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Technical Information: Field Horticulture

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Organic matter content and the fertility of soils may decline under intensive cultivation. This can lead to soil erosion, surface water run-off and nutrient leaching, and decreasing crop yields.

Adding compost to your soil can reverse these trends and lead to sustainable crop production.


Compost characteristics


Fairfield's compost is made from fruit, vegetable, plant and woody waste. These are some recommended properties of a good compost for use in turf establishment:

Parameters

Units of Measure

Recommended Range

pH*

pH Units (1:5 water extract)

7.0

Moisture Content

%mm of fresh weight

35 - 55

Organic Matter Content

% dry weight basis

>25

C:N RatioScreen

 

Max 20:1

Aperture Size

mm

Max 25 most crops

Max 15 for finer seedbeds

*Fairfield's compost is pH7.


Nitrogen as N

Phosphate as P O

Potash as K O

Magnesium as Mg

Sulphur as S

8.1

3.3

6.6

2

1


 

Soil improvement

Fairfield’s Compost not only provides valuable organic matter to soils, but also acts as a slow release fertiliser of Nitrogen, Phosphate, Magnesium and Iron, and provides a readily available source of Potash.
Other nutrients are also provided by composts such as Sulphur, and trace elements. Compost can also provide a valuable source of Calcium with a small liming effect (it may have up to 10% of the neutralising value of limestone on a dry matter basis).

What a typical application of 31.5 tonnes of compost (20 tonnes dry weight basis) will provide (approximate figures):

Nutrients Total Amount (kg/ha) Available year 1 (kg/ha) Available year 2 (kg/ha
Nitrogen as N 250 25 (10%) 12 (5%)
Phosphate as P O 100    
Potash as K O 200    
Magnesium as Mg 60    
Sulphur as S 33    

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