Skandi Rogers wrote:Practically it would probably be very difficult to do that however as the amounts would be huge.
wayne fajkus wrote:
But i bet everyone here has had a tomato, watermelon or potato sprout up from the compost pile.
Angelika Maier wrote:If you don't have dirt to begin with, how else would you build your soil than without compost? I use used potting soil which is sand cow manure and bark as well and some subsoil which I get from a crazy guy who digs out a cellar.
Hmmm but still it is difficult to create soil if you haven't got soil in the first place without adding/collecting organic matter. I just organised a truckload full of woodchips. I mean soil is not laying around to be taken.
I think that you have a real good train of thought on this, Angelika, and it is worth considering. My guess for the success of the lasagna raised bed garden is because it is not tilled, and is built in layers that will naturally want to compost down. When this is the case and your humus is built in successive layers of biomass, the layers become integrated right down to the subsoils beneath them, where fungi will send runners down to interface with the strata to bring the minerals up for the rest of the soil community, which becomes unified throughout the layers due to the fungi. The diversity of the materials will give enough minerals from their bodies for the beginning of the system, so there is no mineral deficiency as it is being established. I personally would add some mineral soils, even in trace amounts, in these layers, which would eliminate the concern. Mineral soils could easily be added during transplanting time as well. It takes very little actual mineral soil to give all the actual nutritional minerals that are needed by the plants. Most of the mineral soil that is 'necessary' in a soil system is as aggregate/strata, and not for the soil system's or plants' need for minerals. Bryant's pages on soil are a good resource on this. The book Teaming With Microbes (might be available through your library) is a very good source of primer info on the role of microbiologically rich soil in gardens. In Dr. Elaine Ingham's words "There is an infinity of minerals in the soil." meaning that they can not be exhausted no matter what technique you use. The problem, in her opinion (and I am convinced she is right), is that most agricultural techniques have such little in the way of active microbiological communities that the minerals are not being taken up, and the natural fertility of the soil is lost due to the same lack of complete microbial community.
Isn't the lacking mineral content a problem of sheet mulching/lasagna gardening? It is organic matter only gardening.
I was involved in a community garden in Vancouver Canada that was built on an area that was paved. We removed the pavement completely with picks.
What would be a good way to build vegetable beds on a hard surface like, say, a parking lot? I have seen some videos of urban community gardens being built in inner cities on surfaces like that, and I wonder what kind of "recipe" they use for their beds.
Melody KirkWagner wrote:I'm struggling with the nitrogen issue. I have way too much organic matter - 24.9%, yet my nitrogen is very low.
Melody KirkWagner wrote:I'm struggling with the nitrogen issue... yet my nitrogen is very low.... the performance of my garden says I do need to add nitrogen. Now I'm unsure how to calculate that addition. Thanks for any advice.
Travis Johnson wrote:
The challenge for you will be getting a high concentration of nitrogen, without adding too much phosphorous. You really do not have to worry about potash because the plants just store excess amounts of it, but phosphorous can really reek havoc with local bodies of water. That is because of what it does; generates growth...as in blooms within the water body. This is difficult with manures because you get, what you get, what you gt. If you add enough manure to get the 25% nitrogen you need, you probably will be high on your phosphorous and potash. In the interest of pollution control, when you do your calculations always target phosphorous, get it to where it needs to be, but no more. That is your limiting factor. Your nitrogen might be low, but you'll have to live with that. The same if your potash is low or high, it won't pollute if it is high, and you'll have to live with it if it is low (to be morally conscious at least).
Angelika Maier wrote:Hmmm but still it is difficult to create soil if you haven't got soil in the first place without adding/collecting organic matter. I just organised a truckload full of woodchips. I mean soil is not laying around to be taken.