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 Post subject: city composted dirt
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 7:23 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 7:14 pm
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City compost turned into dino soil. Help. I think it killed my garden.
has anybody used thismethod of filling a veg. garden? Is there a way to find out what chemicals were used on this stuff? Or do I need to take it all out and start over? This a mess and a whole bunch of very sad kids. It is a school garden Thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 12:30 pm 
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Location: Central Texas
I would check with the people that sold you the compost and see if it can be used in a garden. I think you will find out that using sewage based compost is not recommended for garden use and human consumption.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 6:08 pm 
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Thanks, The city of Denton takes our yard waste and makes it into soil and compost that we buy. I thought that it might have chemicals in it and heard that it was not safe for children to play on which makes our garden out of bounds. How sad. Does anybody know of this .


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 7:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2003 10:40 am
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Location: Central Texas
If your city is like most, it takes and grinds up all the tree limbs, leaves and grass clippings it collects and mixes it with processed sewage sludge. This material is then composted. It is great for lawns and flower beds, but should NEVER be used in gardens. I use it and it works great for its intended purpose.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 7:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2003 10:40 am
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Location: Central Texas
I just found this info on the City of Denton web site. It looks like you can buy some compost that is good for vegitable gardens from them.

Denton, Texas - Since their introduction Dyno Dirt composting products have been helping area residents improve the condition of their lawns and gardens. The newest addition to the Dyno Dirt product line, Dyno Lite, is no exception. Dyno Lite is ideal for vegetable gardens and houseplants. It contains no bio solids, is made of 100 percent composted yard waste, and costs $30 per cubic yard.

"The products help not only prolong landfill life by recycling material that might otherwise go unused, but are a great and economic way for Denton residents to maintain a healthy and beautiful lawn or garden," said Gayla Wright, Beneficial Reuse Division manager.

The Water Utilities Beneficial Reuse Division has been successfully selling the products since 1997. They are made primarily from yard trimmings, which are collected once a week by the Solid Waste Department.

All Dyno Dirt composting products are made and can be purchased at the Pecan Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, 1100 Mayhill Rd. The products include Dyno Soil, Dyno Dirt, Dyno Brown Mini-Mulch, Dyno Double Grind, Dyno Chips, and Dyno Deco-Colored Mulch. The products have various lawn and plant care uses and vary in prices ranging from $7.50 per cubic yard to $30 per cubic yard. For more information about product prices and uses residents can visit www.cityofdenton.com and go to the Dyno Dirt section under Water Utilities.

Dyno Dirt products are available at the wastewater plant Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. One-cubic-foot bags of Dyno Dirt are also available at Harpool Fertilizer Company, 426 E. McKinney St., and Dennis' Farm Store, 320 Bell Avenue. For more information contact Gayla Wright at (940) 349-7527.

Hope this info helps.


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 Post subject: City dirt
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 5:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 7:14 pm
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Thanks for the info... If I had known that biosolids were used in this dirt, I would not have used it for a childrens garden. Besides the fact that I used the wrong kind of dirt for gardens in general. I guess it pays to research what you put into a garden. We are investing in a good wheelbarrow this week.
Now I need to know how to detoxify dirt if this is possible. Thanks.
Starr


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 12:13 pm 
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Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
Compost made from humanure is so much like compost made from animal manure it is hard to explain. How and where you use it is all personal preference. I realize there are government professionals telling you not to use it for veggies, but when you look at the science of the manufacture and testing, the two products are essentially identical.

In fact, the human made stuff might have less of the heavy metals in it than the cattle/horse made stuff because the human made stuff is tested before it gets composted. I'll try to describe the process as it is done in San Antonio and Austin.

Before anything happens, the sewer police ensure the high quality and safety of San Antonio sewage by posting severe fines to abusers. They have ways of tracing back to where any junk enters the sewer and they fine the living tar out of the abusers. Coca-Cola was being fined over $30,000 per MONTH for dumping...sugar into the sewer. Sugar overstimulates the microbes at the water treatment plant, so they can't have it. Imagine what you get fined if you actually dump heavy metals!! Companies are responsible for cleaning up their own mess and are not allowed to dump it in the drain.

