Üdv, Vendég
Felhasználóinév: Jelszó: Emlékezz rám

TÉMA: Dr. Elaine Ingham - Soil food web

Dr. Elaine Ingham - Soil food web 5 éve 9 hónapja #9413

  • Dr. Elaine Ingham
  • Dr. Elaine Ingham profilkép
  • TÁVOL
  • Junior Boarder
  • Hozzászólások: 34
  • Köszönetek száma: 87
Reply to #9403
My first question is a practical one: In our area the soil is generally considered unproductive, it is clayey sometimes without topsoil. Our family garden is a lot better, it was grassland for decades, maybe centuries. It has about 6" good topsoil, but under that it is very compacted, there is virtually no root activity, even big trees fail to penetrate.


I'm getting the feeling that everyone has the same compaction, poor-soil problem...... and let me also say that world-wide, the sorts of things people are saying on this forum are the same things being said all over the world.

Compaction, and "poor soil". There is no such thing as poor soil. I'll agree with poor dirt, but poor and soil are contradictory. If it was really soil, it would grow crop plants with no trouble.

The problem really comes from the educational system where private businesses are the only entities that seem to have money to spend on "research". That means, the research sponsored on soil has all been product-driven. When we think about soil life, it is hard to "productize" it. We need local organisms, and most certainly when it comes to life, one-size does not fit all. We need the indigenous critters. Try to grow a multi-national corporation when each valley really needs its own set of organisms.

Consider why the Green Revolution "worked"...... The only reason adding high concentrations of soluble inorganic salts of different kinds worked is only, and absolutely solely because the needed organisms in the soil had already pretty much been destroyed already.

No nutrient cycling in the soil? Wow, look how well our plants grow when we add back the soluble nutrients. But, if instead we had put back the missing organisms, we would see the same result, and further, if we maintain that life, we don't have to keep putting them back in.

Opps, ..... see why no business person wants to see this happen? How can someone sell you something if just by maintaining the system, you don't need to buy anything. If that fertilizer salesman can just once convince you to add something toxic to your organisms, or just once till and not put back the organisms killed by that tillage, see how the product world have now "gotcha".

So, please realize that if the proper sets of organisms are present in the soil, and you are growing plants so that there is food for those organisms, nothing else is needed. The plant puts out the exudates from photosynthesis to feed those bacteria and fungi that specifically make the enzymes to solubilize the needed nutrients from the rocks, pebbles, sand, silt, clay and organic matter. Those nutrients are held in the bacteria and fungi. the plant attracts the protozoa, nematodes, microarthropods, and these organisms eat the bacteria and fungi the plant has grown for them. When the bacteria and fungi are eaten by their predators, the precise balance of the nutrients the plant needs are released, and hte plant grows in a healthy fashion. If the plant is healthy, it doesn't succumb to disease, pests or parasites. Weeds can't out-compete the crop plant.

Too good to be true? But it is what nature does: look all around you at healthy forests, healthy "wild" blueberry patch, healthy meadows, healthy grasslands, healthy riparian areas. How can they continue to grow with no disease, no pests, and maximum plant production, year after year.

I know you probably actually know all this, but it might help you to have this discussion so you can show it to others, help them understand.

So where do nutrients come from in natural systems. there is an infinity of all plant-required nutrients in any kind of parent material. There is no parent material on the planet that lacks the nutrients needed to grow plants. Until the day you run out of rocks, sand, silt, or clay, there should be no need to apply a mineral fertilizer.

But your plants aren't healthy, aren't growing, you say? Because you lack life..... the aerobic, beneficial life, in your soil.

How to get it back? I wrote the process for doing that in a highly compacted clay soil in the previous two answers. If the compaction is so bad that an application of good, aerobic compost with the right life to return the missing sets of the food web to the soil did not do the trick (that means an examination was actually performed of the soil to see what was there and what was missing, and the compost was assessed to determine that the needed organisms were present in high concentrations), then adjust as follows. Lightly harrow into the surface of the soil a SMALL amount of crushed oyster shell (less than 100 kg/HA) before applying compost or compost extract a week later. But I only do that if I have proven to myself that the compost or extract does not work by itself.

