The Josephine Porter Institute For Applied Biodynamics, Inc.
201 East Main St., Suite 14, Floyd, Virginia 24091, USA • Tel (540) 745-7030

Directions for Use of Biodynamic Preparations #502 to #507 in Compost or Manure Piles

Use at once in a pile that is moist throughout. In a dry pile, or one so wet as to exclude air, these preps cannot function to their best effectiveness. If necessary, to keep them a few days, store in a cool, damp, dark place (but not the refrigerator), and away from electrical circuits and machinery. They should not be completely shut away from air, yet with drying, they deteriorate.

The maximum amount of material that can be treated with one set of 502-507 is 15 tons. That is a pile about 21 feet long, 6 feet wide and as high as may be with sloping sides. A smaller pile still needs a whole set.

The 502 to 506 are humus-like materials; the 507 is liquid. All are made from plants. Each must go in its own separate hole, no mixing. Make 6 crowbar holes scattered evenly over the pile, deep enough so that a preparation dropped to the bottom will be about half way down the pile. Empty the little envelopes of 502 to 506 into your hand, one at a time, and drop each into its hole. The 507 liquid is emptied into a gallon of lukewarm water (preferably rain water, but at least not water containing chemicals), and stirred vigorously for 10 full minutes, first in one direction, then in the other, alternating rhythmically every few seconds. Divide the gallon in half. Pour one half into the sixth hole. Then fill up all the holes with old compost or good soil, or ram them shut so that no air pocket is left around the preparations. The other half-gallon of liquid is sprayed over the whole pile in a fine mist spray and from a clean sprayer, free of chemical residues.

The 502 to 507 will give maximum effect if used promptly on raw, fresh manure, or newly piled compost. It is even better to lay them on a half finished pile, so as to begin getting their effect sooner, provided there is ample material to cover them well at once and avoid any danger of drying.

Do not fail to watch your pile, digging into the sides, occasionally. It should not get hot. A temperature of about 120 degrees F. is best; over 150 degrees is harmful. Moisture conditions are very important. For either too much or too little moisture, a crowbar helps. Make crowbar holes all over the pile. This lets in air and dries it out. Gray mold indicates too much heat and resulting dryness. For this, turn the hose into the holes for a while. Close the holes after a few days. A pile that has gotten thoroughly dry must be remade. Turn it over, wetting it thoroughly as it is turned. A pile in proper condition from the start should not need turning. Earthworms are a sign of good progress, but they disappear when decay is complete, leaving their capsules behind.

With either manure or compost, there are 3 stages of fermentation towards humus:

1) The original smell disappears and the material takes on a woodsy odor. This may take only a few days.
2) The color becomes uniform dark brown.
3) The original texture disappears and it looks like rich soil.

For best results, do not use until the end of this process, when the humus will keep indefinitely with protection from sun and drying winds and with sufficient moisture. If necessary to use before stage three, do not plow under, but mix only with topsoil so air still has access to it. A second pile on the same foundation will, generally, do better than the first and have even more earthworms.