Once the "clean" sewage is precomposted, it is sent to the contractor for final composting. At this stage it is full of human pathogens and all the bad stuff you might expect. It is then mixed with old phone books (presoaked in water) and with municipal tree trimmings. The recipe is the same used by the professional composters to compost animal manures. They keep the windrows watered and have a government specified process to purify the compost. The pile must maintain a minimum of 120 degrees F for 15 days while being turned a minimum of 5 times in that period. The piles in San Antonio routinely run at 150 degrees with excursions above 170 at times. All this is done under the government's eye. They come in weekly to test the piles for human pathogens and for the temperature. By the end of the 15 day period, there are zero human pathogens found in any test sample. I submit a test for you to try at home. Put a raw chicken in the oven at 120-170 degrees for 15 days and see whether you have any pathogens left. The pathogens have ALL died under the high and prolonged heat and their dead pathogen bodies have been completely digested by other microbes within the pile. But this is not the end of the compost road. At this point, according to the government (and industrial) regulations, it must be "cold composted" for a minimum of 25 days. Testing continues to ensure there are no human pathogens in the pile, but it has been pretty much proven that once a species has died out in a pile, it does not spontaneously reappear.

All during the minimum of 40 days of aerobic composting, microbes have been at work in the pile. Some of them work at low temps and some work at high temps. They all get a shot at the decomposition of the original contents. At the end, not only have the original raw materials been digested, but the microbes that ate them have been digested. And so have the microbes that ate the second microbes. And so on. There are over 20,000 species of microbes active in the compost pile. Each species gets a shot at their food species. In the end you have none of the original materials, lots of the living microbes, and lots of the microbe poop which happens to be plant food, enzymes, and humic acids ready for use in the garden.

So I don't really care whether you use the city's biosolid compost on your veggies or not, but the way this thread was running, I thought it might scare some people who have already used the stuff in their gardens. I believe that one great compost with zero human pathogens is pretty much the same as another great compost with zero human pathogens.

Back to the original question, I don't see how compost could have killed your garden unless you accidentally buried the base of your veggies. Sometimes even compost cannot prevent a rotting fungal disease on plants. Uncomposted mulch might have something in it, but compost? Not usually.

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 Post subject: City compost
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 2:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 7:14 pm
Posts: 5
Thanks for the info. Not meant to scare anyone,just portect my kids. I have two questions based on your info. What did you mean by burying the base of the veggies? I'm fairly new to this, and I have been successful for eight years, and do we know that the city of Denton does all of this. Is it all watched by the govt.?
Like I said in the post, I used Dino Dirt not Dino Soil which may have been the lwhole problem, it was too mch like mulch and the vegs. couldn't get what they needed, but during my research, I came upon thei idea of Biosolids in the soil and was questioning the safety. I guess if you put the chemicals on your trees and then send them to the city, they end up in the organic gardens of the rest of us. Right?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 3:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2003 10:40 am
Posts: 13
Location: Central Texas
I use City made compost on a regular basis. When I pick up my compost the City Government provides me with a fact sheet that clearly states that sewage based compost is never to be used in gardens. Maybe this is to limit the liability on the government if something should go wrong. IMO I think that it probably will not harm anyone if used in the garden, but if I was a betting person I think the majority off people would be turned off if they Knew they were eating vegetables grown in sewage based compost.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 6:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:33 pm
Posts: 829
Location: Dallas,TX
You probably hit on the main problem in your last post. So much is taken in by the city to compost, and some of the herbicides don't break down and that is probably the reason most of your plants won't take. You may have some of the other chemicals and heavy metals that don't compost out too. So sorry to hear you have this problem. Gardening for kids is so wonderful! As far as detoxifying, I didn't see anyone offer so let me offer this: Spray with a mix of compost tea, molasses and orange oil, about a cup of each to each gallon of water or Auntie Fuego soil conditioner. Spread zeolite too. There is a product called Norit that you can get to detoxify too. It's charcoal and it'll clean that stuff up pretty quickly, probably the most effective but also the most expensive. If you have a large area, it might well be your best bet. Explain your situation to the retailer or wholesaler you talk to and maybe he/she will give you a break. By the way, gang, the city uses these products on their soccer fields, etc. so the kids are in it anyway.

here's some advice from one who's been there: Don't give up. You're doing something invaluable for those kids and you made an honest mistake. Keep working it out and you'll see way more benefit from the children's exposure to nature than you put in over the years. Those kids will remember this experience the rest of their lives. I guarantee it.


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