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Pond Muck - Additive to Compost or Biochar?

 
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Hey folks, I have access to a large, mature dugout, clay base, with tons of cattails and water plants rotting merrily on the edges. This offers an infinite supply of nice stinky pond mud that is chock full of bio matter.

I'm contemplating dredging some of this out as natural fertilizer for raspberries, an additive to compost, or a soak to inoculate biochar. I dont mind that it's anaerobic; I work with that sort of stuff all the time.

What do you think?

[Edited thread title to "muck" - much better description!]
 
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OOOH YES!!
The Aztec chinampas were fertilized that way, and were amazingly productive!
I'd say you could mix the mud with either one.

Chinampas in Mexico
 
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I'm envious of your supply of pond muck. I think it hosts a diversity of things that would be beneficial to either application. A nice spike of microbes and nutrients to add to any party.
 
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Before synthetic nitrogen fertilizer is available, pond muck had been one important source of nitrogen for agriculture, besides manure/humanure and biological N fixation. Just drain, sun dry and break it up in to small clots. Pond muck is likely to have a low pH due to the accumulation of organic acids under anaerobic conditions. Mix with lime to adjust pH if needed.
 
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Yes! You can mix it with drier compost if it's too thick and dense. I remember that soil which was under water for some time contains some mineral which plants need... but I don't rememer which one. Was it phosphorus, or maybe potassium...? Of course not just this one, but maybe it's more concentrated in pond mud. I should probably find that source again ;)
 
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A friend's dad dredged out a bunch of muck from his pond and dumped it in a big heap on the shore, and then the summer drought hit and it turned into concrete. Ecosystem is everything!
Take away lessons:
1. don't just dig it out and dump it... try incorporating it, or building an actual hugel with it, tucking it in around branches and logs maybe?
2. not all muck is the same - some will be mostly decomposing organic matter, some will have a heavy clay component, some may have more sand.
3. consider working with it a little like lasagne gardening, where it's layered and most importantly, where there are planting holes so lots of seeds with roots get established quickly.

Notice that in the pictures Pearl posted, the raised beds have a ready source of water - I think that's an important feature, but I've never had the privilege of trying it. I did try a couple of wicking pots last year, and found it was a fine balance between too much moisture so the roots didn't get enough oxygen vs drying out too far and the plants suffering - *very* small scale here - 5" x 6 1/2" by 4" deep growing lettuce plants. I wanted "front porch lettuce" so I could grab a few leaves for sandwiches just because I *wanted* to. But it was also to learn more about the concept by doing.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Hey Jay, it's always been my intention to use this as a part of a mix and not by itself. I also haven't used it before so I'll be diluting it and testing its quirks and moods. The location is also surrounded (but buffered) with big ag farming operations, and I'm always amused by placing thumb on nose and giving a raspberry. Guess it's my wayward nature haha.

Edit:
I'm hoping this can be a source of very early nitrogen and bioactivity, to get the ball rolling long before traditional compost wakes up from the deep freeze sleep. It's beyond frustrating to be completely shut down for 5+ months every year. I require hands in soil. Give me some stinky stuff to work with.
 
My honeysuckle is blooming this year! Now to fertilize this tiny ad:
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