Anonymous wrote: then there's the possibility of foraging animals on it, and their manure would greatly add to the organic matter in the soil (and therefore water holding capacity).
Old thread, i know, but i think it's an important one, so here is my question:
We want to increase the water holding capacity of the soil. We do this by increasing the OM(Organic Matter) content of the earth.
Now is the above statement by anonymous user correct?
I imagine if you just let the dead plants lay on the ground and being dragged down by worms and other
soil organisms (or if you till it in) you get more OM in the ground than from the excrements of grazing animals,
as those animals exhale the organic matter rather than put it in their dung.
Can someone please enligthen me on this topic?
Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 5a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
R. Han, manure does have organic matter in it, but it’s a lower proportion than plant material. Chicken manure, for instance, has a 7:1 carbon to nitrogen ratio, while sawdust has a 500:1 ratio. Organic matter will be added to the soil either way. But animals are more than manure depositing systems. For instance, cows leave a bunch of little dents in the ground that help water infiltrate, and catch nutrient-rich air-blown dust.
Earthworks are the skeleton; the plants and animals flesh out the design.