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What is in my compost heap?

DaisydayDaisyday Posts: 373

I spread compost on my veggie patch today and noticed that there was a powdery substance in the compost. I'm wondering whether it is a type of fungus and if it will harm the soil.Can anyone shed any light on this? I would appreciate some info.

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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,556

    Is this compost that  you have made or bought compost?

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • DaisydayDaisyday Posts: 373

    Hi Dovefromabove, the compost is homemade though I am careful what I put in it.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,556

    If it's homemade and you're aware of what you've put in it, then it's only going to be one of those ingredients decomposing in some  way.  It may well be a fungus or similar breaking down the organic matter, but it won't be harmful to your veg patch - it's just what composting is and does image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,569

    Probably some sort of fungus. Fungi spores are everywhere and most are either harmless or beneficial

  • DaisydayDaisyday Posts: 373

    Thanks so much for your replies folks, I won't worry about it now! image

  • GillianBCGillianBC Posts: 121

    Might be micorrhizal fungi which is very good for plant roots. http://ccber.ucsb.edu/sites/default/files/myco.JPG

     

  • Almost certainly an Actinobacteria and my guess Streptomyces.

    Actinobacteria are major contributors to biological buffering of soils and have roles in organic matter decomposition and conductive to crop production.

    They grow when the temperature fluctuates within the heap that's why you should turn at regular intervals, not let it dry out to much and try to keep the temperature up.

    Actinobacteria are every where and used a lot in human medicines penicillin is probably the best know.

     

    If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
  • DaisydayDaisyday Posts: 373

    That all sounds very scientific and interesting Gardeners Boy. Turning my heap is not an option in the wintertime as a hedgehog likes to rest up there in winter and there could be more than one this year! 

  • daydaisy I agree the hedgehog is much more important.

    If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
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