How to use

Quick Return Herbal Compost Activator

100% Organic Origin

The quickest, easiest, way to convert waste vegetable matter into rich, sweet-smelling, organic compost.

Q.R. -- the natural method

Quick Return compost activator is a powder which, when mixed with water, will rapidly and easily reduce to a rich humus all your waste vegetable material. The solution made from Q.R. powder acts directly upon the vegetable matter and all you need to do is to build a heap as explained in this booklet, adding the Q.R. solution whilst you build the heap. Nothing could be simpler or easier.

All waste vegetable matter must be rotted before it can be used for growing crops. Unless treated with Q.R. solution there will be big losses of nitrogen and other plant nutrients during the process of rotting. Q.R. prevents these losses and quickly produces a friable material which will invariably grow much heavier crops than will untreated vegetable waste. The finished compost from a Q.R. heap is a fine, crumbly, dark material which is sweet-smelling and very pleasant to handle and use.

To "Activate" Compost

Q.R. solution will break down more rapidly the waste materials and give the finished compost a finer texture, and, above all, "balance" the compost so that it will grow heavier and healthier crops.

How to Mix Your Q.R. Solution

First make a solution by taking one small teaspoonful (level, not heaped up), of Q.R. powder and mix it with one pint of water (preferably rain water). A one-pint bottle is useful for this purpose. After mixing, shake well and let it stand for a few minutes. One pint of solution is sufficient to treat a compost heap three feet square by three feet high, and should be used in proportion for larger heaps. The solution will keep for several weeks, but should be discarded as soon as it begins to smell sour. Use as directed in the following paragraphs:- Activating The Heap, Septic Tanks and Urine Tanks, Deep Litter Houses and Stockyards.

Approximate Metric equivalent -- one gramme of Q.R. powder is mixed with half a litre of rain water to activate one cubic metre of compost neap.

Q.R. is very economical to use. You will find the amount we recommend is amply sufficient for its purpose ... so, please use the suggested quantities to get the best results in the most economical way.

How to Make Good Compost

It is easy to make good compost if the principles are understood. The value of your compost will depend on three things: the materials, the method of building the heap, and the activator used. Q.R. Activator will make the most valuable compost of all, richest in nitrogen ... and make it quickly.

It is quite unnecessary to use any animal manure at all if you use Q.R. One of its virtues is that it will break down purely vegetable waste into rich, sweet-smelling compost of much higher fertilizing value than untreated farmyard manure.

Waste vegetable matter is broken down into compost in the heap by the action of bacteria. These bacteria must, therefore, be introduced into the heap in the form of soil or old compost. Only an occasional sprinkling is required, as Q.R. stimulates bacterial growth so rapidly that decomposition spreads quickly through the whole heap. Bacteria increase more rapidly at high temperatures, so keep the heap warm. Bacteria also need air, so keep the heap open by mixing the material used. The heap should not be allowed to become too tightly packed down through oversaturation with water; on the other hand, a certain proportion of moisture is essential so do not let the heap dry out. In hot, dry climates, make sure that all your materials are thoroughly moist before putting them on the heap. In short: make your heap warm, build it quickly, keep it covered, not too wet or dry, and not airtight.

Materials to Use

Grass mowings; annual weeds; pea, tomato and bean haulms; lettuce and cabbage leaves; prunings; old stalks of perennial flowers; weeds; cabbage stumps (best cut short lengths and crushed); uncooked vegetable waste from the kitchen (not metal); tea leaves; coffee residues; vacuum cleaner dust; hedge clippings; etc. etc. In fact, any vegetable matter which is not too tough to be cut with a spade. A proportion of sawdust can be included, but not too much -- up to 10 per cent. Animal manures of all kinds may also be added to the heaps, if available. Also, these wastes where available:

Citrus; banana; pineapple and sugar cane refuse; coconut fibre; tobacco stems and leaves, etc.

Every bit of waste vegetable matter (apart from wood or branches of trees) can be turned to good use.

Nourish your soil with sweet smelling Q.R. organic compost and remember, a Q.R. heap does not attract flies and other pests.

