Composting Meat and the Curious Case of a Turf Fungus – Orange County Register
Q. Hello from West Los Angeles. I think a fungus is growing through our artificial turf. Any suggestions on how to deal with this without damaging the lawn or endangering our dog? I’m considering using our store vacuum after loosening it up a bit. Thoughts?
A. Artificial grass has become a popular choice for California homeowners who want a maintenance-free landscape that doesn’t use water. If you have an oddly shaped area that is difficult to water, in deep shade, or unsuitable for any plants (no matter how hardy), artificial grass can offer a ready-made solution. Many of my fellow gardeners may disagree, but I think there are a few situations where artificial grass can come in handy.
Though low maintenance, it can have its downsides. In your case, mushrooms will grow from it. Mushrooms (at least mushrooms that look as good as yours) need organic matter to grow. This organic matter could be soil, leaves, or anything else. Professionally laid artificial turf has an extensive base layer of gravel, sand, decomposed granite, or any combination thereof. If mushrooms are growing at the edge of your lawn, you may not have enough base layer or you may have a drainage problem.
High and low spots can cause drainage problems that can lead to moss or fungus growth. Stagnant water can also lead to mosquito problems. Curling or lifting at the edges or seams can also occur if the base is not properly installed.
Removing the fungi is only a temporary fix. I recommend you contact your installer for further recommendations. The base layer may require attention.
Q Why can’t meat be composted?
A. Meat is obviously rotting and smelling awful. This stench will attract rats, mice, possums, raccoons, and other unwanted visitors. Meat can also harbor parasites and other disease-causing organisms that may not be destroyed in the composting process. Although your compost thermometer may eventually read 160 degrees, there is no guarantee that every inch of that pile has reached that temperature. Most pathogens, pests, and weed seeds are killed at 160, but not all. Keep in mind that the stack will need to be turned frequently to maintain this temperature, and trust me, you don’t want to do that if there’s spoiled meat lurking inside.
Commercial or municipal composting facilities can process meat trimmings because they use a high-temperature process that kills pathogens.
Q. Why is homegrown fruit smaller than supermarket fruit? My grapes are so tiny!
A. Commercially grown cultivars are selected for larger size, ease of harvest, beauty, and resistance to damage in transit. They are often heavily fertilized and sometimes treated with plant growth hormones.
If you want to grow particularly large fruit, such as a giant pumpkin for Halloween, plant a variety that will grow tall, remove all but one fruit from the vine, and fertilize liberally. Soon you’ll have a gigantic squash of dubious use, fibrous and tasteless.
Los Angeles District
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County of San Bernardino
https://www.ocregister.com/2023/02/16/composting-meat-and-the-curious-case-of-an-artificial-turf-fungus/ Composting Meat and the Curious Case of a Turf Fungus – Orange County Register