Nicole Alderman wrote:(This is a list of--hopefully--all of Bryant RedHawk's awesome threads about soil microbiology. I made it a wiki that can be edited so that new threads can be added and hopefully short summaries of each thread will be next to the link for easy reference. I plan on putting a link to this thread on each thread so it's easy to find other's in the series.)
Bryant RedHawk's Epic Soil Series
What We Need to Know about SoilIs it dirt or is it soil? how to know what you're starting with so you can make it what you want it to become.
The Quest for Super SoilHow to do it for soil building, nature uses diversity (multiple methods) we should too.
What does Complete Soil do for the planet? Vitamins for Plants Settling the Dust around Biodynamic Applications Redhawk's Methods of Making the Biodynamic PreparationsThis thread goes into details on how to easily, and with just a few resources, make make preparations that increase certain types of soil mycrobiology to help specific types of plants' thrive
Getting the Biology We Want into Our Soil The wonderful world of water, soil and plants Water, how does it work for us, how does it work with soil and plants Nature's Internet How Plants talk to each other and the rest of their world personal research Redhawk's current research
Bacteri-Fungi and Nematodes Oh My! Examination of Accepted Soil Testing Proceedures Using a Microscope to improve your soil Let's talk about soil minerals Can we make Soil like Nature Does? The book unfolds here Things to know about compost how the soil food web works Improving clay soil fast and almost easy
Orin Raichart wrote:my parents purchased an a parcel which had nothing but alkaline clay on its surface when I was 4 1/2. we composted tons of grass clippings and composted everything from the kitchen. when I left home at 18, they had black soil 10 to 12 inches deep. others can help you with "not importing any mass from the outside" but our collection of grass clippings was well worth it
Brent Jmiller wrote:I find that trapping raw materials under or in clay promotes disease. Instead, I Penetrate the clay with a garden fork (or old potato fork even), mulch over with 10" broken leaves (chopped by lawnmower/leafvac etc.). Plant legumes and root crops through holes in the mulch at the original dirt/grassroots depth (diakon radish is awesome) this year, any crop next season. Plant roots are the natural tillers and will bring life to your clay as they gently mix in the leaf compost, which will attract earthworms and beneficial microbials and fungi. Allow Mother's helpers to make perfect living soil for your health and delicious produce! COVER THE MOTHER!
pusang halaw wrote:if you're concerned carbon will rob nitrogen from your soil, mix in ready-made compost if you have it at hand. if not, urine will keep up nitrogen levels up.
Seth Japheth wrote:
When you say compost do you mean that you guys dumped the kitchen scraps and grass clippings on top of the soil you wanted to garden on?
How did you harvest grass clippings?
Orin Raichart wrote:
Yes. dump kitchen scraps on top of the clay soil, grass clippings and other brown (dead and dried up to be brown) plant material) then use a shovel or pitch fork to turn over the whole mess every two weeks.
Some of the clay would get mixed into the whole mess too and in this way, soil was created. We'd use the grass clippings down the middle of the rows in the graden to keep weeds down (russian tumble weed would grow in the clay).We'd go to a nearby city to people who cut their own grass and ask for their grass clippings ( I'd make sure I understood what went on the grass as in herbicides, pesticides and other growth chemicals if you try this....now days, people aren't doing so many herbicides like they use to).We'd also get bags of leaves from yard rakings.To be fair for your knowledge, we also had about 50 to 100 meat rabbits, more chickens than I want to remember, a few meat cows and sheep. Their manure was also used on our garden. In the fall, after the garden was dead, we would spread the manure over the clay soil and turn it over with a pitch fork (not the hay style pitch for, but a 5 or 6 stiff thick pronged pitch fork). If you use chicken manure, make sure you let it set away from your garden for a year or two other wise it will kill your garden because it is too nitrogen "hot". Rabbit manure I felt was the best, you can use it right away and its nitrogen won't burn your garden.
Kevin Goheen wrote:In most cases avoid putting hard materials in the soil unless it is being left fallow afterwards or being used for hugelkultur. Also a note My father and I have used hardwood chips for several years now. They will not rob the soil provided them have time to heat up and decompose, usually for at least 6 months for where I live. The time may differ by climate. The longer you wait the better. If you need to amend the soil while planting you can do as I do with apples in our brick-making quality soil. Dig at least a 3 ft wide and long hole by at least 2 ft deep and replace with 1/3 native soil, 1/3 compost, and 1/3 loam top soil. It works very well and we can actually get apples now, whereas the roots were rotting off before.
An unpopular option you can do if you allow the land to remain fallow is lightly disc organic materials into the soil. This is not plowing, and this should not be done very often. However, if you cover the soil with say wood chips or leaf litter it will help to retain the soil in place and the discing will push the organic matter under the surface where in a year or two it can be better utilized. Also just making sure the soil has ample moisture through the year will allow organic matter to properly decompose into the soil. Also miscanthus grass makes an excellent mulching material that quickly breaking down into really nice top soil. We harvest some every year. And finally a way you may lighten the soil up is daikon radishes, which is common in agriculture now. Funny enough I found that where poison ivy was on the farm usually had lower soil compaction.
Seth Japheth wrote:
Thanks for clarifying. How high up did you stack it? Ive heard it should be four inches or less to not go anaerobic. When you spread the manure you said 'turn it over with a pitch fork' do you mean tilling it into the dirt with the pitch fork? I use my pet birds manure in a big pile of wood mulch and i try not to put it near my garden. If the manure is in only small amounts and mixed will it still burn the plants? I have guinea pigs that make a lot of manure but when i compost it it molds immediately and i wasnt sure of that is detrimental? Thanks again