Building the Heap

First mark out the size of your heap -- either square or oblong. Build directly on the soil. Good drainage is essential. Never build on concrete. The easiest way to keep a heap in good shape is to build each layer from the outside and work in towards the centre, instead of building from the centre outwards. Place the first forkfuls right round the edges so that the walls of each layer assume an ever-increasing thickness until the centre is completely filled in. Perennial and seeded annual weeds should be in the centre of the heap. Build in four to six inch straight layers (10 to 15 cms.), Alternating tougher fibrous stuff with lawn mowings, coffee residues and succulent weeds. Another method is to mix the material on the ground before building the heap. Should you have only one kind of material, divide the layers with a scattering of soil. Cut long stems into 12-inch lengths; this releases the juices and they pack better.

The quickest results of all are obtained if the materials are shredded before use and this is strongly recommended for large commercial heaps; though the small truck or yard gardener does not usually have equipment suitable for this purpose. Grass cuttings and coffee residues should always be mixed with more fibrous types of materials when building the layers in the heap so as to ensure adequate aeration.

Activating the Heap

Activate the heap as you build it by lightly sprinkling Q.R. solution over the surface of each four-inch to six-inch layer (10-15 cms.). Cover the sprinkled layer at once with fresh material. Add a scattering of soil on top of every foot (30 cms.) of fresh material. Some gardeners also give a light dusting of garden lime, but this is optional. The heap will sink, so keep adding to it. Always keep the last layer covered with sacking or similar material; in this way the damp heat is prevented from escaping. Keep the sides of the heap straight till it is about three feet high. Then finish by rounding off the heap in a dome shape on top. Preferably cover with a little soil to keep out the rain. Remember ... aeration is essential. The micro-organisms and other soil workers must breathe.

A healthy soil contains countless millions of beneficial micro-organisms whose work it is to restore fertility. Q.R. compost is an ideal culture medium in which these micro-organisms can proliferate; first in the compost heap and later in the soil when the Q.R. compost is applied. Q.R. organic compost is the natural way to restore health and fertility to an impoverished soil.

Care After Building

Keep the heap warm, as bacteria increase more rapidly at high temperatures. The rise in temperature in a heap depends on the protection afforded and the speed of building. The damp heat escapes quickly; hence the importance of a sack over the top of the heap. When the heat reaches the surface, it is a sign that the micro-organisms are working on the top layer; if you add a fresh layer, even a small one, they pass instantly into it and within twelve hours the new addition will be as hot as the layers below. Had you waited a week, the micro-organisms would have withdrawn and your new addition would take days to re-start the heat. If the heap is soggy and smelly, it needs air. Open it out, loosen it, add a few spadefuls of top soil and re-activate it with Q.R. solution. If it is dry and grey with powder, loosen it, add soil, re-activate with Q-R. solution and drench with compost solution (a trowelful of ripe compost to a gallon of water). This is the best and easiest way of dealing with a new heap.

A spring or summer heap will be ready in about four to six weeks; a late summer or autumn heap in about eight to twelve weeks. Remember, a heap breaks down very slowly during the winter months. Test the heap, when you think it is ready, by digging out a trowelful of compost; if it smells sweet, the heap is ready for use.

Treat stockyards and deep litter poultry houses. Q.R. will prevent smell and greatly improve the end product.

Treat household septic tanks and animal urine tanks. Q.R. removes smell and produces a balanced liquid manure which can safely and profitably be applied directly to crops.

Septic Tanks and Urine Tanks

Smell may be entirely removed and the contents, by treating with Q.R., be made fit for direct application to growing crops. Make up a Q.R. solution, using a teaspoonful of powder for every cubic yard or metre of tank volume. Shake up this powder in a pint of water and soak a few handfuls of sand with the solution. Scatter the sand over the surface of the tank; as it sinks it will release the Q.R. throughout the whole volume of the tank. Alternatively, make up a pint solution with a teaspoonful of powder and flush down toilet. Repeat once a week.

Deep Litter Houses and Stockyards

Make up a Q.R. solution at normal strength, allowing one pint for every 50 square feet (5 sq. metres) of surface area. Mix this with sufficient water to allow the whole area to be wetted by watering with a rosed can. Repeat once a month. The resulting compost will be much richer than if the material had been left untreated, and with the Q.R. humus you will be able to grow heavier crops.

Using a Bin

It is easier to make good compost in a bin, as the walls will keep out the rain and keep in the heat. The bin, in effect, is a box without a base and can be made to any design according to the material available, but remember that aeration is essential. Therefore, leave spaces between the boarding. A roof to the bin may be provided in districts of heavy rainfall, a sheet of corrugated iron is quite suitable.


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