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Fixing the soil where a burn barrel sat  RSS feed

 
Jessica Hill
Posts: 23
Location: Schoharie County, NY
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Good Morning Permies!

Can anyone suggest a strategy for repaing the soil from under a burn pile? Our new home had a very large (3ft across and 2ft high) metal ring that the previous owners used as a burn barrel for all their garbage. We were able to move the ring and scrape up most of the remaining ash, junk and whatnot that was still in the bottom. Burning garbage has been illegal in NY for about 10 year now...but it looks like the previous owners didn't give two hoots about that. I can only assume they burned everything and anything they wanted to. We found metal bits, springs, charred wood bits, a couple of shell casings, etc. (No we didn't not spread the ash around on the property...my gut instinct said that was a bad idea...it's in a hazardous waste container for my garbage guy to take)

The scarred portion of the yard is actually over a large stump (probably was a very old pine tree). How do I repair the soil? I'd like to plant a flowering dogwood tree or some other pretty shade tree there eventually, as it is in the dead center of what little yard I have.

I've got some clover seeds and some flowering pollinator mixes...should I just start throwing stuff on there and see what takes?

Thank you all for your help!
Warmest Regards,
Jess
 
allen lumley
pollinator
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Jessica Hill : Welcome to Permies.com, our sister site Richsoil.com, and a personal howdy from another New Yorker ! We can at least pretend that the

'Burn Barrel' started as a misplaced attempt to remove the big pine stump ! Yes this patch can be rehabilitated, Fungi is/are the answer !

Here is a useful link, to another Thread here at permies . Enjoy The paul stamets video in an attached link there !

http://www.permies.com/t/41088/fungi/Paul-Stamets-Lecture-fungi-bees#322650

You may also like to do a google search for ' Mother Tree " for a look at what happens at the roots of All Plants !

For the Good of the Crafts ! Big AL








 
Jessica Hill
Posts: 23
Location: Schoharie County, NY
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allen lumley wrote:Jessica Hill : Welcome to Permies.com, our sister site Richsoil.com, and a personal howdy from another New Yorker ! We can at least pretend that the

'Burn Barrel' started as a misplaced attempt to remove the big pine stump ! Yes this patch can be rehabilitated, Fungi is/are the answer !

Here is a useful link, to another Thread here at permies . Enjoy The Paul Stamets video in an attached link there !

http://www.permies.com/t/41088/fungi/Paul-Stamets-Lecture-fungi-bees#322650

You may also like to do a google search for ' Mother Tree " for a look at what happens at the roots of All Plants !

For the Good of the Crafts ! Big AL


Thank you for the warm welcome! And also thank you for pointing me in the direction of Paul Stamets. I feel that this was a very seredipitous moment in many regards!
Firstly - iflscience is a personal favorite of mine <3
I was also born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and can remember the discovery in Crystal Falls.
My husband has innoculated logs with oyster and shitake spawn all over our property - we have some totems, piles, innoculated logs under a small hugel bed...if he could experiment by putting spawn on it...my husband did it!


The downside is that the stump is so badly burned/scorched/stained from years of crud on it...we really don't know what kind of stump it is. What would you suggest for innoculating it? Wine Caps? The Honey Fungs in the iflscience article seems like it may help for the short term but then be a pain later on if it's going to start consuming the other trees eventually. Or did I misinterpret the article? (That's a high probability since I've expanded my new permaculture/botanical/EVERYTHING vocabulary so quickly I'm rather playing catchup...I should probably make flash cards)

We have lots of naturally sprouting mushrooms all around as well though I am not able to identify them accurately. Should I just cross my fingers and see if they naturally take over now that there isn't so much STUFF on it?

Just when I think I've got an answer...more questions.

Thank you again Big Al, if you're ever down near Schoharie County area...give a holler, it'd be nice to meet a fellow permie!

~Jess
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
58
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Jessica Hill : See the link below, if getting rid of the stump is a priority I would try this technique ! If Soil healing is a 1st priority I would still make the cuts,
as a minimum this should tell you if you are dealing with a hardwood or a resinous evergreen type tree ! I think i would just cover with a humus mostly
consisting of well rotted Hardwood leaves and seeing what mother nature does !


http://www.permies.com/t/47549/composting/pet-poop-accelerate-decomposition-tree

Think like Fire, Flow like a Gas! Don't be a Marshmallow ! For the Good of the Crafts ! Big AL
 
Hester Winterbourne
Posts: 212
Location: West Midlands UK (zone 8b)
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For the soil, rather than the stump, Fireweed is nature's post-fire pioneer. Has uses too. When I told my Canadian hosts that in the UK we call it Rosebay Willowherb, they fell about laughing. I tend to think in North America you are more to-the-point with your plant names!

Or, you could just make a big raised bed over the top of the stump?
 
Jessica Hill
Posts: 23
Location: Schoharie County, NY
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chicken forest garden hugelkultur
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I showed my husband the linked thread...he got really excited. Not so much about the dog poop, but about the method and possibilities. So yea, that's happening!

It appears we will be borrowing a relative to come make the cuts for us, we're both unsure about using a chainsaw. Then it will turn into a quasi-compost pile.

I really should go take pictures, and keep a record of what we're doing...think I'll do that after work today.

Cheers!
~Jess
 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1667
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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My instinct is to make a great big compost heap over it. The heat and humidity of the heap, along with all the micro-organisms and nutrients will heal the soil web and also facilitate biological breakdown of the stump.
 
chad Christopher
Posts: 310
Location: Pittsburgh PA
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I agree with Michael, i am a big fan of on site soil remediation. Also a big fan of less work.
Maybe stick a big magnet on a spade and flip the ash/soil a few times to pick up those metal chunks.
 
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