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Soil Improvement and Cover Crop Resources for Small Farms

Even though different soils have some properties that cannot be changed, such as texture, soil quality can be improved by implementing good management strategies. Soils can be improved for water holding capacity, drainage, structure, and even the ability for plant roots to penetrate through the soil.

Apr 2018 | Collection

Coffee grounds and soil trial

Popular gardening advice touts the benefits of coffee grounds for acid loving plants, as a slug repellant and soil amendment. Little research based information is available to back up many of these claims. From November 2008 to September 2009 OSU Extension Service Master Gardener Compost Specialists in Lane County conducted an observational trial to see what the effect coffee grounds had on soil pH and nitrogen content when incorporated into soil.

Jun 2009 | Educational Document

Agricultural Composting Resources for Small Farms

This content collection covers various composting resources such as: introductory composting information, environmental considerations, using composted organic wastes on farms, composting at livestock operations, regulatory information for Oregon, detailed technical information, and compost organizations.

Apr 2018 | Collection

Compost for blueberry plants: testing and tips

Compost is an acceptable amendment for blueberry plants, but it's important to test it before you apply it. Pay attention to pH and nutrient levels, and watch out for weeds.

Dan Sullivan | Mar 2015 | Article

Composting at Winter Green Farm Improves Soil Health and Protects Water Quality

In 1980 Jack Gray and Mary Jo Wade started Winter Green Farm just 20 miles west of Eugene, five years later Wali and Jabrila Via joined them and in 2009 long-time employees Chris Overbaugh and Shannon Shipp-Overbaugh also took joint ownership of the farm. The farm is certified organic and Salmon Safe by Oregon Tilth and also uses biodynamic methods. They strive to create...

Nick Andrews | Jul 2013 | Article

Composting and Blueberry Production

Blueberries are an increasingly common high-value crop for small farmers across Oregon. Research has shown that blueberries favor acidic soils that are high in organic matter. In Oregon, blueberries have traditionally been grown in fir sawdust, which in the past has been freely available, relatively cheap, and tends to be acidic. Sawdust has traditionally been used in blueberry ...

Ryan Costello | Mar 2010 | Article

Some Garden Myths and What Research Has to Say

From the myth of collapsing root balls to myth of compost tea - learn the facts about a range of tips you may have heard through the years about healthy soil, pretty mulch, and more.

Richard Little | Feb 2014 | Article

Aminopyralid Residues in Compost

Several farmers and gardeners in Washington State lost most of their vegetable crops in 2010 due to the effects of aminopyralid herbicide residues that originated from composted dairy manure. For more information see Herbicide Carryover in Hay, Manure, Compost, and Grass Clipping. Aminopyralid (marketed as Milestone™, Chaparral™, and Opensight™), is an auxinic growth regulator ...

Sam Angima | Jan 2011 | Article

Composting: Great promise that comes with challenges, is it a fit for your farm?

Compost is an excellent soil amendment that can quickly improve degraded soil. The composting process is also an excellent pest prevention strategy that can reduce weed seeds, plant and human pathogens, and other pests in raw materials. By many, compost is considered a fundamental component of organic and ecological agriculture. But composting requires quite a lot of effort, and ...

Nick Andrews | May 2015 | Article

On-Farm Composting, DEQ Rules

DEQ is updating the administrative rules that govern composting facilities in Oregon. A rule making work group made up of compost industry representatives, regulators and other stakeholders has been meeting since February 2004 to advise DEQ as they draft these new rules. The work group meetings have now finished and DEQ is finalizing the draft rule and preparing for public ...

Nick Andrews | Dec 2009 | Article