chaminga
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will rusting metal speed up compost

Hi,
My question is based on an observation I have made and it is this, I used several old iron barrel hoops to keep some fresh green material from blowing off of the top of my compost pile I did not get back to turn the green materiel for a few weeks but when I did I noticed it was breaking down much faster relative to what I perceived to be similar conditions, so is it possible that the formation of rust on the hoops has turbo charged my compost and will this iron oxide in my compost harm my plants ?
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

dustyrivergardens
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they probably just got hotter where the braces are the hotter things are the faster they breakdown.

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rainbowgardener
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Yeah, I really doubt the rusting metal did anything to speed up your compost. But to the extent that any of the iron oxide got in the compost (which would be very tiny amounts), it will not harm your plants.
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rot
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iron good

..
Plants need a certain amount of iron. Think of it as fortified compost maybe.

I keep a nail in my watering can to add iron to my plants. I stole that from someone who posted on here one day and mentioned it in passing.

two cents
..

toxcrusadr
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It's really the other way around, the microbes in the compost rusted the steel.

Most soil has significant iron in it, sometimes up into the percent range. It certainly doesn't harm your plants. Iron does have various forms, and the oxidized or 'rust' form (ferric) is not particularly soluble and available to plants. But again it doesn't hurt anything.
Tox

rot
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Where's iron? Man?

..
The droopy plants around here seem to indicate a need for iron to me. At least that's what I thought.

What would be other sources of iron the plants could use? Maybe I could test out my weakly formed theory.

to sense
..

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rainbowgardener
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I've never seen drooping listed as a symptom of iron deficiency. That usually shows up as leaf yellowing, especially chlorosis where the veins stay dark, and maybe some over-all stunting.

If the plants are deficient in iron, it is rarely because it is not present in the soil, but because it is locked up, unavailable to plants. Soil that is either too acid or too alkaline can cause that. Or soil compaction, waterlogging, or over-fertilization with large amounts of phosphorus.
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toxcrusadr
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They have special medications nowadays for a droopy stem.
Tox

dustyrivergardens
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lol :shock:

vermontkingdom
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As a kid some 60 years ago growing up Vermont's northeast kingdom, I remember well my mom having us put old, square iron barn nails in our watering cans. Not sure if they helped but we always had incredibly productive gardens so these many years later, I still add a touch of ferrous sulfate to my rain water barrels and compost bins.
"Good gardeners do not have green thumbs. They have brown knees, soiled hands and big hearts."

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