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Probiotics for the Soil?  RSS feed

 
Anne Miller
pollinator
Posts: 749
Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Due to DH, I am not allowed to compost or try worm bins.  Presently I give all vegetable and fruit scraps to the wildlife.  This method has worked for the last 3 years.

I am interested in adding nutrients to the soil.  I currently bury all coffee ground in the garden.  I would like to do more.

I am not interesting in doing EM or other involved methods.

Saybian Morgan wrote: I have 25 jar's of all sort's of lacto fermented foods in the fridge, from salsa to plums and where experimenting with pumpkin. Had I realized those effective microrganism had a real name and wasn't just a slogan I wouldn't have drank all the ferment juice from all those pickled product's, I could have thrown them on the foodscraps and shut them up in a bin. I'm glad to have changed my perspective, these green website's that market market market can so quickly leave a bad taste in your mouth that you can end up not wanting anything to do with the craze like I did. 

Since my mind is reeling from the door being reopened, I guess I have a newbie question.
I've been picking up that there are different wait periods for different blends and there seems to be a theme of the final process being completed in the soil.
https://permies.com/t/11246/bokashi

What I would like to experiment with is making ferments out of my food scraps by the quart and then burying the resulting product.

Will this add something beneficial to the soil?  Or will I just be wasting my time?
 
stephen lowe
Posts: 45
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Depending on your soil type I think that you could just bury your food scraps a small amount at a time, without fermentation, and get the benefits of compost slowly. Sort of a sneaky, below ground, compost pile. Interesting to see what people think about fermented foods special additions though. What I understand about soil probiotics that are commercially available is they are primarily compost extracts and I haven't often seen lactobacilli species listed on inoculant labels but I'm interested to hear other peoples thoughts.
 
Dawn Hoff
Posts: 504
Location: AndalucĂ­a, Spain
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stephen lowe wrote:Depending on your soil type I think that you could just bury your food scraps a small amount at a time, without fermentation, and get the benefits of compost slowly. Sort of a sneaky, below ground, compost pile. Interesting to see what people think about fermented foods special additions though. What I understand about soil probiotics that are commercially available is they are primarily compost extracts and I haven't often seen lactobacilli species listed on inoculant labels but I'm interested to hear other peoples thoughts.

I think you are right. When you ferment foods you essentially want good soil bacteria to proliferate and you use your cabbage etc as food for those bacteria. To prevent the bad bacteria from proliferation you add salt (or make solution very sour) - the salt isn't very good for your soil. I think it an unnecessary laborious step to ferment the foods prior to composting. But I do throw any ferments that has gone bad to my compost heap (yesterday I fed my worms a huge kombucha SCOBY which had been infected by vinegar eels), which add good bacteria to a relatively dead soil.

If you are lacking bacteria in your soil - a nettle tea might be an idea.
 
Anne Miller
pollinator
Posts: 749
Location: USDA Zone 8a
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I have alkaline soil due to lots of limestone rock.

I thought about just burying the food scraps but like the idea of given them to the wildlife better.

For the ferments I wasn't planing on using salt.  I plan to use the liquid from previous ferments.  I don't think the amount of salt will affect the soil much since I will not be planting into it right away. I am not sure how much salt is in the liquid anyway.

I have read about people making it in 5 gallon buckets with gamma lids using the weeds they have available or even hay.

It seems to me that fermented foods have already gone through a process to make the LAB thus are a little more than just fresh scraps.

The reason for making it in quart jars is that DH is used to seeing that and will just think that I am fermenting something.  He would never let me use a five gallon bucket with a gamma lid.  He would say it won't work and will trash up the place.

 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 2844
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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First off I need to say how sorry I am that your DH has such a narrow viewpoint.

The easy way to do what you describe as wanting to do is to just ferment as normal then rinse once, saving that rinse water (you can safely use it to water plants that are in ground not potted plants).
That way should DH get curious, nothing would be given away as to what you are up to.

I would do the burying in circular trenches around your plants and trees. I've had decent successes with layers of "composting vegetables", soil, and so on. The big thing is to have at least 4 inches of soil for the top cover in my tests.

Redhawk
 
Anne Miller
pollinator
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:First off I need to say how sorry I am that your DH has such a narrow viewpoint.


Thanks for the words of encouragement.  I am not sure I can dig 4" deep [hoping for 3"].  I plan to put a large rock over the test sites.  Actually in terms of sizes of rocks these would be small rocks as I have lots of boulder size rocks.  My test sites don't have plants growing at the present time.  It is an annual bed for bluebonnets and firewheels which all died from lack of rain.  If I see improvements then I will use my technique elsewhere.   I am hoping to see the results next spring by looking at the size of plants.  The firewheels that grow there are only 1 ft tall versus the firewheels in my monarch garden are 3 to 4 ft tall.  I have always thought it was my seed source not nutrients.  It is basically all the same soil as I have made no amendments nor have I watered the bed.

I am not expecting to have a problem with critters digging up my test sites.  I may be mistaken.
 
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https://permies.com/t/66064/digital-market/digital-market/Composting-Chickens-Comic-Book-Ulitmate
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