, will keep the container and contents in good health for many years. If you do not already have a favorite mix, try one part peat, one part washed pumice, a sprinkling of bark for drainage, and four parts compost or commercial soil mix. It is important to give the pumice a fierce hosing to wash away the talclike fines that will otherwise bind the soil and rob the container of life-giving oxygen pockets. Beware of an excess of peat, too, as once dry it is incredibly difficult to rehydrate. More than once I have seen pots soaking in improvised bathtubs for rehab.

Xeric Ferns

Not surprisingly these citizens of the desert do not settle down with ease in cultivation (which may help explain why we all want to have them to display). Soil with excellent drainage is essential and the mix must be coarse. I use lots of well-washed pumice, bark, and granite grit, with just enough loamy compost to hold it all together.


Most arachniodes come to us from Asia, especially China and Japan, and many more potentially temperate ornamentals should be forthcoming (sought out) from these regions as well as the Himalayas. Two species are from the New World. Grow this five-star group of ferns in partial sun to shade in light but moist compost where they offer 12 months ofbright-ness with a minimum amount of maintenance.


Argyrochosma fendleri (for August Fendler, 1813-1883, a German naturalist who plant collected in the U.S. Southwest and Central America), the zigzag cliff break or latticework cloak-fern, synonyms Notholaenafendleri, Cheilanthes cancel-lata, and Pellaea fendleri, has an open latticework structure of up to 12 in. (30 cm), carrying minute starry sprays of pinnules on zigzag stems. The under surfaces are protected from the elements with a white waxy coating. This is the only Argy-rochosma with a preference for acid soil and can be admired on the trails in New Mexico and Colorado. While it is not generally in cultivation, for potential garden use in Zones 5 to 8 give it good drainage in rough compost preferably amended with small, 1 2 in. (13 mm) or less, bark chips. Protection from winter wet is mandatory.


Astrolepis sinuata (bend, wave), wavy cloak fern, synonyms Cheilanthes sinuata and Notholaena sinuata, is a variable species with evergreen fronds softly dressed in xeric characteristic, small silver stellate hairs above and masses of protective, whitish scales and hairs below. The stellate hairs rather than linear hairs, as well as pinnae of 1 in. (2.5 cm) or less, separate this species from the extremely similar A. beitelii. The stipes, crowded with hairs and scales, are pale green with dark bases in infancy and progress to shades of rust as they mature. Once-pinnate, 18-in. (45-cm) blades stand upright in dense clusters with 20 or more pairs of chubby, lobed pinnae looking like miniature cookie-cutter holly leaves. Sori without indusia gather in batches along the veins towards the margins. In typical xeric fashion this fern inhabits rocky crevices and slopes sometimes on limestone. It makes an elegant, conversational element, given a blessing of gritty compost and shelter from

Athyrium niponicum

Culture and comments Far better known for its 'Pictum' showpieces, this species, with its subtle, soft patina of pastel greens and, on occasion rosy, foliar hues, wears quietly well in the garden community. Easily cultivated, it is an attractive, albeit deciduous, addition to the low-maintenance section of the fern collection. Athyrium 'Branford Rambler' shares the coloration of the species but has long-creeping rhizomes and spreads gently through the soft compost of woodlands. 'Pictum' is the popular Japanese painted fern that has been, and occasionally still is, in the trade as A. goeringianum 'Pictum' and in even earlier times as A. iseanum 'Pictum'. Aside from maidenhairs, i do not think any other fern is better known or frequently planted as the token fern in otherwise fern-free gardens. The deciduous blades are silvery with an infusion of burgundy, offering foliar drama to the traditional greens of the fernery. It can be cultivated with confidence in all areas of North America...

Athyrium yokoscense

Culture and comments The fronds are a subtle blend of metallic pewter overlaid with a soft rosy green patina. My plants, from Korean material imported by Richard Lighty, have been basking in light shade for many years in traditional moist compost. i have not tried them in mud. Environmentally, this fern is currently being tested in Japan for phytoremediation purposes to remove cadmium from contaminated soils.


