• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Question on Well drained high N soil for Tea Plantation  RSS feed

 
Ryan Hobbs
Posts: 50
Location: Ohio
4
books forest garden woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The soil in my region is clay and rocks and tends to be Basic due to limestone deposits. In a book I have on cultivating tea, it recommends PH 5.5-6.5, well drained, nigtrogen rich, and the roots of Camelias tend to need oxygen more than most other plants. The book recommends filling holes on a slope with sand, lava rock, manure, and wood chips. Lava rock and sand are cheap, I'm not worried about that. What I am worried about is the wood and manure rotting  and using up the Oxygen. I'm also considering the problematic runoff ending up in my zone 1 annual gardens and zone 3 grain fields which would be downhill from the tea.

I don't have the land yet, but both of the places I'm going to see next week are on mountain sides and are close to each-other so the soil is reasonably similar based on the testing done by the realtor by my request. PH is variable, but loamy clay in bottoms and rocky clay on mountains. Lots of limestone bits and chips.

To boost acidity I have considered introduction of Lactobacillus kimchii bacteria on crop residues, oak or beech sawdust and slash for the tannic acid, and companion plants that give off acidic compounds (oak, birch, beech, hickory, fruit trees, etc).

For runoff, I am considering a swale down-slope of the tea in which a row of willows is planted. The tea itself would be in terraces inspired in shape by those in the Loess Plateau.
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 2549
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
210
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If Blueberries will grow in the soil, then Tea plants will grow there too. Neither like wet feet, both are heavy feeders and both very much want access to O2 at the roots.
But, consider that blueberries can be found wild fairly near "boggy ground" just not in it, so we can consider that an indication of adaptability.
Tea is fairly adaptable too, just look at the different areas on the planet that currently grow tea as a crop.

If your soil has a pH higher than 6.8, then some acidification will indeed be needed, but you don't have to jump it down to the mid five range to have success, the tea plants will do some adjusting for you.

The biggest concern to address is soil drainage, as water seeps down, air is drawn into the very channels the water occupied.

When acidifying soil, you need to know what to expect in the way of molecular bonding, no sense in adding the wrong acid and finding later on you constructed poisons in your soil.

Have you studied the Loess Plateau constructions thoroughly? they are magnificent and they move water from the top tier to the bottom as a gentle flow.

Perhaps you might want to look at swale/berm/pond for the top of the slope followed by terraces all the way to the valley floor, just to make sure you choose the best water control method.

Redhawk
 
Ryan Hobbs
Posts: 50
Location: Ohio
4
books forest garden woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How's this? Pre-existing houses are on the ridge as is the pre-existing pond and 8-ish acre arable field.
Capture.JPG
[Thumbnail for Capture.JPG]
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 2549
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
210
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Those contour lines show a great deal, I would set my terraces so the head at a 1 degree slope towards that ridge line in the center, I would do it from both sides so you can then have a sheeting to the next downhill terrace.
I think the loess type constructions will work very well in that space.

Redhawk
 
Ryan Hobbs
Posts: 50
Location: Ohio
4
books forest garden woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Bryant RedHawk wrote:Those contour lines show a great deal, I would set my terraces so the head at a 1 degree slope towards that ridge line in the center, I would do it from both sides so you can then have a sheeting to the next downhill terrace.
I think the loess type constructions will work very well in that space.

Redhawk


Just for clarification...

The tight lines in a kink in the center is a keyline. I think the ridge line in the center that you are referring to is the area south of that where I have an area outlined in purple for a irrigation pond. I was planning a long running swale to feed into it from behind the houses. The existing field outlined in green is where the mountain peak is. The north side drops away into a hollow. The keyline was chosen for the tea because it shelters them from the winds that blow west to east all year in the region. Timber bamboo or evergreens may take up the upper terraces to block cold air from rolling down the keyline in the winter further sheltering it. The field outlined in green is 1140 ft above sea level, and the lower in altitude extremity to the north is 920 feet above sea level.

I believe you are telling me to give the water a long zigzag to flow down in the terraces when flood irrigating from the pond.
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 2549
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
210
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You have a good plan and yes that is what I was trying to get across.

( a key point is where water naturally gathers to create a gully)
In my steep area I use these places to put in a collection pond and run my swales off either side so the water does a slow flow to the end of the swale pond.
( My land doesn't have ridges to use for this, the ridge runs east - west and the land slopes north - south)

There is always a way to make the right adjustments to get the best water management you can for any site.
 
Not so fast naughty spawn! I want you to know about
permaculture bootcamp - boots-to-roots
https://permies.com/t/59706/permaculture-bootcamp-boots-roots
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!