Alexander Tsarev
Mushroom industry

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Watering the compost in phase 1

Perhaps, one of the most important moments in 1st phase compost preparation is the content of water in it. To water or not to, if to water, then how much and when these questions cause constant headache for a compost yards technologist. The situation becomes more complicated, because its hard to reform flooded compost, especially in winter time. At the same time, you can rarely manage without any watering at all, (were talking about watering aside from the humidification of straw at compost filling). Undoubtedly, its easier for the technologist to find a place for watering at the mixing process, having the composts humidity test results in his hands.

Besides, special attention should be paid to the choice of samples for the tests. For example, if a sample of compost is taken from the surface of a pile in winter, the results are always too high. The point is that when warm and humid air from the deep layers of compost passes through the upper, cold layer of compost, it is (the air) cools down greatly. As a result, a condensate is formed, which floods the upper layer of compost. In hot and dry time the opposite is observed the upper layer of compost becomes too dry.

In practice, unfortunately, there isnt always a possibility to test the compost on some farms. Often, the technologists must decide when to water based on only the visual evaluation of compost. There are several methods, which allow to this with sufficient accuracy in order to make a decision. Its enough for the more experienced specialists to look at the compost pile to make a decision.

If the technologist decided to add water to compost, how better do it? Its impossible to simply water the pile, cone or clumps surface. Watering the surface is recommended at the 1st phase of composting outdoors, at summer time, when the compost dries up. To increase the whole mass of composts humidity, the compost must be watered while its mixed. That is why the compost is watered when its being mixed. The last correctional irrigation can be made before the compost is pasteurized.

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