nancygene
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Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:23 pm

corn husks in compost

Last summer I put a lot of corn husks in my compost and now I am wondering if I did the right thing. In some of the cobs there were worms or what I believe could have been corn smut. I am wondering if this is bad for my compost that has been composting since last summer? Would it still be ok to use it or should I discard it and start over? Your help is most appreciated.

tomc
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Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Huitlacoche--corn smut is an induced mycorriza, some people even eat it (not me). Its usually windblown and if its already in your soil, there is nothing you can do to prevent it.

You can mail my portion of corn smut to Andrew Zimmern.

If your compost was mine. I'd use it on my garden.

This is not likely to develop like a plague and overwhelm your corn crop.
Think like a tree
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toxcrusadr
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Andrew Zimmern...haha. :lol:
Tox

nancygene
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Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:23 pm

The cobs that were badly infected with worms or smut were thrown away and we just kept the leafy part for the compost. I just didn't want to put some kind of problem into my garden. We had purchased the corn from a reputable farm stand, so I am hoping that I can still use the compost. I do plan on being much more careful in the future, though. Thanks for your help.

toxcrusadr
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Some diseases live in the soil, others mainly hang out in the plants themselves, so it's always a good idea to know which one you're dealing with and how its life cycle works. That will determine whether to compost the plants, rotate certain crops to different areas every year, etc. For example I always move my tomatoes to a different part of the garden every year because the blight lives in the soil and gets onto the leaves when mud splashes up.
Tox

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ElizabethB
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I do not knowingly toss diseased plant matter into my bin but if it does happen my pile gets hot enough to kill pathogens.

Good luck
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

estorms
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Location: Greenfield Township, PA

I burn anything that looks diseased and then put the ashes in the compost pile. I do the same thing with briers.

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