Crop Residue management for community and home gardeners

Crop Residue Management
(An alternative practice to composting)
Deal with greens (Nitrogen sources) and Browns (Carbon sources ), in the garden by cutting
chopping and digging in plant residues such as vegetable crops including old spinach and
corn stems. This system has been practice for thousands of years by ancient civilizations
and still today.
Benefits Organic matter from old crops is recycled into the soil
 No cost… simple to implement and requiring just some extra effort….workout in
the garden
 Ideal to incorporated as part of a four block crop rotation
 Simply requires a spade to chop up plant matter (rather than machinery), reducing
dependence on fossil fuels
 Increased soil biological activity
 Waste is used in the garden rather transported to land fill or collection centres
 More human energy efficient than transferring to a compost unit and then
returning to the garden once composted
 Maximizes nutrient and energy availability to support soil and plant health
 Reduced need to water plants due to high retention of organic matter in the root
Crop residue solution has been trailed at the Biological Husbandry Unit
at Lincoln University by Dr Charles Merfield with significant results when compared with
composting. I add references to Charles work.
OrganicNZ September /October 2007, To Compost Or Not To Compost p14-19
Try Crop Residue Management in your garden this Spring /Summer.
For further details and workshops contact Richard Main 09 2739650