r ranson wrote: ...
The first step is to transform this dirt into soil.
I'm feeling bad about starting a no-till with a rototiller. I did try it without first. I'm also reading a lot of permaculture design books right now and they all seem to start with earthworks. Earthworks disturb the soil. But it's just done once.
The second step will be to seed and scythe. With luck, something will grow and come fall, I can spread a fall cover crop mix on the area and scythe down whatever grew this spring. If I'm lucky, the soil will be somewhat repaired by this time next year and I can grow something edible on it (I'm hoping chickpeas and/or oats) but it might take another year. But at least my chicken is fertilising while she's digging up my seed.
r ranson wrote:It's gone terribly. The seeds germinate and then grow about an inch, then nothing. It's like they only had enough internal energy to grow that high. There's not enough neglect to kill them, but there's nothing there to help them grow.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:I gave your plot some more thought over this weekend and I may have come up with an easy to do setup that will get you to the point of plants growing.
Let me know if you want the step by step setup to try out R.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:One of the most interesting things about mulches that I have found is that they can be detrimental when not enough rainfall occurs.
In areas where fogs are the main moisture providers they can actually keep that moisture from getting to the soil surface and thus don't work the way they should.
In that type of environment it is a better use of mulch materials to work them into the soil so they form a medium for fungal and bacterial growth while at the same time providing air pathways which can direct moisture down where we need it to be.
The one constant I have found in over 40 years of research is that there is never going to be a singular way to do anything productive to creating soil.
Most of my findings point to multiple methods working in unison to reach the desired end effects.
It is the same fallacy that modern farmers have fallen for, that there is a singular way to grow the most per acre, when the data shows clearly that there isn't a universal remedy.
If we don't approach a problem from every angle we can imagine, we reduce our hope of success.
Nature never uses one particular methodology over all others, instead she hits a problem from all angles, sometimes all at once and other times in successive rounds.
Animals are wonderful tools as are deep rooting green manure crops and leaf litter, since the soil is fueled by decomposition the greater number of options we give those decomposing organisms the better they thrive and the more fertile the soil becomes from the diversity.
Kai Walker wrote:Did you know that humus can last a whopping 1,000 YEARS!