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Soil ecology, succession and culturing microbes

 
Cody DeBaun
Posts: 34
Location: Denton, TX United States Zone 8a
5
dog forest garden toxin-ectomy
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So I've been thinking a lot lately about soil ecology. This thread especially, with all the recent conversation there, has been very enlightening. Here are the connections I'm trying to make, and the paths I'm hoping to take:

- It seems pretty well established both in the scientific community and among permies that a robust soil ecology, teeming with a diverse range of microbial life, is essential to long term, sustainable fertility, stability, productivity. The difficult questions from there seem to be how to get it, what makes it, what maintains it, what destroys it, etc.

- It also seems the consensus is that succession occurs as much under the ground as it does above ground. A general rule of thumb seems to be that more Annual/non-woody/early stage soils are bacterial, while perennial/woody/late stage soils are more fungal.

- So I'm thinking, I should be targeting any microbial applications with that successional mindset, right?
- All the IMO stuff I've seen involves burying a box of rice in a forest. Do you think a similar effect could be achieved buried in a prairie? One that is more useful for us on a garden bed?
- Or even if not providing direct microbes, I should mulch with succession in mind? Or does it not make as big of a difference as I'm thinking?
- Is there any evidence to support the idea that, for example, pioneer tree wood mulch benefits mid-successional trees more than, say, mulch from a climax tree?
- What about evidence of the microbial effects of animal manures? I've heard multiple permaculturists talk about using chickens or pigs for food forests, and am quite familiar with the way cows hold back forest. A number of them have talked about the mechanical portions of this process, but what about the microbial effects of their manures?


Thoughts?
 
Joseph Lofthouse
garden master
Posts: 2105
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
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My strategy is that the world is awash in microbes, and that each kind will live where conditions are appropriate for it to live.

 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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