Before the oyster shell application (absolutely DO NOT USE DOLOMITE!!!!!!!!), check compaction and determine how bad the compaction actually is. If you can get a metal rod to push into the soil easily, there is a certain amount of structure in the soil already, and the oyster shell is not needed.

So, I hope this helps, and please, let me know how things go.
Utolsó szerkesztés: 5 éve 9 hónapja Beküldte: Dr. Elaine Ingham.
Téma zárolva.
Az alábbi felhasználók mondtak köszönetet: ecovitka, AttilaK

Dr. Elaine Ingham - Soil food web 5 éve 9 hónapja #9415

  • Dr. Elaine Ingham
  • Dr. Elaine Ingham profilkép
  • TÁVOL
  • Junior Boarder
  • Hozzászólások: 34
  • Köszönetek száma: 87
Second part of #9403

Our big problem is water retention so I would like to deepen the topsoil. Do you think this is the good answer to the problem? What is the best method for doing that? These are what I plan to try out (besides adding organic matter and mulching):

- Aerating the undersoil with a broadfork: I have already tried it, it definitely helps a little in that year but I don't know if it also has positive effect on the soil.

- Simply mixing the topsoil with the next yellow layer.

- Removing the topsoil, mixing biochar to the undersoil and putting the topsoil back. (Mixing 4kg/m2 biochar to the topsoil had no visible effect.)

Deepening your topsoil is exactly what is needed. But fluffing the soil only benefits that soil for a short period of time, and then, if life has not gotten into the soil --- or maybe actually, dirt --- then the clays will just compact back down and you spent time and effort with very little to show for it. The answer is, when you fluff with the pitchfork, make sure you add good, aerobic compost and it gets gently, lightly mixed in. Don't break up the small aggregates of compost: that's the source of colonization of the dirt around that compost clump.

Don't water for a few days. If it rains, or you irrigate before structure is built, the water just compacts everything back down and it all goes anaerobic again. Puddling on hte soil surface is a sure indicator that the soil (or really, dirt) is compacted and there is no life doing its job to fix things. Help your critters out........ fluff, add organisms gently, let them have time, and maybe add food to help them out..... before beating them down with an application of water.

Don't try doing this when the soil is already dead dry. Organisms need water, and need to have water for a few weeks before they trust that they can safely come out to play and work.

Biochar is just crystallized organic matter. It doesn't compact down so it is much like vermiculite, perlite or other inert fluffy material, but it does not contain organisms, and it is not food for microorganisms either. But it is a physical structure element and can result in maintenance of better air and water flow through soil. Still you have to add organisms to the biochar if life is to be added when biochar is used.
Utolsó szerkesztés: 5 éve 9 hónapja Beküldte: Dr. Elaine Ingham.
Téma zárolva.
Az alábbi felhasználók mondtak köszönetet: ecovitka, tisztamo, AttilaK

Dr. Elaine Ingham - Soil food web 5 éve 9 hónapja #9416

  • Dr. Elaine Ingham
  • Dr. Elaine Ingham profilkép
  • TÁVOL
  • Junior Boarder
  • Hozzászólások: 34
  • Köszönetek száma: 87
Reply to #9404

The best buy I have found is a trinocular microscope (two eyepieces for your eyes, and a third port to set up your camera or video recorder), 4X, 10X and 40X objectives, mechanical stages with a focusable ABBE condensor (N.A. 1.25) with iris diaphragm so we can shadow. AN LED light source is best so you don't have to worry about changing light bulbs.

The trinocular compound microscope can be found for the best price at:

www.microscopenet.com/40x2000x-trinocula...osepiece-p-9047.html.

It is model M8311.

If you want the carrying case (soft or hard) these are separate.

Compost tea brewers: earthfort.com/products/brewers.html
Téma zárolva.
Az alábbi felhasználók mondtak köszönetet: gergo, ecovitka, AttilaK, kovibali

Dr. Elaine Ingham - Soil food web 5 éve 9 hónapja #9417

  • Dr. Elaine Ingham
  • Dr. Elaine Ingham profilkép
  • TÁVOL
  • Junior Boarder
  • Hozzászólások: 34
  • Köszönetek száma: 87
In practice, how can it be carried out to use two cattle's manure which accumulates 10 tons a year as compost tea? It is enough for five hectar orchard?