Humans should take precautions against inhaling.) I add composted bark, charcoal, and humus to the basic mix. When growing plants in containers, tall narrow pots provide the best drainage. Propagation can be accomplished by division. Established plants do not like to be disturbed, so I selectively remove a piece or two from the perimeter of the plant with a sharp knife. Spore culture is a rewarding option, however, as many species are apogamous, which efficiently compensates for the desert's lack of available water for fertilization. Spores will drop almost immediately when a ripe frond is removed from the parent plant and are so grateful to be sown on a moist medium that they germinate rapidly. (In nature it can be a long wait for suitably ideal conditions to successfully create new plants from spores. In Southern California, native cheilanthes are actively growing during the winter, ready to release their spores with the arrival of the favorable spring conditions.) I use my regular...

Layer Nutrition

Several layer flock management practices impact layer health. Dead birds left in cages longer than one day will expose the live layers to high levels of bacteria. Composting dead birds in the pits of high-rise layer housing or maintaining a dead bird grinder in the live bird area also has been associated with an increase in bacterial infection of layers. The management of light


Research shows that priming plants against pathogens using selective AMF inocula (or plant immunization) helps protect plants by inducing a SIR response (Cordier et al. 1998). The inoculum may be applied to seeds, transplanted crops, or plantlets produced through tissue culture before being transplanted into pathogen-infested fields. Application of the agent prior to transplanting eliminates the need for complex formulations and application techniques, guarantees targeted placement, and greater biocontrol activity, reduces costs associated with application and has a minimal impact on the environment (Boyetchko 1996 Glass 1993). Inoculum may include one or more AMF species or other organisms such as bacteria or fungi that exhibit sustained and coordinated biocontrol activity. The application of a multiple agent mixture may concurrently confer control for more than one plant disease by more than one mechanism rather than single inoculants targeted for control of only one plant disease...

Exponential Growth

Many common fast-growing bacteria (e.g., Escherichia coli) can have generation times of only 20 minutes. A few, such as the thermophile Bacillus stearothermophilus (found, for example, in composting piles), grow even more rapidly, with minimum generation times of around 10 minutes. This is about 1,000,000 times faster than a typical human generation of approximately two decades

Ex situ techniques

Just as with the previous approach, soil is excavated and screened, often also being stored prior to treatment. As the name suggests, the soil to be processed is formed into banks, sometimes with the addition of filler material like chaff, wood chips or shredded organic matter, if the character of the contaminated soil requires it to improve the overall texture, ease of aeration, water-holding capacity or organic matter content. This technique is sometimes termed 'soil composting' because of the similarity it has with the windrow method of treatment for biowaste material, which is described in Chapter 8. It is not a true example of the compost process, though there are many functional parallels between these procedures and the same windrow turning equipment may be used in either. Often these rows are covered, either with straw or synthetic blanketing materials, to conserve heat and reduce wash-out. Accordingly, this method is generally better suited to colder and wetter climates and...

Dryopteris pacifica

Culture and comments Plant this among ferns and companions in filtered light shade and fluffy garden compost. Although not generally available in the U.S. trade as of 2005, it is gradually appearing in the catalogs of specialists and deserves greater attention. It is botanically related to and confused with an assortment of horticulturally welcomed, decorative Asian species. The contracted upper pinnae distinguish it from its close relative, Dryopteris bissetiana the blackish-brown versus reddish-brown stipe scales separate it from D. varia and the lower pinnule configuration separates it from D. cystolepi-dota.

Dryopteris decipiens

Culture and comments Dryopteris decipiens is a lovely and very choice low-growing selection for the woodland foreground where it will tolerate drought, but prefers enriched, moist acid compost. The unfurling fronds are a soft satin rose with a unique silvery patina, giving the species a subdued elegance that persists throughout the season. it grows slowly in the garden, and even more slowly from spores, making it unprofitable for mass marketers. Look for it instead in the catalogs of specialized nurseries devoted to providing gardens and gardeners with temperate, ornamental ferns.


