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[APD] Re: boiling soil/mud and Eearthworm castings

>>This can be addressed by soaking or boiling for sometime prior to use.  <<

>Boiling dirt? I have a bag of potting soil that is 70% cow manure and leaf
>compost, and you want me to boil it? Are you really serious?

>Best regards
>Robert Hudson

They boil Earthworm castings as suggested by several Brazilian folks as a substrate additive.
Then they dry it. 

This oxidizes the NH4 and urea to NO3.
It's faster than waiting for the bacteria to accomplish this.   
It leeches some nutrients out, but it's still fairly rich. 

So yes, I suppose several folks are serious about boiling compost and other very foul smelling stuff. 
I would not try to cook dinner in that same pot later with the spouse's knowledge.

Mulm and peat works just fine for me.  Less mess, smell, easier. 
But there are "other methods" such as EWC and soil.
Folks added a number of different things in the past from both organic and inorganic sources the enrich the substrate. Folks have to make do with what is available or are un/willing to pay for it etc.
Removal of the NH4 and urea prevent algal issues and toxicity issues with fish. If that is done and there's not much SO4 reduction, then the substrate should be fine.

So while adding Organic stuff to the substrate is as old as the hills, boiling it is something new and if should work by oxidizing the NH4 to NO3.     

I really do not think it matter so much what the organic matter is(OM), but the addition of NO3, K, Ca, SO4, Mg, PO4 is very easy to add on top of peat or leonardite should you wish to enrich the substrate with macros.

I know many will not want to wait for the NH4 to leech out by bacterial breakdown. So boiling is a good "stinky" option and does the same thing to EWC as it would for plain potting soil or anything with NH4. 

Peat does not have much NH4/urea so boiling is not needed.
You can add NO3 in many different forms, it does not have to be manure, soil or EWC, if enriching the substrate with nitrogen(say KNO3) is your goal. Add the mineralized form(plant available) to start with. 
Then you have more control over how much NO3, K, PO4, Fe etc is actually in there. 

Some of the differences between peat and soil are the lack of macro nutrients in peat, but both provide reducing power till the bacteria get established and perform this role. Mulm greatly aids this colonization process and provides more labile forms of nutirents and large colonies of actively growing bacteria.
Mulm can be dried without the boiling process and added much like EWC and soil also and saved for later use should you want a more "Organic form" of substrate amendement. 

So I am very serious about boiling the NH4 out of manure based organic matter. Mud pie anyone?

Tom Barr
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