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Creek Resources

Composting Glossary

Helpful terms for completing our Manure Share signup:

BEDDING: Dry absorbent materials used to provide a dry lying surface for livestock. Bedding materials such as paper, saw dust, wood pellets, and wood shavings absorb moisture from livestock wastes, the soil, and the environment.

COMPOST: Completely decayed organic matter. It is dark, odorless, and rich in soil benefits, making it easier for plants and other organisms to absorb.

COMPOSTING: The process by which gardeners convert organic matter into compost. The aerobic or anaerobic decomposition of organic and biodegradable material results in a nutrient-rich growing medium and soil amendment.

MANURE: The fecal and urinary excretion of livestock and poultry. Sometimes referred to as livestock waste. This material may also contain bedding (see above), spilled feed, water, or soil. It may also include wastes not associated with livestock excreta, such as milking center wastewater, contaminated milk, hair, feathers, or other debris.

MULCH: A material spread over the soil surface to conserve moisture and porosity in the soil underneath and to suppress weed growth. Mulch should not generally be mixed into the soil; it is not a fertilizer or soil amendment. There are many types of mulch, including partially decomposed compost, bark, wood chips, hay, nut shells, grass clippings, pine needles, straw, and others. The point is to cover bare ground so that top soil is not washed away, soil temperature is buffered, and weeds are reduced from lack of light. A good organic mulch will also supply nutrients to the earth as it decomposes. Often used for landscaping and erosion control, but does not have the soil and plant nutriment value and composition of rich, clean, compost.

ORGANIC system: Any material in the soil that was originally produced by living organisms, plant or animal.

YARD WASTE: grass clippings, leaves, and weeds and shrub and tree prunings six inches or less in diameter from a residence or business.

YARD - aka CUBIC YARD: A unit of measure equivalent to 27 cubic feet or 22 bushels. A cubic yard of compost-manure weighs approximately 900 lbs = about 0.45 tons. A box that is I yard wide, I yard long, and I yard high has a volume of I cubic yard. A cubic yard is often loosely referred to as a "yard" (for example, a one-yard bucket).


This list was compiled from information offered by many composting resources, found by Google Search HERE

Manure in the Home Garden, U of A Cooperative Extension: HERE

Manure Management, Prescott Creek: HERE


Reference Articles

Backyard Gardener, Yavapai County: HERE


Composting Animal Manure, Yuma County: HERE

Composting with Horse Manure guide: HERE

E. coli: Preventing E. Coli from Garden to Plate, Colorado State University Extension: HERE

Horse-Keeping: PDEQ Good Neighbor Guide, Pima County: HERE

Let It Rot HERE

Manure and Composting, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition: HERE

Manure Best Management Practices, Prescott CreekHERE

Manure Composting Techniques guide, City of Ranco Palos Verdes, Calif.: HERE

The OCWC Manure Share is a free manure exchange program for ARIZONA Residents and Business Owners that brings gardeners and landscapers searching for organic materials for use in composting or field applications in contact with farmers and livestock owners who have excess manure.

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