Reply to 9406:

Any waste material needs to be composted and can be either thermal, or worm composted in order to make certain that the disease-causing organisms, the pests, the parasites, etc are gone. As a secondary control measure, make sure the habitat during and after composting selects for beneficial organisms. Beneficial organisms should be selected for, and not any disease organisms that might happen to fall into or otherwise contaminate the compost.

So, composting is critical. The recipe used as a starting recipe for anyone to start composting and learning how this is done is:
1. 10% high N material (e.g., manures, legumes, germ of seeds; C:N = 1:10 or thereabouts)
2. 40% green plant material (must be a mixture and better if it is actually still juicy; C:N 30:1 or thereabouts)
3. 50% wide C:N materials (e.g., woody, wood chips, sawdust, paper, cardboard, stalks, standing dead material; C:N around 100 or greater)

Percents are in volume as long as you remember to pack things down when estimating percentages. From the first pile you make, you start to learn what YOUR plant materials are like and how you will adjust the recipe to always get good temperatures or keep your worms happy. worms are strict aerobic organisms, and they will try to leave the building if something is wrong in the worm bin.

So if you have 10 tons of manure per year, you can make 100 tons of good compost.

For a 5 hectare orchard, you really only need to be making 14 tons of compost ...... 5 times 2.5 tons/HA = 12.5 tons, plus maybe another ton for making extracts and teas as needed through the growing season.
Téma zárolva.
Az alábbi felhasználók mondtak köszönetet: AttilaK

Dr. Elaine Ingham - Soil food web 5 éve 9 hónapja #9418

  • ecovitka
  • ecovitka profilkép
  • TÁVOL
  • Administrator
  • Hozzászólások: 1170
  • Köszönetek száma: 527
Dear Elaine,
Thank you for yor wonderful answers. It gives me hope that actually the bottom line of healthy soil might really be simple.
Do you think it is a good method to determine the health of the soil in my garden by comparing its biological compostion with a sample from a healthy undisturbed forest soil that is near my place? I would think that there is no perfect distribution of different beneficial organisms, but it varies from place to place. Is that right? Is there any other way to determine what kind of organisms are missing from a particular soil? Are there other factors I need to consider? Like what kind of plants I would like to grow?

I have many different sources of organic "waste" and I create different compost piles depending on the season. Sometimes I have access to fallen leaves only. At other times I can mix it with grass clippings and other higher N material. Some of my piles have only leaves and have no added water at all. They decompose much slower and some never heat up over 30 C. In terms of beneficial organisms is this material inferior to a properly prepared compost with sufficient water and C:N ratio at the start? What might be the difference? Can beneficials deal with pathogens at lower temps? How can I see the difference between pathogens and beneficials on a microscope?

How do you prepare the soil and compost samples for the microscope?
Téma zárolva.

Dr. Elaine Ingham - Soil food web 5 éve 9 hónapja #9419

  • Dr. Elaine Ingham
  • Dr. Elaine Ingham profilkép
  • TÁVOL
  • Junior Boarder
  • Hozzászólások: 34
  • Köszönetek száma: 87
Reply to part 1 of 9418:

Thank you for yor wonderful answers. It gives me hope that actually the bottom line of healthy soil might really be simple.

Glad to be appreciated! Thank you!

And yes, soil health is really simple to maintain. If we can get permanent, low-growing plants constantly covering our soil, and thus feeding the microorganisms, i.e., the full food web, whether in orchards, row crops or garden situations, there should never be any trouble with weeds, diseases, pests, drought, or any of the other problems that "modern" agriculture has forced farmers into.

Well, there's some history there that we might need to discuss if everyone isn't familiar with the causes of the "Green Revolution", but that's another time.....

Once the organisms are back and being maintained by the plants you grow, our job mainly becomes managing which plant you want to eat. There needs to be adjustments made in biology when making drastic changes in crop, say from a mustard crop to a vineyard, but other than that, just keep plants growing in the soil will maintain systems in a healthy fashion.

Oh darn! I have to plan in advance what we're going to want to eat next year! LOL! Make a little compost to make a compost extract to soak my seeds in, plant, and the system should maintain itself. What could be easier?
Téma zárolva.
Az alábbi felhasználók mondtak köszönetet: ecovitka, AttilaK, kovibali
Oldal elkészítésének ideje: 0.354 másodperc
Az fórum motorja a Kunena Fórum