Cystopteris bulbifera has bulbils the color and size of peas loosely distributed on the undersides of the fronds. These will drop, roll about, and reproduce without human assistance. Others, most commonly on assorted polystichums and especially Poly-stichum setiferum cultivars, remain fixed on the frond and benefit from some judicious midwifery. When there are just one or two bulbils at the tip of the frond such as with P. andersonii and P.lentum, I peg the tip down on surrounding soil in the fall and let nature take its course. I do, however, pamper the rare bulbiferous sterile hybrids, such as P. xdycei. On these I remove the bulbils from the frond and pin them individually on the moist surface of light compost in a 4-in. (10-cm) pot, invert a clear plastic cup on top, creating a personalized greenhouse, and bring the whole into the plant room. Generally I do this in the fall, but one spring I happened upon an unexpected cache of similar bulbils. I picked them and put them in a bowl...


In a practical application, appropriate plants are chosen based on the type of contaminant present, the regional climate and other relevant site conditions. This may involve one or a selection of these hyperaccumulator species, dependent on circumstances. After the plants have been permitted to grow for a suitable length of time, they are harvested and the metal accumulated is permanently removed from the original site of contamination. If required, the process may be repeated with new plants until the required level of remediation has been achieved. One of the criticisms commonly levelled at many forms of environmental biotechnology is that all it does is shift a problem from one place to another. The fate of harvested hyperaccumulators serves to illustrate the point, since the biomass thus collected, which has bioaccumulated significant levels of contaminant metals, needs to be treated or disposed of itself, in some environmentally sensible fashion. Typically the options are either...


Marattia salicina (willowlike), while not a tree fern in structure, is a huge species from the South Sea Islands including New Zealand and Tahiti. The stipes alone are up to 3 ft. (90 cm) tall. They support 8- to 10-ft. (2.4- to 3-m) long, broad fans of glossy, bipinnate blades. Veins extend in symmetrical straight lines from the pinnae midribs to the margins where they are cinched by linear beads of fused sporangia which open in a lengthwise slit, rather like minute and stubby pea pods. The succulent and starchy rhizomes were once a popular food source for indigenous populations, but in New Zealand, at least, wild pigs have almost completely destroyed the native stands. The survivors are in nature preserves or on the slippery slopes of muddy hillsides. Wherever cultivated, and they are certainly recommended for imposing statements in Zones 9 and 10, they need a copious supply of water and protection from the wind to keep their extensive foliar structure hydrated and at its ornamental...

Woodland Gardens

In the woodland garden, ferns enjoy a site with filtered light shade and soil1 (not to be called dirt) enriched with compost, humus, or the well-draining leaf mold associated with the undisturbed forest floor. Most species appreciate and thrive in acid soil that fortuitously occurs naturally under a canopy of conifers with their annual top-dressing droppings of lightweight needles. Aged compost is an ideal additive, but leaves do splendidly as well. Oak leaves (shredded if need be) are excellent as they are acid in content, do not form an impervious mat, and break down slowly. In my garden, Japanese maples dominate the landscape and annually fill the garden with their fall litter. Before the emergence of spring growth I remove their deposits from the crowns of the ferns, but otherwise the leaves are left to compost at will. Conifer needles are another outstanding lightweight acid-yielding top dressing. Bark, meanwhile, is best left as a surface material for paths rather than mulch,...

Carbon sequestration

Again, this approach to carbon sequestration was based on enhanced intra-reactor photosynthesis, the excess algal biomass being harvested to ensure the ongoing viability of the system, with the intention of linking it into a composting operation to achieve the long-term carbon lock-up desired. The ACSACS though performing well at both bench and small pilot scale, never attained industrial adoption though remaining an interesting possible adjunct to the increasing demand for methane flaring or utilisation at landfills.

Mushroom Production

Mushroom cultivation involves SSF at three different stages, namely composting, spawn manufacture, and the growth of mushroom on the moist substrate. In order to produce a selective growth medium on which the mycelia colonize and produce fruiting bodies, the compost is prepared by piling up the substrate for a long period of time. During this period, many changes take place, and the resulting substrate differs from the original. Various physico-chemical factors play a vital role in the process. A temperature range of 22-27 C, substrate moisture content of 55-70 , and a pH of 6.0-7.5 are generally considered as the most suitable conditions. Animal manure from horses and chickens, and agro-industrial residues such as wheat straw, paddy straw, barley straw, rice bran, saw dust, banana, maize stover, tannery waste, wool waste, and sugarcane bagasse are used as substrates. The development of the fruiting body requires a lower temperature than the optimum for mycelial growth it also...


