Dung And Compost Moisture Content

Nan's Nook : Archives : Misc Tek : OGBDLichen Tek : Other Dung Teks
Posted by: Propagator Jun 08 03, 05:20 PM GMT
How moist should dung be? I've searched the archives and many of the teks are ambiguous when it comes to this question. One tek said that the dung should be about as moist as to have a drop of two of water drip when it is squeezd in my fist. Is that accurate?

Also, how about dung *compost*, not field gathered dung. For example, for those that have used Mycota's compost, how much water should be added to an amount of compost?

I suspect the reason that there aren't any exact descriptions of how moist dung and dung compost should be it that the moisture content varies from source to source. Then again, it shouldn't be too difficult to describe what the proper moisture content looks like.

Can someone describe in words what properly hydrated dung and/or dung compost looks like?

Should it look obviously wet, or less so, or not at all?

Is the amount of water that important at all? For example, if I add a bit too much water will it still colonize fine or is there a definite line of moisture content that shouldn't be crossed?

If anyone can answer any of these questions, thanks.

Posted by: your_imagination Jun 08 03, 05:39 PM GMT
it's hard to describe.....

the way i do it is i break up the dung in a rubbermaid container, have a container big enough that you only use about 1/2 it's volume. ( makes less mess)

and add water until it's saturated to the point where you notice the water leaving droplets on the sides of the bin when you mix it..

When you start off adding say 1/2 cup of water, it quickly gets soaked up by the poop/compost, add another 1/2 cup, and .. ... .... ... until at some point it quits absorbing..

I would think having a little too "little " is better than having too much, as it's easier to add water than it is to remove it!!! by adding more dry material..

Have it a little dryer than what i described above and you should be fine!
good luck!

Posted by: Propagator Jun 08 03, 09:49 PM GMT
thanks for the insight, your_imagination. based on what you wrote and what a knowledgable person said in chat, I have a clearer idea of the right moisture level.

Posted by: DirtyWOP Jun 08 03, 09:54 PM GMT
To answer your question, the squeeze test is accurate. I use it every time. If a few drops of water come out when you gently squeeze an entire fistful, it's good........

Posted by: Nanook Jun 08 03, 10:30 PM GMT
The squeeze test works great... But beware.

Dried compost or dung is dry... You moisten to the perfect consistency... let it sit 24 hours in a sealed environment... check it again... it's too dry. What happened

Some of the fibers in dung and compost take more than a few minutes to fully hydrate. You soak it down, but these micro sponges keep sucking it up. Answer... I mix it too wet to start, or come back a day later and add more water cause it always ends up too dry if you don't.

This was the biggest problem I had with Mycota's compost. It was difficult to get the water content set correctly because it kept absorbing what I gave it, it would be perfect... then a few hours later too dry again sad.gif

Posted by: Twista Jun 09 03, 10:30 AM GMT
nan, i had the same experience w/ mycotapro.

Posted by: Fungusmaximus Jun 09 03, 11:01 AM GMT
Add verm. 25-30% verm always for mycotapro.

I get the dung wet, as in soaking. Pasturize in the oven, foil covered but allow the sides to remain open so you evaporate excess but retain some moisture. My dung/compost never drips when I squeeze. Remember this, its easier to add clean water to a spawn run if its to dry, than to soak up water from a stalled run from being to wet(almost impossible without drying out the mycelium). If its too wet, add some sterilized verm to soak it up.
BUT, as nan said give the compost and the verm time to soak up the moisture.
Youll be surprised how much h2o they can hold. wink.gif


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