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Amendments for the organic orchard

 
Patrick Mann
Posts: 302
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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Can you give some more insight into the amounts, types, and timing of application of amendments? Which of these are produced on-site and which are external inputs?
 
Stefan Sobkowiak
permaculture orchardist
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Patrick Mann wrote:Can you give some more insight into the amounts, types, and timing of application of amendments? Which of these are produced on-site and which are external inputs?

Big question Patrick. I touch on it in the film. The 3 essentials for a healthy soil: organic matter, minerals, soil life. Forget all the rest. Use what you have on site or can easily get for organic matter (except sawdust, not a good C-N ratio). Biochar will become one of the absolute best OM additions in the next few years, as long as it is charged before using. Add minerals to REJUVENATE your soil. You have occasional dusting of minerals from volcanic eruptions to make your soils younger, that's great. Otherwise basalt is excellent mineral in most situations. See Joanna Campe's magazine Remineralize as a great resource on mineral subject. Soil life is best given as compost (always apply on cloudy evening before a rain for best soil life effect, those micro herd die in the sun). Or as aerobic compost tea for larger areas. That's the insights. Now for the details.
Amount is money in the bank. None of these will burn or damage our soil so be generous and the soil will be generous back for years to come.
Timing ASAP but don't kill the micro herds.
On-site: as much as possible, external mostly for the minerals. Soil test will give you an idea of what key elements may be lacking.
Copy nature and surface apply. Never add amendments in the planting hole (see research by Dr. Carl Whitcomb on the subject, don't argue with me, I use his info for technique of planting).
 
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