Both species, which appear to be so charming and innocent in the wild, are touchy in cultivation. Hardy in Zones 8 and 9, they have a strong preference for acid surroundings, free-draining soil littered with conifer needles or composting leaves, and bright light. As borderline xerics, and like so many of that type, they do not like excessive watering.

Polypodium vulgare

Range and habitat The common polypody is common indeed with populations throughout Europe and Asia, extending eastward as far as Siberia and Japan and south to the southern tip of Africa. (Historically it may well be a descendent of the North American native now known as P. virginianum, but formerly P. vulgare.) It colonizes at will on trees but more frequently as a ground cover on acidic soils in moist shade. This is the easiest of the British-European natives for cultivating in traditional loose compost the mental image of ferny soils.


A sixth form, termed 'tower composting', may occasionally be encountered, but it is generally much less common than the other five. more to the vagaries of the weather and makes process control more difficult. While this might be a problem for some kinds of biowaste, for the typical park and garden waste treated by this method, it generally is not. However, some early attempts were prone to heavy leachate production in conditions of high rainfall, leading to concerns regarding localised soil pollution. This was largely an engineering problem, however, and the almost universal requirement for a suitably constructed concrete pad and interceptor has made this virtually unknown today. Limited aeration occurs naturally via diffusion and convection currents, but this is heavily augmented by a regime of regular turning, which also helps to mix the composting material, thus helping to make the rate of breakdown more uniform. Dependent on the size of the operation, this may be done by anything...

Anaerobic Digestion

Although composting certainly accounts for the majority of biowaste treatment applications around the world, anaerobic digestion (AD) is an alternative option which has been receiving increasing interest over recent years. In many respects, it is a regulated version of the natural events of landfill, in that it results in the controlled release of methane-rich biogas, which offers the potential for a very real form of energy from waste. This technology is viewed in certain circles as rather novel, but this is not really the case. It has been used in the water industry for around a hundred years to treat sewage and, more recently, been successfully applied to the processing of agricultural and household wastes, most notably in Germany and the Netherlands. However, waste management tends to be a naturally cautious field and the relative lack of a proven track record with MSW-derived biowaste compared to composting has made the uptake of this approach slow. The actual progression of this...

Polystichum xdycei

Culture and comments This vigorous, sterile hybrid grows rapidly in light compost and dappled shade. It is an easy showpiece and choice focal point for a fern display garden and consistently brings admiring compliments from visitors. it is gradually being distributed in U.S. commerce and has been successful through the vagaries of many winters in British and

Sludge Treatment

The putrescible fraction of wastes can produce both nuisance (e.g., odor generation) and hazardous (e.g., hazardous gas generation, such as hydrogen sulfide) conditions, and a major goal of sludge treatment is stabilization with these putrescible materials. Digestion is a biochemical process by which stabilization can be achieved, such that physical reductions will then be realized in both the original solids mass and volume. Both anaerobic and aerobic digestion options are used with liquid-phase sludge processing systems, and aerobic digestion can also be completed in a more concentrated slurry- or solids-type mode using composting procedures.

Polystichum rigens

Culture and comments This species is slow growing and similar in effect to Polystichum tsus-simense with the latter having linear rather than the lanceolate scales. Polystichum rigens prefers a site enriched with compost in full shade and willingly tolerates the testing hot and humid summer climates of gardens in the eastern and central United States. When young this species gives off a slight eau de skunk which is not distracting in the garden but can attract circumspect comments when gathered in the greenhouse.


Sori without indusia are distributed on or between veins and often camouflaged under the protection of the stellate canopy. Spores are yellow. Most do not mature during the traditional summer harvest time, but cling to the parent until late winter. In the Pacific Northwest, droppings of yellow-gold, which could easily be mistaken for an erratic distribution of some mysterious alien pollen, are produced in late winter. Propagation is easily accomplished by division and not so promptly by spores. Spores of some species germinate readily and develop at a leisurely pace. Others germinate reluctantly and develop at an even more leisurely pace. Spores are best sown on sandy compost and the resulting plants, if any, need good drainage and partial shade.

Cheilanthes Coriacea

Cheilanthes coriacea (tough leathery) is a North African species that has been successfully cultivated in specialized garden sites in Britain. The triangular fronds are a minute 2 to 6 in. (5 to 15 cm) and pinnate-pinnatifid to bipinnate. This is a lovely little specimen in Zones 8 and 9 for close-up viewing in a container with customized xeric compost and the requisite good drainage.


The species is hardy in Zones 8 to 10, although it may lose foliage in cold winter areas. My Zone 8 plants have been thriving without protection ever since a long ago day when I became frustrated while trying to divide plants from a wooden flat overgrown with masses of rhizomes and fronds and in desperation planted the entire flat into the garden. Grow it in filtered shade and average compost and welcome the foliage

Harts tongue ferns

Propagation from spores is an educational and horticultural adventure as the progeny often offer extremely irregular deviations in foliar architecture. These are, however, not your named varieties which in order to be correctly offered as a given cultivar usually need to be reproduced vegetatively by tissue culture or division. Or they can be propagated, in a most unusual fashion for ferns, as pseudo-cuttings from leaf stalks. To do so the fronds need to be stripped back from their base rather like peeling cloves from garlic (thus potentially destroying the parent plant incidentally, so chose with care), cleaned, and inserted into a propagation flat containing a receptive mix of moist sand and a token handful of basic compost. Another recommendation is to use old (dead or dead-looking) frond bases with whatever remnants of roots remain attached, without digging up the parent, and plunge them into moist sphagnum moss. With time and luck the basal buds will form new plants.

Soil Amendments

Improving the structure of soil organic matter is an important management option for enhancing mycorrhizal development (Allen et al. 1999). Compost, bark, or some other recalcitrant carbon source provides a slow release of nutrients while increasing soil moisture, facilitating infiltration, and reducing soil compaction. These conditions are not only beneficial to mycorrhizal fungi, but also many other microorganisms that improve nutrient availability and plant performance. For EM particularly, the absence of organic matter following severe disturbance limits the establishment of mycorrhizae despite adequate dispersal onto the site (Allen et al. 1992 Read 1984). The use of soil amendments could therefore alleviate the need for further mycorrhizal inoculation.

Waste Management

The second of the intervention points, waste management, is also likely to see major changes in the future, which are almost certain to be driven by external pressures to restrict the entry of biologically active material into the disposal loop. With strict diversionary and recycling targets increasingly becoming the accepted norm in many countries of the world, it seems certain that biowaste will be subject to expressly biological treatment at a previously unprecedented rate. It appears reasonable to assume that this will lead to an upsurge in the amount of waste destined for existing biooptions like anaerobic digestion and composting rather than any burgeoning evolution of new treatment technologies, particularly in the case of domestic waste. In addition, if clean manufacturing techniques based on biological systems become established, the amount of biodegradable waste produced in the first place should fall, though this does not allow for the contribution of normal refuse...


Lentinula Edodes Life Cycle

Mushrooms are grown on compost, usually in mushroom houses where the temperature and humidity can be controlled. They are harvested daily, cooled immediately, and processed the same day. For mushrooms kept for more than a few hours before processing, refrigeration will delay veil opening and reduce weight loss.111 Braaksma et al.112 have studied the aging of the mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) under post-harvest conditions and found that in contrast to higher plants, mushroom senescence appears to be independent of degradation of specific membrane lipid contents. Several techniques exist for the commercial processing of mushrooms including canning and pasteurization, dehydration, and freeze-drying.113 Many methods have been proposed to extend the shelf life of fresh mushrooms some are cited in the section entitled Methods of Improving Shelf Life and Quality. It is well established that compost is a prime factor for increasing yield. Mau et al.114 proved that nutrient supplementation at...

Dryopteris sublacera

Culture and comments Dryopteris sublacera is a substantial, medium-sized selection for the moist to drier compost-enriched areas of the lightly shaded woodland. The fronds are arching but with a tendency towards the horizontal. The glabrous upper surface has the color of a green apple and the undersides are a complementary silvery green.